Wednesday, July 2, 1828
Volume I, No. 19
Page 2, col. 4b-5 and Page 5, col. 1a
For the amusement of our English readers, the following translations of our Cherokee Correspondence inserted above are presented to the public.-They will convey to the reader pretty good idea of Cherokee composition. One thing we are pleased to notice in one of these pieces, & we hope our white readers will consider the sentiments here advanced not only the sentiments of an individual, but of a majority of the Cherokees. We allude to the remarks of [in Cherokee] on that class of our citizens who have disgraced us by shooting arrows and begging money. We have stated in a former number that [in Cherokee] [John Huss] does not speak a word of English.
June 19, 1828
My friends, in the twelfth number of the Cherokee Phoenix a writer over the signature of [in Cherokee] [a lover of the Cherokees] has this remark.- "It will be well that the National Committee should be composed of men acquainted with letters, and the Council of full Indians." For my part I am not of the same opinion. I apprehend that the writer made his remark rather inconsiderately. Such a state of things would not be right. It would be well that they should be mixed. It is true indeed that learned men are wise. Those ignorant of letters cannot bear comparison with them. But not all. There is a diversity among them, as well as among the unlearned. A part only are wise; and are excelled in wisdom by such as are entirely ignorant of letters.
But chiefly on this ground I dissent from the opinion of "A lover of the Cherokees," that the General Council should be so divided, as that those who are acquainted with letters should constitute one body, and those ignorant of letters the other. It would be a great evil, for it would appear like creating a division among the people and we know the remark often made by the unlettered, that those who talk English are overbearing. Dissensions will soon follow if such a course is pursued. It would be well that they should be mixed. For, moreover, according to the Constitution, each body has a negative on the other.- They ought to be on equal footing.- For it is the power which they possess of rejecting or amending each other's acts which causes differences between them.
My Friends, let us be considerate when the time of election for the General Council arrives. Every man ought to give his vote with deliberation. The Council is not to be chosen inconsiderately. When the time of election arrives, then be deliberate. This is a correct saying. "When you see a man who you think will labor well for the good of us Cherokees, then vote for him." It would be dangerous to elect members of Council hastily. For it is evident what thoughts the people of Georgia have respecting us, wishing to obtain our lands. This should be a motive to deliberation in the election of Councillors [sic]. Let us do it carefully, with the best of our powers.
Our Chiefs and Legislators have made for us a Constitution. If we be of one mind in the support of this Constitution, the inhabitant of Georgia will not take away our land. But if we be divided into parties we shall be liable to lose our territory. Let us then be careful to preserve unanimity in attachment to our country and the Constitution. It is well that we have a Constitution, for that is our support. For wherever there is a community destitute of a regular system of laws, that community is weak. But whereever [sic] a people preserve a regular system of government, that community is firmly established. So let it be with us Cherokees. Someone, however, may perhaps find fault with out present Constitution. But let him well reconsider, and he will perceive the excellency of that which we now have. Once it was not so in our country. They did not adhere firmly to laws. They had but few. For that reason the affairs of the nation were easily involved in difficulties. What has happened in to our country is manifest. We look towards the setting sun.- there are those who sprang from our country. They are like lost persons; they have left their relations, their fathers, their mothers, their brothers, their friends, the land of their birth. This has happened for want of a regular system of government. To all this we are exposed if we be destitute of a constitution. But under our constitution we shall live in peace, if we truly regard it, and if our Councillors and Chiefs are good men, and true lovers of our soil, & such as truly wish to increase the prosperity of our country. If such be the character of those who direct the affairs of the Cherokee Nation, no evil will happen to us.
There is another subject which I have been contemplating. I sometimes hear of Cherokees from our country going about in cities of the United States with bows and arrows, shooting about, and expecting to obtain a little money. I have never seen it but I believe what I hear. It is not good that men who go about shooting in the cities in the United States should be members of the Council. But I will state the reasons which lead me to think it is not good that such men should be Councilors.
In the first place I see the evil of having shooters for councillors, because when one is seen shooting about with his arrows in the United States, it is exceedingly disgraceful; and if they go about with the hope of receiving a little money, we are all supposed to be of the same character; and by that means the confident expectation of obtaining our lands is created in the minds of the people of Georgia.- For they will say, "They hold land to no purpose, for this is what they are!"
