This issue of the Cherokee Phoenix is published in 4 columns only
NEW ECHOTA: NOV 13, 1830
THE CHOCTAW TREATY.
In another part of our paper we copy from the Port Gibson Correspondent, an article on the Choctaw treaty, which more than corroborates the information conveyed to us by two gentlemen residing in that nation, extracts of whose letters have already been published. When we first heard that a treaty was affected, we had our suspicious- now we have not a particle of doubt left that this treaty has been brought about by means which honesty, justice, and humanity cannot sanction. We sincerely believe the whole affair is a piece of corruption, not even surpassed by the famous case of McIntosh. The Hon. Secretary of War seems to have carried into practical issue his celebrated instruction to his agents, to move upon the chiefs in the line of their prejudices and to offer them extensive reservations and other rewards. We are astonished, utterly astonished, that a high officer of the General Government should descend from his elevated station, and effect in person a treaty with a few chiefs of a defenseless tribe of Indians, contrary to the expressed wishes of their people, and by compulsory means. Oh, how has the honor, the magnanimity of the United States degenerated!
It will be recollected that Mr. Eaton has frequently expressed his opinion that it was the influence and power of the chiefs of the Southern Indians which deterred the common Indians from emigrating or treating, and that it was owing to the same causes that these common Indians were so degraded and poverty stricken. But we see this same republican Secretary, who abhors everything
aristocratical - in the Indians, disregarding the voice of the people, and courting, and buying with extensive reservations, the assent of the chiefs of the Choctaw Nation. Here is a demonstration of the kind regard and benevolence entertained towards the poor Indians. If he has heretofore been so solicitous that these degraded people should have their rights and be relieved from the despotism of their chiefs, indeed so very regardful of their interest, that each Cherokee must in future receive his rateable share of forty-one cents of the annuity, why did he not when he had it in his power, make ample provisions for the comfort of the poor Choctaws, instead of giving to each of the great Chiefs FOUR RESERVATIONS, and an annuity of $250 per annum for twenty years; and this contrary to the will of the nation! Let the candid reader turn to the provisions of the treaty and remember these were made when four fifths of the five thousand Choctaws on the treaty ground had rejected the propositions of the Commissioners, and most of them had returned home-let him then, if he can, lay his hand on his heart say, the Choctaws treaty is honorable, effected by honorable means, will becoming the moral rectitude of the United States.
A question of solemn import here arises- will the Senate of the United States ratify the treaty We think not, if the aggrieved Choctaws will protest against it, ' make it evident to the Senators that it has been brought about by unjustifiable means. We cannot believe that two thirds of that august body will sanction anything which will fix a stain upon the American character.
Mr. Eaton in his letter to the editor of the Natchez Gazette, says of the Choctaws, 'They are solicitous to depart-many of them immediately.' Now this must have been intended for effect merely, for why should a large majority of them refuse to remove? and when an arrangement was finally made with some of the chiefs and warriors, why were provisions made for so many reservations? It is too evident that the Choctaws do not desire to remove, and that if some of them have consented to remove, it has been by means of the strong talk he gave them, with extensive reservations and other rewards to their chiefs.
We understand quite an unhappy circumstance occurred at Hightower the other day. Two Cherokees were arrested by a party of white men from one of the adjoining counties and taken towards Georgia, with some of their property. They were pursued by a party of Cherokees, when either they were rescued or a compromise was made. The two prisoners returned to their homes. On the evening of the same day, before bed time, four white men, whether they were a part of the first company is not known, came into the premises of one of these Cherokees, and stole a horse out of a lot. The owner discovered them just as they rode off and pursued them with a gun. He overtook them and shot the foremost one of the two who were riding his horse.-The man died instantly.
We sincerely regret this circumstance has occurred, but it is only an individual case, and can have not effect on the nation. We would, however, here advise our countrymen to forbear every rash measure in defending their property from thieves and robbers, who are constantly annoying them. Let our horses and other property go, but let not human blood be shed. The perpetrator of the above deed would be amenable, according to the treaties, to the federal courts of the United States. But there are new lights now, and we presume Georgia claims exclusive jurisdiction over him.
The A. B. C. F. M. held their annual meeting in Boston. From the minutes of their proceedings we copy the following:
The Committee to whom was referred that part of the annual report which relates to the American Indians reported the following preamble and resolutions, which after a long and interesting debate, were adopted.
In adverting to the painful and important subject of the claims of the State of Georgia to the absolute right of property, as well as the exclusive jurisdiction over the territory of the Cherokee Indians, within that State, the projected removal of those Indians together with the Creeks, Chickasaws, and Choctaws to a region beyond the Mississippi, this committee report, for the consideration of the Board, the following resolution, viz.
'Resolved. That, from the peculiar relation in which those unoffending Indians stand to this Board, we feel it to be our indispensable duty at this crisis of their destiny, to express our sympathy in their distressed condition; and also our deep sense of the solemnity of the obligations which treaties, superadded to the claims of the natural justice, have imposed on the government of our country in behalf of those interesting people; and we earnestly implore the blessing of Almighty God to enlighten and to guide the deliberations of the constituted authorities of our country, so as to secure the just rights of those Indians, and preserve the faith and honor of the government.'
The following resolution also was discussed and passed:
'Resolved, That the Prudential Committee be instructed to prepare and present to both Houses of Congress, a memorial, earnestly and respectfully expressing the views and sentiments of this Board on the subject of the proposed removal of the Indians, residing in the states of Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, to a region beyond the Mississippi, in reference to the benevolent plans of extending to those Indians the blessings of civilization and religious instruction.'