NEW ECHOTA: JAN. 8, 1831.
Our readers will recollect that not long since we published a set of resolutions adopted by the Methodist Missionaries, relating to Cherokee affairs. We expressed our approbation of those resolutions at the time; but it seems they met but with poor reception at the Tennessee Conference, as will be seen below. We sincerely regret that so respectable a body as the Tennessee Conference should call the Indian question merely a political question.- It is exactly the way in which open enemies of the Indians blind the people--they call it a political question, and that the opposition to the Indian bill is only an opposition to Jackson's administration.
Perhaps nothing has a greater tendency to prejudice the cause of the Indians than the frequent outcry that the question, in which their dearest interests, life, liberty, and property are involved, is merely a party one. It is true the Conference do not say so, but they call it a political affair.
In the 2d. resolution the Missionaries are censured for expressing their honest opinion on the all engrossing subject of Indian affairs. The censure, however, cannot effect that opinion-It cannot: effect their veracity-their testimony stand good.
It appears to us there is a manifest inconsistency to have 'confidence in the wisdom and integrity of the rulers,' and to 'sympathize with the Cherokees in their present afflictions,' when those afflictions are occasioned by the conduct of the 'rulers.' If the States ' the General Government are correct in treating the Cherokees as they do, and if the policy pursued by them is to bless and elevate them, what need is their (sic) for sympathizing? Would it not be better to rejoice in such a case? With due deference to the Tennessee Conference we cannot but think, in approbating the present policy in regard to the Indians, (for such is the inference to be drawn from the 3d resolution) they have as much interfered with political affairs as their Missionaries. What is the difference between indirectly censuring, and indirectly approbating the proceedings of a government?
One of the objects of the Missionaries in adopting their resolutions was, to deny a very serious charge which has been frequently made, viz: interfering with the political concerns of the Cherokees. It was necessary that they should deny such a charge, in justice to themselves and the Cherokees. But this, it appears, would avail nothing in Conference.
For the Cherokee Phoenix.
FRANKLIN, NOV. 12th, 1830.
Whereas certain resolutions have been entered into by our late Missionaries in the Cherokee Nation, in which the Tennessee Conference of the M. E. Church is called on for a publick (sic) and official expression of their sentiments on the subject of the grievances of said nation, we do hereby give the following-
1. 1st Resolved that whatever may be our private views, and sentiments as men and as free citizens, relative to the sufferings and privations, either of the aboriginal nations of our country, or of any particular section of the United States, or of the policy adopted and pursued by the state authorities or General Government, yet as a body of Christian ministers, we do not feel at liberty, nor are we disposed to depart from the principle, uniformly maintained by the members and ministers of our Church, entirely ( word appears to be spelled intirefully) refraining from all such interference with political affairs.
2d. Resolved, that, however we may appreciate the purity of motive and intention, by which our missionary Brethren were actuated, yet we regret that they should have committed themselves and us so far, as to render it impossible for us, to omit with propriety, to notice their proceedings in this public manner.
3rd. Resolved, that while we have confidence in the wisdom and integrity of our Rulers, we sincerely sympathize with our Cherokee Brethren in their present afflictions, and assure them of our unabating zeal to the conversion and salvation of their souls.
4th. Resolved that as the resolutions referred to, have been published in the public prints, the above resolutions be forwarded also by our secretary for publication in the Cherokee Phoenix and Christian Advocate and Journal.
I certify the above, to be a correct transcript from the Journals of Conference.
THOMAS L. DOUGLASS, Sec'y.
We intended to have offered some remarks last week upon that portion of the President's Message which we inserted relating to the Indians, but the columns of the Phoenix were occupied with other interesting matter. And now we are not, at this late hour, disposed to say anything-we will let it pass for the present.
The Georgians have again made another warlike irruption into the nation, of which the following particulars may be relied upon as substantially correct.
