The following communication may perhaps go to show that 'the great body of the Cherokees' are not anxious to remove. We should like to know how the 'Indian Board' in New York will go to work to remove these Indians.
HIGHWASSEE TOWN HOUSE AQUOHEE DISTRICT August 28, 1829
To Our Beloved Brother Elias Boudinott- We understand that rumors are in circulation, which are calculated to induce our friends to believe, that we are willing to leave our country. In order to counteract the injurious tendency of such reports, we wish to communicate to the public our own testimony on the subject.
The emigrating scheme has been proposed to us and we have considered it deliberately, and the result is, that not a single citizen of this District has agreed to the plan. The bones of our fathers lie here in security, and we cannot consent to abandon them to be crushed beneath the feet of strangers.
Most of our old men have lived here from infancy to old age, and our young men inherit the same disposition. The lands we possess are the gift of our Creator. They are moreover recognized by the United States, and guaranteed to us forever. Our limits on all sides are permanently fixed and well known. Within these limits we consider ourselves at home,and have no doubt of the goodness of our title. And the pure air of our country, the wholesome springs and fertile soil are well suited to supply our wants and to promote our happiness. In the enjoyment of these blessings, our rising families are making rapid advances in knowledge and industry and good order.
Our Creator has not given us the land beyond the Mississippi, but has given it to other people; and why should we wish to enter upon their possessions?
We have not been in the habit of moving from place to place as the white people have, and we think those of our white brethren who are so anxious to take possession of our lands might with a little trouble, keep on to the west and settle the lands which they recommend to us. We feel injured and aggrieved in being continually harassed with solicitations to part with our last refuge on earth.- When a person owns certain property and a brother wishes to purchase it, if the owner refuses to sell we think the other ought to cease his importunity and should never think of having a recourse to unfair and forcible means to obtain it.
Our peaceful homes, our cultivated fields and our friendly neighbors are daily acquiring stronger hold on our affections. Our laws encourage virtue and industry, and punish vice. Our chiefs use their influence to diffuse light among the people and their efforts are crowned with success.- Veneration for the laws is felt to the remotest corner of the land, and a peaceable and orderly disposition pervades the whole population. Being placed in these favorable circumstances by the goodness of our Creator, we have no inclination to relinquish our inheritance for uncultivated wilds in the vicinity of lawless and hostile savages. In fact it would be ruinous to us to do so. We entertain friendly dispositions towards the citizens of the U. States, and our enemies themselves cannot charge us with the violation of good order in our intercourse with them. Though we are sorry to say that some of our white brethren forgetting the superiority which they claim over us, frequently cross the line to steal horses ' other property ' strange as it may appear, are screened from punishment by the laws of a Christian people, who call us savages. We have borne these injuries in silence, relying on the justice of the United States Government to make good her solemn engagements for our protection.
We take this opportunity to express our confidence in our Chiefs and Legislators and very respectfully to urge them to continue their faithful exertions for the interests of their country, and we assure them of our hearty co-operation. Whatever measures they may adopt agreeably to our Constitution we are willing to abide by, and ready to support to the utmost of our power.
Before we conclude, we wish to recommend to the consideration of the ensuing Council, the propriety of adopting some measures more effectually to prevent the distillation of ardent spirits, and the introduction of that pernicious article into the Nation.
We wish also to express our affection to yourself and our unqualified approbation of the able and decided manner in which our cause has been advocated in the Phoenix, and our interest maintained against misrepresentation, craft and tyranny, which are combined against our rights and liberties.
Signed, on behalf and by order of a meeting of the citizens of Aquohee District, assembled at Hiwassee Town House August 28, 1829.
(Signed in Cherokee by nine persons)