NEW ECHOTA, APRIL 7, 1830
We stated week before last that the intruders collected at the gold mines had been warned off by the Agent, and that many of them had agreed to leave the country. It appears that almost all had departed, until it was ascertained that the agent had procured no warrants in Georgia, as it was supposed he would-they have now returned with redoubled force, and unless a speedy check is put to their ingressions, there will be in a very short time four times as many as there are now. It cannot be questioned but that they are encouraged by some of the leading men of the neighboring counties, by the lawyers especially, who will stand 'between them and all danger.' This is no great matter of surprise when it is known that some of the officers of the United States have been clandestinely encouraging intruders into the nation-we do not mean the United States' agent, but the appraisers. A number of the intruders, with whom the late difficulties existed, have lately certified that they came into the nation through the encouragement given to them by these appraisers, who told them that it was perfectly safe to take possession of all the improvements abandoned by the emigrants, and that this encouragement was given as they understood from the appraisers, upon authority of a letter from the President of the United States,and furthermore, some of these certifiers heard the letter read! That such a letter has emanated from the executive of the United States we are not yet disposed to believe, but that such an encouragement has been given by authorized officers of the Government, we have no manner of doubt. On these officers then, and on the government whose servants they are, must rest the responsibility arising from difficulties with the intruders introduced by them into the nation. And what is the design of this underhanded management? Is there any thing good in it. No, but abundance of evil-one Cherokee has already been barbarously murdered! The design is the same with that kept in view, if not avowed, by the proceedings of the State of Georgia, and the Gen. Government, the forced removal of the Cherokees- They will not effect this by open force, but they will wear them out by permitting, yea,encouraging intruders to come in their midst, and by harassing them in other innumerable ways. This is what we call force- this is what we call oppression, systematic oppression.
Since writing the above, we have been favored with a true copy of the certificate, which we now lay before the public. This, and the document wwich follows it, will satisfy the reader that the intrusions on the land of the Cherokees have been encouraged, if not by the government, but most certainly by her agents.
CHEROKEE NATION, MARCH 19, 1830.
This is to certify that we the undersignes(sic) do state to Col. Williams sub agent of the Cherokee Nation that some time in the month of September 1829 that we was (sic) at the house occupied by John Jourdon in said nation and the Commissioners employed by General Government that is namely James S. Bridges and A. E. S. Hunter said that they had a letter from General Jackson stating that any white person or persons was (sic) at liberty to settle any where in the Cherokee Nation on any place emigrated that there was no danger in settling on any such land that the land that was emigrated was the property of the United States and that they would not be interrupted and they further state the Commissioners advised them to go and build at the Springs of Indians that had not emigrated that it would cause them to enrol themselves for the Arkansas and they further state that it was by the influence of them that they settled on the emigrated places and they are a great many other good citizens has(sic) paid high prices for their places and they never would of bin (sic) living in the nation had it not bin (sic) by them influenced and if they are removed off it will almost brake (sic) them up and we do further state that if necessary we can produce fifteen or twenty that will certify the same we do further state that Oratio Griffin one of the subscribers saw the letter and read it himself and Moses W. Benson and George Harris saw the letter and heard them read it.
Moses W. Benson
Jesse x Harris
Jesse Harris acknowledge his mark in my presents,(sic)
I do certify that the above is a true copy of the original now in my possession and which shall be reported to Col. Montgomery.
JAS. G. WILLIAMS
Head of Coosa, 22d March 1830.
CHEROKEE AGENCY, 29th March 1830.
Enclosed I send you a copy of a letter just received from the Secretary of War, and as directed call your particular attention to that part of it contained in the following words: 'He charges you to repeat to them what heretofore they have been told, that they cannot be permitted to execute our laws; these high trusts devolved upon this Government- The United States claim, to be judges of the conduct of its citizens, and the right to punish when it is deserved; but they will not grant this authority to any other power whether foreign or within their own limits.'
