and Indians' Advocate
Wednesday, January 27, 1830
Vol. II, no. 41
Page 3, col. 2b-3b b
The editor of the [Georgia] Athenian of the 29th ult, after inserting a paragraph of Col. M'Kenney's letter to us, which appeared sometime since in our paper, and our reply to the same, remarks, "Thus it is these red gentlemen of the west get on." How would the editor of the Athenian have us conduct ourselves? To tip our hats, and make low obeisance to every one who may take the liberty of misrepresenting and slandering us, and cry all is right when we are required to kiss the oppressor's rod? Such humiliating submission, and such acquiescence in the dictatorial language of our opponents, and those who have taken upon themselves the false garb of friendship, would no doubt be considered, by a haughty Georgian, as befitting poor degraded Indians, whom, by way of contempt, the Athenian is pleased to stile [sic] red gentlemen of the west. It is a matter of rejoicing to the philanthropist and the republican, there is as yet in America, but one class of slaves. These red men of the west are not yet slaves-their judgment and freedom of speech are not yet muzzled by some proud earthly master. That they are not thus brought down to the level of negro slaves, but rather that they enjoy and exercise the right of speaking in their defence, and contradicting misrepresentations which have been so long imposed on the credulity of the public, is a cause of much chagrin to the Athenian and his brethren.
Are the common rules of right and justice different when they are applied to an Indian? We have always thought he who affirms must prove what he asserts, or stand convicted of falsehood, if he fails to make his word good. Col. M'Kenney publicly asserted things we knew to be false, & which, as in duty bound, we contradicted and called upon him to prove. How would a white man act under similar circumstances? Certainly we have an equal right to require evidence from any man who misrepresents us-this right we have exercised and shall exercise, while we have the liberty of speech, and while the liberty of the press is extended alike to the Indian and to the white man.
There was very good reason in the insinuation of the Athenian; that an Indian ought not to contradict a white man, as the reader will perceive from the following:-
Holding all the proofs in their [red gentlemen of the west] own hands-making it punishable by their laws with a fine of two hundred dollars and a hundred lashes on the bare back for any one of them to speak of the sale of their property with a view to emigration-compelling all who have the least desire that way to keep it to themselves, under pain of the severest punishment for its promulgation-and being on the spot with the gag and the hickory in their hands-they call loudly on those at a distance for proof and evidence.
No such thing. "We call loudly for proof and evidence."