Wednesday, January 14, 1829
Volume 1 No. 44
Page 2 Col. 5a-
Page 3 Col. 1b.
Dec. 31, 1828
MR. E. BOUDINOTT, Editor,
Sir,I enclose you, for publication, Col. Montgomery's letter to me in reply to the communication from the Gen. Council, also my answer there to and his reply. If convenient, you will have them published in both Cherokee as well as in the English language, that the request enjoined on my, to notify the Cherokees generally and individually of his desire may be complied with as far as is possible; and that the people may see and judge for themselves whether any thing in secret is afloat or whether the recuiting (sic) business is, or has been, managed in a fair, candid and open manner, by these whose duty it is or has been to conduct it. I am Sir your Obt. Servt.
November 24, 1828.
Sir, on yesterday I received the Communication from the General Council, which will be forwarded to the War Department by the next mail, accompanied by a notification of the intended visit of the Delegation.
There are some parts of that communication on which my duty requires me to make a remark or two in particularly the parts which relate to Capt. Rogers and the sub-agent.
1. It is not material with me whether Capt. Rogers is from Arkansas or
from Asia, he is the Agent of the United States Government, & entitled to
its protection, and if the Council will not be responsible for consequences,
I must. Permit me then, Sir, through you, to notify the Cherokees generally,
and individually, that the most effectual measures will be taken to bring to
justice for any offence committed on Capt. Rogers or any other officer of agent
of the Government of this Nation, and if this means adopted in the case of Spears
should fail, more efficient ones will be resorted to.
2. As to the duties in which the Sub-Agent and interpreter are engaged it is sufficient to say that the Government requires them. But that no dishonorable steps have or will be taken to induce any of the Cherokees to enrol (sic), and I wish I could say that none had or would be taken to prevent it.- The Cherokees are free men, they have the right of location and ought to be permitted to exercise their own judgment, and the Government makes it their interest to move, they ought to accede to it. This observation is made in consequence of having been repeatedly told by Cherokees, that they would enrol but they were afraid of the big man at New Town, of personal abuse &c. I must therefore add, that those who have or may enrol (sic) for emigration are also entitled to the protection of the United States, and will receive it.
Very Respectfully your Obedient Servant.
Mr. JOHN ROSS, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.
December 24, 1828.
Sir, Your letter of the 24th November last, in reply to the communication from General Council was received on the 18th, Instant. In answer to that part of the communication relative to the affair of Rogers and Spears, you remark that "it is not material with you whether Capt. Rogers is from Arkansas or from Asia, he is the Agent of the United States Government," and that the most effectual measures will be taken to bring to justice for any offence committed on Captain Rogers, and if the measures adopted in the case of Spears should fail; more efficient ones will be resorted to."
I do not know that it is of any consequence to the nation where Mr. Rogers is from, but if he is an officer of the Government, and has been commissioned by the President to transact any business with the nation, he should have been officially announced as such to the proper authorities of the Nation, yet it is somewhat strange that this has not been done, until circumstances brought you to the disclosure, more than half a year after his arrival in this country. All that the council knew respecting this individual was, that he was once a citizen of this nation, and had under the exercise of his own free-will emigrated to Arkansas, and was there appointed United States Interpreter, but never knew, or ever heard of his promotion as an agent of the United States Government, either in the civil or military department. It has ever been the desire of the authority of this Nation to treat the agents of the Government with due respect, and we cannot believe that the Government is disposed to sustain, or protect the improper private acts of any of her agents, and that the sanction of the Government will be extended to the justification of unwarrantable trespasses upon the rights and privileges of our citizens by any of her agents, when in a state of intoxication.
You further remark, "I wish I could say that no dishonorable steps had or would be taken to prevent the Cherokees from enrolling." If you are prepared to state that any has been or would be taken on the part of the National authorities, I wish you plainly to particularize and state them, for I an entirely ignorant of any.
You also remark that,"the Cherokee are freemen, they have the right of locomotion, and ought to be permitted to exercise their own judgment. This is perfectly in accordance with my opinion, and I would add as freemen they should also be permitted to exercise their own judgment to continue on their own lands; without being annoyed by other Cherokees who have already exercised their own choice and emigrated.
You further state that you have been repeatedly told by Cherokees that they would enroll, but they were afraid of the big men at New Town of personal abuse &c. and "those who have or may enrol (sic) for emigration are also entitled to the protection of the United States, and will receive it." Truth and justice require I should say those fears are groundless, and should not be believed; and I would request to be informed who those Cherokees are, that have repeatedly acquainted you with their fears, and through whose interpretation they were communicated as the U. States Interpreter has disavowed ever having heard from any Cherokee such a statement. I hope you are not disposed to give credit to every frivolous tale that may be told you by designing men, prejudicial to the Nation. From the latter part of the above remark, I would infer that you consider the protection extended to emigrants greater than to others and would be more ri_idly observed.- What additional (if any) instruction you may have received from the Government on this subject, I am unable to say, but I hope and trust that the protection provided for us by Treaty will be so far observed by the Agents of the Government, as to render up the justice contemplated by the United States, and which I have ever considered equal to that of emigrants.
I am sir, respectfully,- your obedient servant.
(Signed) JOHN ROSS.
Col. HUGH MONTGOMERY.
December 24, 1828.
Sir, I have just received your letter, and there appears to be no part of it to which you require an answer, except the part which relates to the fears expressed by individuals about enrolling, & to that part I will only say that I have been repeatedly so told both verbally & in writing, and shall be glad if your letter will justify me in saying these fears are groundless.
All I claim for wither the officers of the Government, or the emigrants,
is common protection with other citizens.
Mr. JOHN ROSS, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.