In the second place, shooters of this description cannot know what are the true interests of our country. For their ignorance may easily be seen from their conduct.
In the third place, such a man cannot see the importance of agriculture.
Fourthly, such a man cannot be a true lover of the country. For he would prefer to be without a home and without land. For it is plainly to be perceived that a man who conducts thus must be both ignorant, and destitute of true affection for his country. We possess good land, and of great use; but he conducts like one who has no land and no home. By this it may be seen that he is likely to regard our territory as a trifle.
My friends, this is the reason that it is disgraceful for one who lays
claim to wisdom to be thus shooting about with arrows among the whites.
And if he is the leader of any young men, he is instructing them in evil, and
leading them into disgrace. A worthy man would not teach in this manner
those of whom he is the leader.- He will point them to what is truly good, and
not disgraceful for them to do. I wish that all would abandon this practice
of going about shooting arrows in the territory of the whites. While they
continue it we are regarded among the white people as monopolizing territory
to no purpose.- therefore it is that we are perpetually teazed [sic] to part
with it. Let them in our country attend to business, make themselves food
houses, and farms, and attend well to the raising of cattle. If we all
pursue this course we shall be firmly established, and those who ask of us
our land will be discouraged. And if we labor well, we shall live well;
for our land is very valuable. This is the way the whites have done; they
have all labored well, and pursued their business with great effort. If
we pursue the the [sic] same course, we shall prosper.- But they who are lazy
will always be poor.
A friend to you all,
RIDGE'S FERRY, June 24, 1828
Some time since we learnt that an appropriation of $50,000 had been made by Congress to defray the expense of holding a treaty with us for the purchase of land. Commissioners will probably be here at the time of the next Fall Council. But I have my fears respecting the conduct of you young men. I know that you are decided friends of this our native country. On the Oostanallee and Connasaugee and towards the mountains we have never heard of the people's selling land; but only of their attachment to it. Only a position of those living near the [Tennessee] River have been disposed to sell. But now the high water has subsided; now all is peace; now I believe that all the men in that section are true to their country.- Our principal chief also I honor. I have never discovered in him the least thing out of the way, anything in the least degree suspicious. Now the time of our Coosewaytee election is at hand. Three places, Ooyugelogee, Coosewaytee and Elejoy, are appointed to hold meetings for the election of members of the Committee and Council. You will do an excellent thing if you attend; for we shall have to elect those who will be the promoters of our national interests. It will be extremely well if good men are chosen and if they attend the Council; for the negotiation will be with them. It is their part also to make laws for us. And to elect hastily such men as will be too speedy imitators of white people would not be well. For many are yet without knowledge. They do not understand. Many are still unacquainted with our laws. It is not right to proceed hastily, and form laws which the people do not understand. If a child just beginning to walk attempts to run, he soon falls, and cries. And if a man working in the field does not perform his work thoroughly he goes over much ground indeed, but the field which he has passed over is still full of weeds. So it will be in regard to our national laws if we proceed hastily.
We have also heard that some of the chiefs from Arkansas went to the seat of Government. Some of them have returned. They have made a treaty. They have exchanged lands. A country lying about four days journey to the west of their present habitation has become theirs, with the consideration of $50,000. This also the Government has included in the treaty; that if any citizen of the Cherokee nation residing here, who is the head of a family, shall wish to remove thither, on signing his name to that effect, he shall receive a rifle, a blanket, a brass kettle, and five pounds of tobacco.- Thus has it happened to the Cherokees of Arkansas, to whom a beautiful talk was given, promising peace and happiness, and now scarcely ten years are passed, and they have become weary of them. But those to whom this delusive promise was first made, do not now remember it.- Glass and Tutsalah now sleep. I pity those Cherokees who have gone from us. Our wandering blood will be extinguished far away from us. But let us learn. Let us hold fast to the country which we yet retain. Let us direct our efforts to agriculture, and to the increase of wealth, and to the promotion of knowledge. With many of you I, who address you, have no personal acquaintance.