Phoenix and Indian's Advocate
Wednesday, September 30, 1829
Vol. II, no. 26
Page 2, col. 4b-5a
On the question the Indians must decide for themselves: and if
they choose advice from their white friends, that advice ought to be given with
a knowledge of the circumstances of their situation. We do not profess
to be qualified to answer the question. So far, however, as we have formed
an opinion, it is decidedly in favor of their remaining where they are.
The considerations which have been urged to induce them to remove, appear to
us, to have very little weight. The argument of the Secretary of War,
that they will have a better title to the country beyond the Mississippi because
the United States will guarantee it, must to a Cherokee appear supremely ridiculous.
'What title,' he may justly ask, 'can be better than that of occupancy, time
immemorial, and of what avail will be the guarantee of the United States, if
they make so light of the guarantees solemnly and repeatedly given of the country
which we now occupy?'
Equally idle is the reason so often urged, that they must remove in order to get rid of troublesome neighbors, that if they remain where they are, the white will steal their cattle, and intrude upon their grounds. To this the Cherokee may well say 'If it is once known that the Indian will leave his lands and abandon his country because he has troublesome neighbors, how long will it be before he will have troublesome neighbors in the country beyond the Mississippi, and where on earth can he go, and be rid of troublesome neighbors.'
In addition to the want of force in the arguments which are urged for the removal of the Cherokees, there are many substantial reasons for their retaining in the country which they now occupy. It is the country of their ancestors, -- they are strongly attached to it -- they have made many improvements in it; they have enclosed farms, and cultivated them, built houses, shops and mills, they are advancing rapidly in population, the arts, learning, morals and religion, and are altogether a thriving and prosperous people. If they remain where they are, there seems to be no reason to doubt that they will be highly respectable and happy -- but if they remove, -- everything to say the least, is put at hazard -- we can hardly conceive it possible that their situation in any respect can be improved, while we readily see how in many ways it maybe made worse, and that they run the risk of losing all the advantages which they now possess. N. Y. Obs.