Mr. Miller will circulate advertisements to the Intruders to retire from the Cherokee lands and I will attend with the Military force when they arrive and have the lines cleared of those that refuse to go at this warning.
Your Obt. Servant.
Mr. John Ross, Principal Chief Cherokee Nation.
DEPARTMENT OF WAR
March 14th 1830
Intelligence is received here that recently the Cherokee Indians have undertaken to remove the white settlers, by virtue of an authority emanating from themselves, and under their Government. That difficulties have arisen in consequence of it, that one of the Indians have (sic) been killed, and three made prisoners and led off to Georgia.
As soon as the information was received, orders were despatched to the commanding Officer at Fort Mitchell to move with such disposable force as could be spared, to the point of disturbance and adopt measures for preserving the peace and quiet of the frontiers. He will speedily as possible arrive, and until then you are directed to instruct both whites and Indians to forbear further acts of aggressions, or otherwise exemplary punishment will be inflicted for breach of the laws.
The Cherokee Indians at the commencement of the present administration were given distinctly to understand, that the right to enforce obedience to the laws of the United States within their confines did not belong to them, and under no circumstances would be conceded to them. They were informed that this government had neither the power nor the disposition to permit one of her citizens to be pronounced guilty of the infraction of her laws by any other tribunals than her own. Notwithstanding this under the provisions of a treaty of more than Forty years existence, they have arrogated to themselves the right of setting in judgment on our citizens, of driving them and their families from their houses, and consuming their houses, and this too, is done at a time when through you, the nation was assured, that measures to ascertain and determine their rights were in progress, and that as soon as the facts were ascertained, steps would be taken by the President to put an end to all complaints. They should have waited. Precipitancy never leads to the correct ascertainment of justice ' rights. The President has witnessed this proceedings with regret and condemns the course taken by the Cherokees as highly Exceptionable. He charges you to repeat to them what heretofore they have been told, that they cannot be permitted to execute our laws, those high trusts which of right devolves upon this government. The United States claim to be judges of the conduct of its citizens, and the right to punish when it is deserved; but they will not grant this authority to any other power whether foreign or within their own limits.
To put an end to the perplexing question of Boundary between the Cherokee Nation and the State of Georgia, and that all the facts necessary to a decision might be accurately obtained, a special Commissioner of great worth and excellence of character, General John Coffee, was despatched to the disputed Boundary. He was directed to determine upon all the Testimony that could be obtained, what previous to 1821 was the boundary between the Creeks and Cherokees.
The Cherokees as ground of their claim assert, that by a conventional agreement between themselves and the Creeks in 1821, a line was agreed upon as the true boundary of separation; and that this is a line drawn from the Buzzard Roost on the Chatahoochie River westwardly to Wills Creek.
The argument and exception to this on the other hand as assumed in the part of Georgia is, that by the long established and recognized rules of this Government, one Indian Tribe cannot purchase or acquire title on any way to the Territory of another.
The extinguishment of Indian land titles was alleged to be exclusively in the government of the United States. The argument is true. Great Britain asserted it. The United States have maintained it, and the Judicial decisions of the country have confirmed its correctness. If then the conventional agreement entered into in 1821 cannot be sustained, the question arises what is the true designation of the original line which separates the Cherokees and Creeks.
To determine this, as is before stated, a Commissioner has proceeded to the disputed Territory, and there collected all the information that was to be obtained. It has resulted in this, that neither the boundary claimed by the one or the other, has been agreed upon; but another and a different one, such as will appear to you by the enclosed map.
The Testimony has been procured with care and caution, and the President on a review of it, is satisfied to recognize the dividing ridge as the correct line of separation. You will cause to be communicated therefore the determination of the President upon this subject, that our Indian Brothers who are residing south of this Ridge, may retire and settle to the north of it, and within their own undisputed territorial limits. Orders will be issued relative to this subject to the officer Commanding the military detachment from Fort Mitchell.