A company of twenty five armed men from Carrol County, under the command of one Major Bogus came into the neighborhood of Hightower, about two weeks since, for the purpose of arresting a number of Cherokees. On their way to Beanstick's they came across two lads, utterly unknown to them. On seeing such an armed force making towards them, the lads fled, towards the river, and plunged into the water. Some of the Company pursued them to the bank of the river, and fired at them as they were swimming, and, it is said, came very near shooting one of them. They then went to Beanstick's and arrested his son Joseph. Here they wheeled about, and after parading about the neighborhood with characteristic bravery, marched towards Georgia. They soon discovered that they had mistaken their prisoner Joseph, for one Moses Beanstick, for who it seems they had a warrant. But it made not a cent's difference with them, for they took him on into Carrol. He had not returned on last Monday.
Our feelings are not in a proper state to allow us to make comments upon such proceedings. Will the Congress of the United States permit its citizens to invade us in a warlike manner in time of peace.
The Georgia Legislature adjourned sine die on the 25th of last month, after passing, what is called in Georgia, the land bill- the bill having undergone important amendments in the Senate. The section which was added by the Senate we copy in another part of our paper- from that it seems that we are not to be gambled away at least for one year to come. There appears to be an idea that the Cherokees will treat, sell and agree to remove-but it is altogether a mistake. They will be here when another session of the legislature takes place.
During last summer, a Cherokee, by the name of George Tassel, was arrested within the limits of this nation by the Sheriff of Hall County, for murder committed in on the body of another Cherokee, likewise within the limits of the nation. Tassel was taken over the line, and committed to jail. At the last term of the Superior Court of Hall County, he was brought out for trial, but the Judge postponed the trial until a convention of Judges at Milledgeville should pronounce upon the constitutionality of the act extending the jurisdiction of the State over the Cherokees. As was to be expected, the convention decided in favor of the jurisdiction of the State. Judge Clayton therefore called a court for the purpose of trying Tassel, who was accordingly tried on the 22d of November, and found guilty. It appears that Judge Clayton refused to grant an appeal by a writ of error, to the Supreme Court of the United States, and even refused to certify that Tassel was tried. Tassel was therefore sentenced to be hung on the 24th of last month, on which day he was executed, in defiance of a writ of error sanctioned by the Chief Justice of the United States, and served upon Governor Gilmer, on the 22d, two days previous to the execution. We invite the readers' attention to the following interesting information which we copy from the Milledgeville Recorder. The conduct of the Georgia Legislature is indeed surprising-one day they discountenance the proceedings of the nullifiers of South Carolina-at another, they even out-do the people of South Carolina, and authorize their Governor to hoist the flag of rebellion against the United States! Is this not a high movement? If such proceedings are sanctioned by the majority of the people of the U. States, the Union is but a tottering fabric, which will soon fall and crumble into atoms.
The following Communication from the Governor to both branches of the Legislature was made on Wednesday last, the day preceding the final adjournment:
December 22d. 1830.
I submit to the Legislature for its consideration, the copy of a communication received this day, purporting to be signed by the Chief Justice of the United States, and to be a citation to the State of Georgia, to appear before the Supreme Court on the second Monday in January next, to answer to that tribunal for having caused a person who had committed murder within the limits of the State, to be tried and convicted therefor.
The object of this mandate is to control the State in the exercise of its ordinary jurisdiction, which, in criminal cases has been vested by its constitution exclusively in its Superior Courts.
So far as concerns the exercise of the power which belongs to the executive Department, orders received from the Supreme Court for the purpose of staying, or in any manner interfering with the decision of the Courts of the State in the exercise of their constitutional jurisdiction, will be disregarded; and any attempt to enforce such orders will be resisted with whatever force and laws have placed at my command.
If the judicial powers thus attempted to be exercised by the Courts of the United States is submitted to, or sustained, it must eventuate in the utter annihilation of the State Governments, or in other consequences not less fatal to the peace and prosperity of our present highly favored country.
Signed, GEORE (sic) R. GILMER.
Which communication being read, was referred to a select committee, consisting on the part of the Senate of Messrs, Daniell of Chatham, Blair of Habersham, Branham, Sayre, and Cobb, and on the part of the House of Representatives of Messrs. Haynes Beall of Twiggs, Howard of Baldwin, McDonald and Schley.
