and Indians' Advocate
Vol. 2 No. 16
Wednesday July 22, 1829
Page 1 Col. 4b-5a
From the Lancaster (Mass.) Gazette.
We have inserted on our first page two interesting and important documents touching the relation of our government with the Indians. The first of these documents is an Indian talk of President Jackson to the Creeks, demanding a surrender of the murderers of one of the whites, and recommending to them a removal to the westward of the Mississippi. The other document is a letter from the Secretary of War to the Cherokee Delegation, in answer to a complaint recently made by them of encroachments upon their rights by the State of Georgia. The Indians insist upon being an independent State, and deny the right of Georgia to claim jurisdiction over them, and extend over them her legislative enactments. The Secretary of War informs them, however, that the government of the United States cannot deny to Georgia the right which she claims; and proposes to them as the only remedy for their troubles, to remove beyond the Mississippi, where they will receive protection as an independent government.- It is desirable that the unhappy troubles of the remnant of the Indians of this country should be terminated: but it is very evident that Georgia will never manifest a more accommodating spirit than she has done, and that the Indians will never find any mercy at her hands. It may be their policy therefore, where they cannot obtain justice, to seek peace in a place more remote from their tormenters. Our Indians have been oppressed, and crowded, step by step, from the territory of their fathers, till they have dwindled from a powerful to an insignificant race, and have been reduced from the possession of an immense territory to a spot barely sufficient to lay the bones of the small number of them that remain "like the lone column of a fallen temple, exhibiting the sad relics of their former strength."- They command our sympathy, and much is due from our government to alleviate the distresses of their declining race.
The following eloquent appeal is a recent talk of an aged Chief of the Creek Nation to Gen. Jackson. Its language goes to the heart:-
"Brother! The red people were very numerous. They covered
the land like the trees of the forest, from the big waters of the east to the
great sea, where rests the setting sun. The white people came- they drove
them from forest to forest, from river to river,-the bones of our fathers strewed
the path of their wandering. Brother, you are now strong; we melt away
like the snow of spring before the rising sun. Whither must we now go?
Must we leave the home of our fathers, and go to a strange land beyond the great
river of the West?- That land is dark & desolate- we shall have no
pleasure in it. Pleasant are the fields of our youth.- We love the
woods where our fathers led us to the chase.- Their bones lie by the running
stream, where we sported in the days of our childhood.- When we are gone,
strangers will dig them up--The Great Spirit made us all--you have land enough--Leave
us then the fields of our youth, and the woods where our fathers led us to the
chase.--Permit us to remain in peace under the shade of our own trees.--Let
us watch over the graves of our fathers by the streams of our childhood.--May
the Great Spirit move the heart of our father, the President, that he may open
his ear to the voice of children, for they are sorrowful."