The object of the Government is to persuade, not to coerce their Indian friends to a removal from the lands of their fathers. Beyond all doubt, they cannot live peaceably and happily where they are; yet still they will be protected to the extent that right and justice, and the powers possessed require. Beyond this the President has neither the inclination nor the authority to go.
It is idle to talk of rights which do not belong to them, and of protection which cannot be extended. The most correct plan is to disclose the facts as they exist, that all in interest may look to them, and be warned, and by timely precaution escape those evils of which experience has already afforded abundant indication, there is no avoiding situated as they are.
It is directed that the Indians, if there be any, who reside to the south of the ridge running west from the Shallow Ford as is designated on the enclosed map remove and settle themselves north of that line.
All white intruders who are in the nation without authority, or who have not an Indian family to be forthwith removed from the nation. Those however who are settled upon lands from which the Cherokees in pursuance of existing Treaties have removed, and the value of which the Government is liable to pay, are not to be included in the designation of intruders: these you will permit to remain until further orders shall issue to you.
The President adopts this course upon full reflection and from a desire to maintain in proper execution existing treaties and laws. The officer commanding will assist in the execution of this order, by causing the huts and fences of all intruders to be destroyed; and in arresting and handing over to the civil authority those who refuse to depart.
You will proceed to give public notice of what is here stated, that the intruders may remove quietly from the places they occupy, and thereby prevent any resort to military interference.
J. H. EATON.
Col. Hugh Montgomery,
P.S. You will furnish immediately to the commanding officer, those persons and their residences who under the instruction herein contained are authorized to remain; all others will be removed. Accordingly you are immediately to ascertain what persons are excepted in this order, and extend to them a written permission to remain, dependant always upon their deporting themselves correctly.
14th March 1830.
We did not receive the above letter of the Secretary of war in time to afford us room to say many things, which strikes us as necessary to be said. We will, nevertheless, trouble the reader with few remarks.
1. The Hon. Secretary observes that the object of the government is to persuade, not to coerce the Indians to remove. All this is well and we should have not complaints to make if the acts of the Gov't were in unison with its professions. But what are the facts? Mr. Secretary Eaton has had commissioners among the Cherokees who were instructed by him to bribe the chiefs- intruders have been permitted ' encouraged [see the foregoing certificate] to settle down on improvements abandoned by emigrants, and near the springs of Indians who have not emigrated, that they may be induced [not forced] to enrol-when these intruders settled among our peaceable citizens, and began to rob them and abuse their persons, complaints upon complaints were made, but a deaf ear was turned to them all, because Georgia claimed a new line, and now the President has undertaken to alter boundary established by treaty, ratified by the Senate, and to drive the Indians from their possessions held peaceably from time immemorial.- We do most earnestly ' humbly inquire, do these acts look like persuading the Indians? Our limited understanding would tell us, no! They are coercive measures.
2. The Secretary speaks as though the treaty, under whose provisions he insinuates the improvements have been purchased by the United States, and settled by white men, was between the Cherokees east of the Mississippi and the United States. It is not so. This nation is not a party to that treaty-she has never consented to have improvements valued and purchased, and white people introduced-she has protested against the course pursued by the General Government, and she thinks that the refusal of the President to remove these authorized intruders is a violation of treaty stipulation. In the first article of the Treaty of Washington, 1819, commonly called, Calhoun's treaty, the following provision is found:
And it is further understood and agreed by the said parties, that the lands hereby ceded by the Cherokee Nation, are in full satisfaction of all claims which the United States have on them, on account of the cession to a part of their nation who have or may hereafter emigrate to the Arkansaw (sic); and this treaty is a final adjustment of that of the eighth of July, eighteen hundred and seventeen.
