NEW ECHOTA, May 19, 1832
It appears from the following communication that a certain Cherokee by the name of Tuhuahee, has been killed by some licensed intruders. We submit to our readers without making any comments.
For the Cherokee Phoenix.
Mr. Editor:- I have at different time furnished several communications for publication in your paper in order to inform your readers of some prominent occurrences arising out of our relations with the General Government, and the State of Georgia, and the growing severity with which the laws of Georgia had been borne down on the Cherokees, authenticated with my proper name. I feel diffident in attaining my object in convincing the public mind of the facts of our oppressions contained in my addresses. Having retired into private life rather to be spectator of passing events than a standing organ thro' which to detail our numerous wrongs to the public the performance of this task I ought to have left to some of your conspicuous men standing in high stations. My fame is confined within the limits of my own mansion, it lives not in others' breasts. My writings are destitute of talents as well as refined criticism, but I have endeavored to support the subject matter with truth. The story of our wrongs is told by one side only, and by an Indian it may not be believed. With, these and other doubts of my competency in doing justice to the cases related and but, for the subject I would have been constrained to remain silent at home, and like the son of Albnomonck I should have looked at the threats of our enemies as all in vain. But I am a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, the abode of my sires, and the homes of my children. I must be permitted again to present briefly to your columns one of the blackest catalogues of our wrongs that have ever been inflicted on the Cherokees by the Georgians. On the 19th inst. Cherokee blood again was spilt about five miles from the Six's gold mines. A Cherokee residing at this place named Tun-ah-ee was accused of killing a hog, by two or three Georgians, residing in the Nation under the permit of the Charge D'affaires of Georgia, General Coffee; they made a prisoner of the Indian, and his hands closely fettered. They ordered him to march with them on the direction to where the Etowah road crosses Little River, where these men is said to reside. They had proceeded with their prisoner about five miles from the mines where he attempted to escape, and in accordance with the policy of Gov. Lumpkins to destroy the natural rights of the Indians, they shot him through his heart and left him in the wilderness in the same way that we would leave an adder that we had killed. When the news of this murder reached the Sixes, the Cherokees met and proceeded to the place and brought the corpse to the house of Te-nah-la-we-stah for burial, when we left the place. Tah-nah-ee was a young man of respectable standing, spoke no English, was in thriving circumstances, had a farm, a lovely wife, and two children to drop the woeful tear over their devoted friend laid to the dust by the hand of the oppressor, to rise no more.
Sometime last month the Georgia Guard apprehended a Cherokee named Tee-sas-kee and his wife, for the crime of digging for gold at the Tun-sowatee mines, whom they retained in custody several days at the military station which is under the command of Gen. Coffee. They there informed their prisoners that they would be released upon their agreeing to enroll as emigrants west of the Mississippi; if they refused, they would be committed to prison, and required them to choose one of the alternatives. Ti-sask-ce' patriotism being equal to the citizen of Rome, would not suffer it to be contaminated by the western wilds nor the Georgia Guard, but contemptuously rejected the means offered them for the restoration of their liberties and were accordingly thrown into prison in Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County where they lie, where no hand has offered for their bail, and no sun is seen to light the place.
About the same time, whether the same detachment or not that arrested Robin for the same offence of picking gold from the Cherokee mines at Tunsowatee, who the guard preferred to punish in a summary way. The sons of avarice told Robin if he would go to Arkansaw(sic) he would be liberated, to this he positively refused. They told him he should go to prison, he answered he was in their power. They then told him if he would agree to receive the lash, the prison could be abandoned; and as he was a prisoner he told them they could with him as they pleased. The guard tied his hands fast, and led him to a tree, and inflicted fifty stripes on his back for the offence of digging his own gold. However, it must be observed that Robin states the stripes was put upon him with some degree of moderation. He lives at Old Cabin Town, speaks no English a poor man, and works hard for his living. Are we thus to suffer any longer? Our people murdered, imprisoned and whipped and no prospect of redressing these wrongs, it aught now to meet the most serious consideration of the Cherokees.
