and Indians' Advocate
Wednesday, March 24, 1830
Vol. II, no. 49
Page 3, col. 3a-4c
For the Cherokee Phoenix.
MR. EDITOR,--I see in the 47th Number of the Phoenix and article headed, "The Philadelphian and the Indians," in which are given the views of the Rev. Dr. Ely in regard to the situation of the Indians residing on this side of the Mississippi. "The miserable condition of the majority of the Indians" east of the Mississippi; he says, "calls loudly for such a measure [Indian colonization] for although the Gospel has greatly benefitted all who have been brought under its benign influence, still the civilized Indians are generally of a mixed blood, being one half or one quarter white, and the mass of the people, even among the Cherokees, are idle, uncultivated, and destitute of the most of the comforts of life. At this moment they are more than half naked and frequently half starved."
This statement is entirely false, and without the least foundation. I was through what is called the Valley Towns on the head waters of the Hiwassee and Little Tennessee and visited a number of the most of the popular towns and villages, and in all I saw nothing like nakedness or starvation. In fact the majority of the people are better farmers in that section of the nation, than elsewhere among our people. I saw large cribs of corn and stocks of cattle, hogs, sheep and horses, and in several instances among the full blooded Indians, as they are called, we had sugar and coffee, and as plenty of vegetables as can be found on the tables of our surrounding white brothers--I know not what could induce the Cherokees to come fifty and sixty miles to the mill of the gentleman who made the report to the Honorable Senator, for they have mills near them where they can have their grinding done, and plenty of corn at their doors.
The statement I believe is for no other purpose than to deceive the public,
and to further the policy of the Government in removing us to the west of the
Mississippi.--I saw in my travels a number of full Cherokees who are regular
members of the Baptist Church.
For the Cherokee Phoenix.
CHOCTAW NATION Jan. 1830
MR. EDITOR.- It has just been reported to me from an authentic source that the State of Mississippi has extended her laws over us, Choctaws and abolished all the tribal usages that have been hitherto exercised amongst us, subjecting any chief or Captain to fine and imprisonment who may presume to exercise any authority among us.
This to white men may seem to be justice and good faith; but to me, an Indian, it seems to be the most goading piece of injustice that ever was implicated on any free people. And if this is the result of that fatherly care and protection, that have been so profusely offered to us, what are we to expect? for truly others have not cared for us. Where is the plighted faith of the United States?-- Where is that strong arm of our great father, that Major General Andrew Jackson told of in the year 1820, when he was Commissioner on the part of the United States? has our father's arm become palsied that he cannot stretch it over his red Children? How extremely childish have our Chiefs been, that they could not see that it required land to give strength to our father's arm. Could they not foresee that when there was no more land to spare he would be constitutionally affected to such a degree, that it would be impossible for him to shield us?
Is it reasonable to suppose that a great nation which boasts of its magnanimity should be faithful in little matters as well as in matters with great nations who are able to redress their own grievances? Is it because the Indians are few that they may be regarded, as a mere cipher or as children who do not know what they want? Admit they are children-has our great father done justice to us, think you, in telling us what he never intended to perform.
It is extremely painful for an affectionate child to correct a father in secret-how must those sensations be increased, when that child has to preserve his own existence by the exposure of acts that may be employed to seduce him and place him in a situation that endangers his very being.
Such is the course the Indians must pursue. No wonder then, that in view of this situation, Col. Folsom, on a late occasion, said that he was distressed. I wish that the good people of these U. S. had been there like me and heard these heart rending accents fall from his lips in his own native eloquence. Surely he would have made friends of them all. How truly hard must be the fate of that people, when reason, justice and eloquence cannot move the stubborn purposes of their oppressors? Had avarice closed every avenue of justice? Has every feeling heart ceased to feel for us? Alas! poor Indians! when will you have a resting place?- how long are avarice in the accents of friendship undisguised by baser feelings will bid your wanderings cease, and say you are my children and I will protect you?
A NATIVE CHOCTAW