The 'Cherokee Indians,' says the Governor, 'have for some time past been attempting to establish a Government independent of the authority of this State.' This is the common saying. Have they not always been independent? Were they not so before Georgia came into being. Has she not treated with them as such. The phrase implies that the Cherokees have not been independent of the authority of the State, but now they are attempting to be. If this is true, what is the use of extending, for the first time, the act in question Does not the very act of subjecting them to her jurisdiction imply that they are independent of that jurisdiction? Besides, if the Cherokees, are merely a part of the population of Geo. their attempt to separate themselves from the population must be considered in the light of treason. Is it necessary, therefore, in such a case, that you first subject them to your jurisdiction by a special act, before you can punish them? Why not enforce your old laws?
Who of you Cherokee people did think that you were to be relieved from oppression, by the laws of Georgia? It is even so, for the Governor says so. You are to be stript (sic) of those oppressive laws and native regulations, which allow you all your rights as freemen, your sacred rights of oath and elective franchise, and be introduced into Christian laws, placed before you in a language you cannot understand, and which withhold from you the last particle of right! Indeed you have reason to rejoice, for the day of your emancipation is at hand!
As it is punishable for a chief to exercise authority in the nation, or for any man to attempt to prevent emigration 'c. we apprehend many will subject themselves to the penalties of the act. The Cherokees reason thus: We have always from time immemorial had a government of Chiefs of our own choosing- the right of these chiefs to assemble in Council, to deliberate on the concerns of the nation, has been acknowledged by the United States and the State of Georgia-the rights to meet in council to sell
the land is acknowledged by Georgia in the very act, which now threatens punishment.- We have never, say they, consented to come under any other government, and we acknowledge no right in a State to extend its laws over us- we will therefore, continue in our own regulations, until power shall demolish them. We believe these to be the prevailing sentiments of the nation. We do not wish the public to understand, that they intend to resist by force-no, they have no such idea. We request all the good people of Georgia to bear this in mind- that would be rashness- if they had the power they would. But we will resist you with our principles-we will evince to you our love of liberty by suffering freely- we will show you our attachment to our institutions by going to your Penitentiary.
The other proclamation relates to the gold mines. What now becomes of the old plea that force is not meditated? If Georgia can drive the Cherokees from their gold mines, she may with equal propriety drive them from their other possessions. Well, as we have no more a father to protect us, we can but look on and watch the progress of injustice and high-handed oppression.