PHOENIX AND INDIANS' ADVOCATE
Wednesday, February 11, 1829
Volume 1 No. 48
Page 2 Col. 1a
Extraordinary incidents continue to attend the progress of the claim of Georgia to the Cherokee country.
In 1821, she remonstrated with the United States against permitting Indians to retain small portions of their own lands as reservations in ceded districts.
In 1827, after seeing the operation of that plan at the Indian Springs, she particularly recommends it to the adoption of Congress.
But yesterday, as it were, Governor Troup claims our lands as a chartered right. To-day, Governor Forsyth claims them in right of the sword. Under whatever pretence the claim is advanced, be it chicanery or violence there is no man found to have pity on us; all seem to conspire for the slavery, the banishment or the extinction of our now weak and defenceless (sic) tribe.
In the extract of a letter published in the Georgian of the 17th inst. Governor Forsyth says that the Indians within the United States are depended upon us, because they are a conquered people residing within our sovereignty and in support of this assertion, the Treaty of Dewitt's Corner is advanced. I shall here concisely examine how far this assertion is thus supported.
In the first place this treaty is not to be found among those compiled with the laws of Georgia; which is evidence in itself that the people of that state could not have looked to it as a law for their government-and when examined it can scarcely be considered as entitled to that respect and authority generally awarded to laws and treaties.
It would appear as if it had indeed been made in a corner, for as we have it published, it is without the mention of either interpreter or witness; contrary to the custom of the day, in which it was made.
In the third place, no part of this treaty gives either soil or sovereignty to Georgia; It is said however, that by it the Cherokees ceded them to South Carolina, under whom we claim through the Convention of Beaufort; Those who will take the trouble of consulting that Convention and comparing it with this treaty, will see upon what slight ground or rather pretence a claim to the entire Cherokee Nation within what Georgia calls her limits is made. With any other view such an examination would be superfluous because by this treaty South Carolina herself could not receive a title to the soil or sovereignty of the Cherokee country, and therefore could not transfer it. The documents published shew (sic) that it should have been a treaty of Peace; and not of cession, and should have been made upon just and equitable terms. The words of the commission are to "conclude a peace with the Cherokee Nation, upon such terms as may be just and equitable." It is therefore, in the fourth place, invalid on this account, and in the fifth place, it is invalid because the Cherokee full power, contains just as little authority to give, as that of South Carolina did to receive, a title to the soil and sovereignty of the country. But sixthly, if there had been full powers from both parties, it is void because such terms were unjust and without equity.
The declared object too, was to make such conditions as would be likely to re-establish peace and friendship between the parties assembled. Let the world judge whether the terms of this treaty as now construed, comported with that object. Finally, the historian of Georgia has mentioned it only as a treaty of mere pacification. His words are (vol 2d. page 85) "a Treaty was afterwards held at Dewitt's Corner, in South Carolina, at which the Commissioners of Georgia attended, who concurred in and signed the articles of pacification."
No doubt that if this treaty and its accompanying documents, were submitted to the examination of some of the pale-faced scribes, they would find further defects in it.