and Indians' Advocate
Wednesday, August 5, 1829
Vol. II, no. 18
Page 2, col. 3c
Col. Brearly, to whom has been committed, by the General Government, the charge of conducting the emigration of the Creek Indians, has lately published, in the National Intelligencer, the following, which is designed to show that we intended to influence and mislead the public, when we said that Creeks and Chickasaws were dissatisfied with the western country. The authority, upon which our statement was founded, was contained in a letter from a Cherokee, to whom the information was communicated by the Chickasaws. We had no reason to dispute the correctness of that information, and it is more than what Col. Brearly or any other man can say, that we have attempted to work on the public mind, by means of falsehood. It is our hearty desire that those who emigrate may be contented with their new homes, for we are sure that if they are dissatisfied, they cannot do well. Taking for granted, that we were misinformed in regard to the country allotted to the Creeks, we nevertheless cannot change our opinion of the Country for the Cherokees. We do not consider Col. Brearly a good judge in this matter, as he never has visited this nation, and of course is unfit to decide on the comparative worth of the two countries. We have individuals here whom we consider as capable of telling the truth as the officers of the Government, and certainly better able to say whether the agricultural interest would be augmented in case of a removal -- they tell us things quite different from the statement of Col. Brearly. If we were endeavoring to procure to ourselves the hunter's advantages, then we might, perhaps, select the country so much extolled, as a suitable one; but Col. Brearly should remember that we are not savages or hunters, that we have long since relinquished "the Buffalo and Beaver," and that we have no distant inclination to resume our ancient occupations.
GENTLEMEN: I observe in the Intelligencer of the 2d inst. an article taken from the Cherokee Phoenix, respecting the country West of the Mississippi, offered by the Government of the United States for the future residence of the Southern Indians -- pretending to state the feelings and situation of those Indians who have emigrated to that country.
As it cannot be presumed that the publication referred to could make any deep impression on the Indians, it must have been intended to influence and mislead the public mind, by drawing upon the feelings of our citizens, whose sympathies for that unfortunate race of fellow creatures it is well known are increased in proportion to their dependence on us. I therefore deem it proper to offer such information as my knowledge of their present condition and of the country allotted to them enables me to afford.
With respect to the Chickasaws, I have not learned that any particular location has been assigned to them; but, as it regards the Cherokees, Choctaw, and Creeks, the provision made by the government cannot fail to render them, either as hunters or cultivators of the soil, far happier than they now are, or possibly can be in the country now occupied by them; particularly the Creeks, with whom my intercourse has been such as to enable me to know the disposition of all the emigrants, which is, without one dissenting voice, in favor of their new country; and I assure you it is untrue that any have expressed a wish to return. On the contrary, not a single family could be induced, even at the expense of the government, to relocate itself permanently in the old nation. They are placed immediately beyond the Western Territorial lines of Arkansas, bounded on the West, and at no great distance, by the prairies which extend to the Rocky Mountains, present a barrier to any further removal. Instead of being surrounded by white people and deluged with whiskey from every quarter, they have but the channel of intercourse, the rivers generally coming from the West on which they are located, affording them the advantage of water transportation for the products of their labor or hunts, and or receiving in return by steamboats directly from N. Orleans, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, &c. &c. all the necessaries and luxuries of life which their wants or their fancies may require. The lands between the Territorial line of Arkansas and the great Prairies are by far the richest I have ever seen, beautifully undulated, and well watered, and certainly more congenial to the rearing of stock of every description than any other in the United States. Thus, while every inducement to the arts of husbandry are increased, and the living rendered secure and easy, the boundless prairies will afford a perpetual supply of game particularly the Buffalo and the Beaver, which have been long since extinct with the Indians on this side the Mississippi, besides immense herds of wild horses, an animal in which they hold no little estimation.