The joint committee reported the following preamble and resolutions which were read and agreed to in the House of Representatives by a large majority:
Whereas it appears by a communication made by his Excellency the Governor to the General Assembly that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States has sanctioned a Writ of Error, and cited the State of Georgia, through her Chief Magistrate, to appear before the Supreme Court of the United States to defend said State against said Writ of Error, at the instance of one George Tassels, recently convicted in Hall Superior Court of the crime of murder: And whereas the right to punish crimes against the peace and good order of this State in accordance with the existing laws of the State is an original and necessary part of sovereignty, which the State of Georgia has never parted with:
Be it therefore resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Georgia in General Assembly met, That they view with feelings of deep regret, the interference by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States in the administration of the criminal laws of this State, and that such an interference is a flagrant violation of her right.
Resolved further, That his Excellency the Governor be, and he, and every other officer of this State is hereby requested and enjoined to disregard any ' every mandate ' process that has been, or shall be served upon him or them, purporting to proceed from the Chief justice or any associate Justice, or the Supreme Court of the United States, for the purpose of arresting the execution of any of the criminal laws of this State.
And be it further resolved, That his Excellency the Governor be, and he is hereby authorized and required, with all the force and means placed at his command by the Constitution and laws of this State, to resist and repel any and every invasion from whatever quarter upon the administration of the criminal laws of this State.
Resolved, That the State of Georgia will never so far, compromit her sovereignty as an independent State as to become a party to the case sought to be made before the Supreme Court of the United States by the writ in question.
Resolved, That His Excellency the Governor be, and he is hereby authorized to communicate to the Sheriff of Hall county by express, so much of the foregoing resolutions, and such orders as are necessary to insure the full execution of the laws in the case of George Tassels, convicted of murder in Hall County.
The Senate concurred with the House of Representatives in the passage of the foregoing preamble and resolutions, by a vote of 35 to 7.
The following answer is given by the editor of the United States' Telegraph, to the question, 'Why do not the Cherokees remove?'
'The answer is, that, under the usages of the tribes, a few individuals have monopolized the large sums paid to the Indians as annuities. Certain Missionaries, and other adventurers, have located themselves among the Indians, and these individuals wish to magnify the difficulties so as to increase the sums to be paid to the Indians; because, in proportion to the difficulties to be overcome will be the cost of new treaties. These individuals rely upon the aid, and derive counsel from a political party, who wish to prevent the removal of the Indians under the apprehension that the extinction of the Indian title the Southern States will increase the relative influence of those States.'
The Telegraph seems always to delight in telling falsehoods and rendering itself 'inexpressible.' In this work it is sure to be employed with impunity, because it is 'unapproachable' in a moral point of view. We are not, therefore, inclined to say a word in regard to the above assertions--those who are disposed to take them for truth, unaccompanied as they are without the least shadow of evidence, are welcome so to do.- Ed. Cher. Phoe.
The following extracts are taken from the annual report of the Secretary of War, to the President of the United States. In reference to the treaties negotiated with the Choctaws and Chickasaws, the Secretary says--
Under the authority confided by you, during last summer, I visited some of the Indian tribes, with a highly valuable auxiliary, General John Coffee, of Alabama, and made known to them their situation. With the Choctaws and Chickasaws, (the only tribes with whom we negotiated,) treaties were concluded. From all appearances, they were well satisfied with their own decision, and the course which we pursued towards them. If any different feeling has since been incited, it is the work of persons who have sought, through the channels of their ignorance, to persuade them to the belief that great injustice has been practised. I undertake to assure you, that in all we did, the utmost fairness and candor were practised. We sought through persuasion only, to satisfy them that their situation called loudly for serious reflection. Pending the negotiation, no secret meetings were had, no bribes were offered, nor promises made. Every argument adduced, or suggestion offered, was in open council, and in view of those whose rights were to be affected. Of this, abundant evidence exists, whatever may be said to the contrary. There was no motive to impose upon, or to deceive them. Our instructions forbade us to do so, and our inclination, besides, was an ample restraint. The treaties concluded are ready for submission; and how far any practised injustice or want of liberality can be imputed, will be fairly judged of when their tenor and condition shall be disclosed. If a liberality ample and generous has not been regarded our wishes have failed, and our judgments been mistaken.
He who speaks in his own praise and attempts to prove his honesty is not so likely to be believed. The Secretary may be correct in what he says in his own favor, but there is something wrong in the great anxiety manifested by him to prove to the world his good conduct in negotiating the Choctaw treaty.
