NEW ECHOTA AUG. 12, 1831
Some of our good neighbors have lately shed abundance of tears on our account, and have mourned over our wretched and degraded condition. We cannot blame them for their tender sympathies when they are sincere, and when not prompted by selfish considerations. But is there not something nearer home which may command a portion of their commiseration? Is there not a degree of savageness among some of the citizens of Georgia greatly superior to that existing among the Cherokee? But we see no tears shed for them-we hear no editors mourning over them-no exertions are used to better their condition, and to teach them better manners by inducing them to remove beyond the limits of the state. We rather suspect, therefore, that our humane friends are not so sincere as they pretend to be, and that their tears are but 'crocodell teres. (sic)'
We have headed this article civilized correspondence, because the letters we propose to publish are written by those who call themselves civilized and hold the Indians in utter contempt for their ignorance and degraded condition. We should not have given them this importance if they were only the first of the kind received. But many such letters have lately been sent by mail into the nation-we have, therefore, concluded to insert three of them as a specimen of the refinement of some of our neighbors, the kind of feeling existing to a great extent among a certain class in Georgia, and the character of some of those who are supposed to be the efficient tools to effect the purposes of the state and the General Government.
We do not wish unnecessarily to shock the feelings of the worthy and honest portion of the people of Georgia, nor to intimate in the least that the spirit exhibited in these letters will be approved generally by even those who are eager for the Indian lands. We believe it cannot be so approved by them. Our object is to show that such a spirit does exist and exhibited by some of those with whom the Cherokees are in immediate conflict.
These letters are supposed to have been occasioned by an article in a late Cherokee Phoenix, headed sufferings of the Creeks. ' Truth is mighty and will prevail.' The two first are addressed to Mr. Ridge. One of them is post marked, Columbus, Geo. July 7.
COLUMBUS IS THE PLACE
* * * * * * * if ever you are caught in or about this place your d------d throat shall pay for it. You are a cursed scroundrell (sic). Liar and * * if you again put your foot towards Metumpkie you may never expect to leave the grit alive. You have been the cause of Georgia treating us as she has.--if we had listened to our good chief McIntosh we would have been happy, but it was through you and some other d--------d scoundrells (sic) that we have done wrong. Go to h----- you trifling puke * * son of a b------b.
A Creek Indian
GAINSVILLE 19th July 1831
In looking over the last Cherokee Phoenix, I noticed the remarks you made in that paper concerning the Georgia Guard 'c. and about the President 'c. Now you d-----d little frog eater and worsp (sic) destroyer if you dent (sic) mind I will sell you as a negro for you favor a negro more than a d------d Indian. The treatment you and your countrymen are receiving is in payment of your d-----d rascally treatment you have treated the white men when you had the power to do so. Where is your old path Killer + (his mark) * * * * * * you d------d mountain exinger (sic) and wolf eater there is David Vann a d-----d skunk. I intend to tie you and him up and give you five hundred lashes if any more complaints are made about Georgia. There is that d------d broken leged (sic) Andy Ross I have sold him to a free negro in Georgia. Now where is all the Indian simpathisers (sic) and the crocodell teres (sic) that has been shed about the Georgia law you d------d * * rascals. I have found out some of your vilancy (sic) by one of your colleague in villany (sic) now you d----d clay bank rascals if you dont (sic) move yourselves to the Arkansas I will have some of your scalps, and I will have off yours and Dave Vann's * * some good razor strops and bridle raigns (sic) you d----d scunks (sic) of hell.
Yours with indifference
[Pointing to a representation of a tomahawk]
The following addressed to the editor, and post marked, Columbus, Geo. July 7 is if anything still more significant.
You can answer this if you wish.
hang the Traitor
Shoot him (in a rectangle is a crude Cut his throat
drawing of a hanged person)
Death To the Rebbell (sic)
LIBERTY OF THE PRESS.
We are threatened to be blessed with the inestimable privilege of the liberty of the press, which is guarantied by this republic to every man whether white or red. On Thursday morning the editor of this paper was summoned to appear before Col. Nelson, Commander of the Georgia Guard, who was then in this place with a detachment, for the purpose of receiving a lecture as to his future conduct as editor of the Phoenix. We have room but for the sub-stance of the lecture.
The Col. observed to us that there had been a great many lies, ' abusive ' libelous articles published in the Phoenix.- These slanders have been directed against the State of Georgia and the Georgia Guard. Heretofore they [the Guard] have exercised forbearance towards us on account (as we understand him to say) of M. Worcester's connection with the Phoenix. Now they had got rid of Mr. Worcester, and we must now look out.- He also observed that as they could not prosecute us for libel, the only way that we could be punished would be to deal with us in their individual and private capacity, to tie us to a tree and give us a sound whipping. And this assuredly will be done if any more slanders are published. He made other remarks, as to their motives and intentions, but the threat to which we have alluded is contained in what we have related.
Now to cut the matter short at present, we say, as we have heretofore said, that we are not aware of having slandered Georgia and the Guard, and if we have, we think it a very poor way indeed to convince the world of it by flagellating us.- They will not establish their innocence by such a method we can assure them, Truth has been our object, and truth shall be our object. Further-if we cannot be prosecuted for libel, (which by the way we were not aware before) and if Col. Nelson is so positive that slanders have been published, and if he is desirous to make that appear to the satisfaction of the world, he can certainly find where an action for libel will lie. He complains of some missionaries having published falsehoods about him. What great obstacle is there in the way of proving those falsehoods? These missionaries are whitemen--they hold themselves responsible for what they have said in the Phoenix, and we knew they will not shrink from any investigation of their assertions before a disinterested tribunal. Finally, we cannot consider the present movement but as an attempt to frown us down.