Wednesday, July 15, 1829
The eagerness which is manifested in Geo. to obtain the lands of the Cherokees has frequently led the journals of that state to deceive the people, by stating, that we are 'making extensive preparations to remove to the west.' So desirable it is to get rid of these troublesome Cherokees, that every flying report is grasped at as an undoubted fact, ' spread abroad to the rejoicing of thousands. The late statement of the Georgia Journal, to which we have already referred, is a very good example. No sooner does this statement makes it appearance before we had time to take breath, ' certainly before we had the opportunity of contradicting it, it is copied into many papers, and now there is v), paper with which we have the honor of exchanging, but what has informed its readers that 'the Cherokees are making extensive preparations to remove.' We happen to know this to be an assertion without the least foundation. We hope the same papers will say on what they may consider 'good authority,' that the Cherokees are not making any preparations to remove, but on the contrary, that they continue to make improvements as heretofore. We see houses erecting wherever we go-they are enlarging their farms-the progress of education is encouraging, and the improvement in morals has never been so flattering.- These are facts on which the public ma depend, until we shall inform them otherwise. We know not what course the cherokees may finally determine to pursue, but we have no hesitation in stating the above as being most correct in regard to them at present. We d not undertake to say that they will remain here at all hazards, for 'persecution-what will it not accomplish?' as the Journal of Commerce remarks. We know, however, the feelings of many individuals-in regard to them, we speak with confidence when we say, coercion alone will remove them to the western country allotted for the Indians.
When we published the short article which has given rise to the communication of One of the Hickses, and the letter of William Hicks in our last, we knew that it was incorrect, but thought proper to leave the matter to the persons implicated. It was our opinion that a denial from one of the family would be more to the purpose, than for us to contradict the statement. We hope the public will now be satisfied that implicit reliance is not to be placed on the statements of Georgia Editors on the subject of the removal of the Cherokees. We are acquainted with One of the Hickes, who is a single man. He is the only one of the family who has manifested a willingness to pass the Mississippi. With W. Hicks we are also acquainted. In regard to him, we feel prepared to say that if the Cherokees are not to remove until he emigrates, the United States will have to employ far more powerful means to effect their purpose than are now in progress.
MR. EDITOR,- The following is an extract of an article inserted in a late number of your paper: 'All the Hicks family are going to the west of the Mississippi, and we think the example will be extensively followed.'
I feel it to be my duty, not only to satisfy the public, but to do away the censure it may produce, and to state what probably gave rise to the report. `A wise man will listen to good counsel, but a fool will have his own way.' Having no claim to the former by affinity or consanguinity, but to the latter, knowing that I was no benefit or injury to my country, and having no one to steer my course down the stream of life, and seeing the embarrassed state of the Country, and the difficulties I apprehended would soon overtake it if not providentially saved, I avowed myself an Arkansas emigrant under the treaty which gave rise to emigration. I did not do this to injure my country or my relations, nor did I intend for an example for others to follow, but merely to satisfy my own selfish notions. This is probably, what gave rise to the report, so confidently spread abroad in the Georgia prints. Perhaps I have a better chance to know the pretensions of the Hickes, and I know they are opposed to emigration. I presume the public will not give any credit to the light reports that are so frequently and industriously spread abroad.
Among the vicissitudes incident to life, no event would produce sensations of a more unpleasant nature in my mind, than to see all the Hickses driven in a horde to the western wilds, hitherto uncultivated and unfrequented, which nature, who shines every where else in her youth, appears to be in a state of decrepitude, and where, instead of a flourishing verdure is to be seen an encumbered waste, possessing no inducements to people striving after civilization.
As for myself, whenever my life ' liberty are at stake, I am always determined to pursue a course that the dictates of common sense prescribes. I had maturely considered what I was about to do, not thinking that it would involve my connexions (sic) in an unfounded censure, when I avowed myself an Arkansas emigrant, knowing at the same time that all contracts must be faithfully fulfilled before they can be binding; and unless the Government do faithfully fulfil the provisions of the treaty which gave rise to emigration, I will hold to my country until driven from it by the bayonet, and enjoy my birthright privileges; but if otherwise, I will take my flight to the western wilds, to seek retreat in a country, said to be 'more congenial to Indian habits' a retreat where the voice of the civilized man gave place to yells of savage man and ferocious beasts, there to hide myself in the bosom of some lonely forest, to spend my days in obscurity, and to look back on my injured country, and mourn the fate of 'Alkmonac's' noble but unfortunate race.
ONE OF THE HICKSES.