During this period; I witnessed much of Indian character, their progress, refinement, and march towards civilization, and can well say, that, in conducting the negotiation, everything was done to retain them in those pursuits which would tend to their advancement, and to which their situation could reasonably lay claim.
Now, this is quite a great concession for Mr. Eaton, who not long since said, 'it was but a utopian thought to think of civilizing the Indians' 'c. But how is it to be reconciled with what follows.
Little hope should be entertained, even by those most sanguine on the subject, that any material advances in civilization can be made with the present generation--those I mean, who are now at maturity in life.-- Care and attention towards the rising generation may tend greatly to improve, and in time to meliorate, their present condition. To turn them to industry, is of first importance. Labor is never an acceptable pursuit to Indians. In their unimproved state, a fondness for war and the chase, and oratory at their councils, constitute their leading traits, because these afford the highest distinction. When, through the influence of culture and education, their taste upon this subjects shall be changed, and the character of an industrious agriculturist be held in higher estimation than dexterity of pursuit in the chase, then may they be expected to resort to industry, and give attention to the duties of agriculture. Indisposition to manual labor, so peculiarly the characteristic of an Indian, causes him to select the poorest grounds, because of the ease with which the timber is felled and cleared away. The exceptions which exist to this are principally amongst those of mixed Indian blood, whose habits have been improved, and whose minds have been cultivated.
But what picture are we to believe, if we believe at all what he says, for in the very next paragraph, he uses the following words, speaking of the very same Indians.
Certainly there are some perceptible and beneficial changes amongst them. They have become mostly an agricultural people. The practice of perforating the nose and ears for the purpose of ornamenting them, is rapidly disappearing, and considered a rude custom. Vermillion, paint to ornament and decorate the face, is, in a great measure, given up. A credulity in supernatural agency, in witches, and in witchcraft, is fast yielding; and the use of ardent spirits; particularly in one of the districts, is in a great measure abandoned.
It appears the Honorable Secretary is not satisfied in being merely a politician, but he must needs turn Theologian. What will Leflore say to the following compliment?
There are three divisions in the Choctaw Nation, each of which is governed by a chief, who, within his limits, acts independently of the others. In his government he is aided by minor and subordinate chiefs, called Captains, each of whom act within his particular district. The people are subordinate to the captains-the captains to the chiefs. One of these division compose what is called the Christian District, the chief of which is a man of good mind, with a common English education, and is religious. His people, too, are seemingly pious. Each night, pending the negotiation, until a late hour, they were at their exercises in singing ' preaching. From every information, this Christian party, as it is termed, are not accurately and correctly informed as to the principles and faith upon which they profess to act. A future state of rewards and punishments for virtues or for crimes, is fashioned by their standard of savage life, and its enjoyments and, in their imagination, is made to conform what they conceive to be essential to constitute happiness or misery here. Judging from their devotional conduct, they are, to all appearance, a religious people.
But the most remarkable part of the report is yet to come, and we request the reader to peruse it attentively. But so it is, a man on a wrong cause will always fall into such absurdities.
An old chief (Mushulatubbee) who was favorable to the treaty, by a few of the discontented of his district, has been recently deposed, and the name of another sent into this office for recognition. The design is probably to show that the people are displeased because he signed the treaty. Answer returned to their application was, that, while the Government meant not to interfere in their mode or manner of self government, it could not recognize, what had been done by a few; yet, when a chief should be chosen by a majority of the division, and the fact so certified by their General Council, he would be regarded as properly chosen, and be considered as such.
Bravo! The War Department then really acknowledges the existence of the Choctaw chiefs and their right of self-government, in the State of Mississippi! If this does not nullify
the state laws, abolishing the Indian Government, we are mistaken!