3. We have been sensibly struck in reading the letter, by what is said of the determination of the President to enforce the treaty and laws. No doubt when the treaties and laws are against us, they will be enforced most rigidly too-this is evident from the tenor of the letter--but that they will be when they are in our favor, we have yet to learn. That they have not been enforced, has been the great, and the only cause of our complaints, and the unhappy transactions with the intruders, which has induced the President to condemn the Cherokees instead of their vile and guilty murders, of whom not a word is said.
4. The order issued for the removal of the unauthorized intruders is the fifth order from the War Department. We shall look every day for its countermand, until we see it enforced.
5. The Secretary of War is pleased to say that it will not be allowed to the Cherokees to enforce the laws of the United States--to say this was, however, unnecessary, for they have never undertaken such a thing. They have exercised no authority but what the treaty and the intercourse law grant them. But we suppose the Secretary thinks that this is now no authority existing which the Cherokees can lawfully exercise, for what they did once possess under the provisions of a treaty has become obsolete; it is therefore idle for the Cherokees to attempt to derive their rights from a treaty more than forty years old.
If the President of the United States condemns the course taken by the Cherokees in regard to the intruders, we are sorry for it, and we sincerely hope he will exercise a good degree of charity for them, for his former advice has had no little effect in (sic) induced them to do what they have done. It was upon General Jackson's recommendation, that the Sec. of War, Mr. Calhoun in 1820 authorized the Cherokee Light-horse to remove the intruders from the nation, and the service was actually performed by them in conjunction with the United States Troops, under the command of Capt. Call. But the former advice we speak of is contained in the following extract of a letter, which the reader can compare at his leisure with the foregoing communication.
Extract of a letter from General Andrew Jackson, to Path-Killer, Speaker Wossasey, A. Campbell, Night-Killer, Jas. Spencer and John Thompson of the Cherokee Nation--dated
'DIVISION OF THE SOUTH.'
'HEAD QUARTERS NASHVILLE'
January 18th 1821
'FRIENDS AND BROTHERS--I have never told a red Brother a lie or deceived him--the intruders if they attempt to return will be sent off, but your Light-Horse should not let them settle down on your land, you ought to drive the stock away from your lands and deliver the intruder to the agent, but if you cannot keep intruders from your land report it to the Agent and on his notice, I will drive them from your land.'
I am your friend and Brother
(Signed) ANDREW JACKSON.'
Much has been said of the stopping of the United States' Mail Stage by Tuskina, the principal Chief of the Creeks, and undoubtedly the accounts are greatly exaggerated. Be that as it may, we have noticed one mistake connected with it, going the rounds of some news papers.- Tuskina is said to be a Cherokee Chief. This mistake ought to be corrected.
We find the following in the Columbus Enquirer, the organ of all such talk, without credit. We presume it is the language of the editor. We have only to say, if the war which this heroic editor threatens to wage against the Indians is to be carried on as another has lately been, when twenty were wounded out of half a dozen Cherokees, we shall hope for a very easy exit out of this world, for we shall not know when we are killed and when we are wounded. Surely there is magic in the rusty muskets of the Georgia and Alabama Militia.
The Fanatics of the North,-white savages we call them,-are entitled to the thanks of every Georgian for the part they have taken in behalf of the Indians. The Indians have become rude and immediate prudent from the knowledge no doubt of the deep interest taken in their affairs by the holy allies, at the North and hence have laid themselves liable to chastisement; and chastisement they will get, to their heart's content; before long, unless they learn to behave themselves. The long contest about their removal will then be settled in short order: And for this approaching result it is, that we should be thankful to the white savages of the North; for it will have been brought about by their instrumentality chiefly.
But if it should come to this, ' the militia of Georgia and Alabama should have a chance to knock a little of the rust of their old muskets--as we despise taking an unmanly advantage even of an enemy--we would just whisper a word of advice in the ear of the Cherokees and Creeks. Let them look sharp, before they take the field. For these very folks who now take so deep an interest in their welfare, will sell them horn flints to go into battle with, if there is anything to be made by it. Look sharp then we say.