Nothing but cupidity is supposed by some to be in the way of removing the Cherokees--this is the opinion of the Secretary of War, if he really believes what he says, and the Governor of Georgia. An attempt therefore will be made to satisfy this cupidity, by granting reservations to the principal men. Obtain their consent, they say, and the rest will go; and it is even asserted for truth that many have already expressed a willingness to take reservations and to come under the laws of Georgia. Now the fact appears to be this: Either the Governor of Georgia or the executive of the United States sent into the nation secret agents, who have put down on paper the names of individuals, in some underhanded way, and reported them as those who are thus disposed to come under the laws of Georgia. Upon this, Gov. Gilmer builds a grave Message to the Legislature, and suggests the expediency of authorizing the President to grant reserves to such Cherokees as choose to take them. But the whole affair is a fraud, as will be seen from the following:
CARMEL Dec. 31, 1830
Sir--Although we do not wish to wound the feelings of any of our white neighbors, yet we think the following statements are due to the cause of truth and fair dealing. We understand that sometime ago a gentleman came into the nation to see what Cherokees were willing to take reservations and live under the laws of Georgia. We hear that he was told by a white man residing in the nation, that probably we, our brother David, ' our sisters, would take reservations 'c. and that our names were put down accordingly. We feel it our duty to say that neither this man, nor any other has ever had the least right to put down any of our names as being willing to take reservations. And we do not know of one Cherokee in the nation who has ever authorized anyone to put down his or her name for a reservation under the laws of Georgia. We know of no Cherokee citizens willing to do this, except a few white men with Cherokee families.
Yours with respect.
The following is an extract of a letter from the Secretary of War, to his Excellency G. R. Gilmer, dated Nov. 12, 1830
Sir--The treaties recently made with the Indians clearly prove, that a feeling of cupidity governs; [the Secretary of War?] and that to succeed with them, reservations should and must be admitted. Georgia having the ultimate fee, when the country is acquired, [this is sound doctrine-Georgia will have the fee, when the country is acquired] it will not be competent for the United States to grant reservations as they have done in other cases, and which will be likewise insisted on by the Cherokees when they come to treat. [How does the Secretary know that? The Cherokees are not going to insist upon any such thing, because they are not going to treat. It does not necessarily follow, that, because threats and bribery have been successful with the Choctaws, they will be so with the Cherokees.]
From the Southern Recorder.
The Legislature adjourned sine die on Thursday morning last, after a session of nine weeks, the longest we believe ever known in this State.- The number of important acts passed is not in proportion to the time spent in legislation; but it may afford our readers some satisfaction to know that if much has not been effected for the public good during this tedious and boisterous session, but little harm has been done. The act for the survey and distribution of the lands in the occupancy of the Cherokees, one of the chief measures of the session, will perhaps undergo the revision and correction of the next General Assembly. The shape in which it has passed cannot reasonably give offence even to those who affect to feel most sympathy for the Indians. It authorizes, for the present, merely for the survey of the Indian Territory into Sectional Districts, which, besides preparing the country for the immediate operation of the District surveyors, after the compact between the United States and Georgia shall have been fulfilled, will in the meantime, enable the State to enforce her jurisdiction and laws more effectually over the Cherokees, by the appointment of civil officers within the several sections; the preparatory surveys may also furnish additional information is to the extent of the gold region in that quarter. The bill passed the House of Representatives in a shape to create apprehension that the enforcement of its provisions might produce collision between the State and 'General Government. Its modification in the Senate, by the addition of the following section leaves no cause to anticipate any such unpleasant result:
And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the sectional Surveyors shall, with as little delay as possible, proceed to the performance of the duties assigned them, under this act; and on the completion and return thereof to the Surveyor General, the Governor is authorized and requested to direct the election of two justices of the Peace and two Constables, being white men, resident in said territory, in every such section, to be held at such time and such place, to be superintended and returned to the Executive by such person or persons, in every of such section, as his Excellency shall direct, which justices and constables shall respectively take the oath and execute the bond required by law, and shall hold their commissions and appointments as now directed by law; and that all white males of full age resident in said territory, shall be entitled to vote for such justices and constables.
And in the event that the President of the United States shall at any time during the recess of the Legislature, succeed in executing the compact between the United States and the State of Georgia, in relation to the Cherokee lands; then the Governor shall order the district Surveyors to proceed to the discharge of their duties and to the completion of the survey of the districts, as required by this act and the occupancy of said territory. Otherwise the survey of said districts shall be suspended until the next meeting of the General Assembly, and until further enactments for this purpose.