New Echota, May 15th 1832
For the Cherokee Phoenix
Mr. Editor:- In your last paper and under your editorial head, together with an article from the Journal of Commerce of New York, are presented to your readers a subject of the greatest importance. The latter emanating as it does from a source where the cause of the Cherokees has sounded pure, where the hand of friendship has held us from falling, presents to us the solemnity of a question not surpassed, when it is borne down on us on the other hand, with the sword and the bayonet. The editors of the Journal are known to some extent in this country, but chiefly by information. They have spoken loud to the adversary to stay the hand of power and tyranny in the unexampled efforts to denationalize the Cherokees. The integrity of these patriots has been combined, and they have in all the stormy clouds of usurpation held us firm, and the elements intended for our destruction have not swept us from their grasp. They now speak to us at a time when the discordant clouds over the government is about to take fire and dissolve the union. The voice from our friends are the words of peace, because it is the voice of virtue, and if it were possible their counsel would be availing and bring to a consistent termination of this unhappy controversy sooner than if milton's ten thousand thunders were sounded from Georgia demanding of us the concession of our only inheritance. The interest I have felt for some time past on the question of a cession of our territory in part or by way of exchange, and flee from the land of liberty to the plains of the Rock Mountains for a resting place, induced me, to ascertain, alter hazarding much of my own patriotism, heretofore impregnable, the feelings of the Cherokees on this important point. But lo I found none, not one Cherokee hear the silver gliding stream of Oostunahlee River, that would accept the seal of the republic from the present administration for promises of subsequent protection, and the guaranty of the integrity of any territory that might be offered them. The idea of a foreign government colonizing the aboriginal inhabitants appears to be entirely novel to them, fostered as it is by the bayonet of Georgia. We may explore into all ancient history for analogy to their measure, but our researches will be found to be as certainly fruitless as it is to force it on the Cherokees directly against their will. The seals of sixteen solemn treaties handed down by all the Presidents of the U. States are known to them to have been dissolved by one breath of President Jackson and the instruments on which these seals stood in confirmation has been annulled and non obligatory on the government. The recent development of Constitutional law by the Supreme Court, which firmly sustained all the rights contended for by the Cherokees, was anticipated to be binding on the government, but so far, it is unavailing, the high conservator of the Constitution and laws of the U. Sates is moved about on the shoulders of Georgia. The intercourse law embodied in our treaties for our benefit and held valid by the Supreme Court and which the President is sworn to have faithfully executed, is now made dead without the help of another oath. The golden chain which Mr. Jefferson attached to the charter of our rights, as the emblem of the unfailing purity of the American government towards the Cherokees, has seen his master frown, and is now fading in the dark folds of his charter hiding in the archives of the principal Chief. The gigantic silver pipe which Gen. Washington placed in the hands of the Cherokees is a memorial of his warm and abiding friendship, has ceased to reciprocate, the vivid curling smoke riseth not to the mountains top; it lies in a corner of the executive chamber, cold, like its author to rise no more. With these disasters recurred to but in part, I think are adequate to prove the instability of the American Government, so far as it has duties to perform towards the Cherokees.- What then must be done? Our New York friends advise us to go, but where? West of the Mississippi.--The time being propitious to drive a bargain, the intrinsic value of the property might otherwise be lost. The value of the Cherokee Nation can hardly be set down in figures. Is worth more than one hundred million of dollars. Let us estimate. From Frogtown near the source of the Chestatee, commences the gold region and is termed the limits of Ga. From this point almost one hundred miles on a straight line south, or towards the western corner of Carroll County is one continual bed of gold, one pit after another with intermediate strips of land where also gold is found. The width of this region is not yet known, but at the southern part it is something like thirty miles broad. Millions of dollars worth of gold has been taken here by thousands of intruders. There are also mines on the Tennessee and North Carolina side of the Nation, where hundreds of Cherokees are engaged unmolested in the mining operations. There is gold enough in the limits of Ga. alone to corrupt a world of Gov.Lumpkins, Gilmer and Troups. If all the negroes in bondage under the freemen of the Southern States were sold in Brazil for diamonds, and sold among all the Crowned heads of the east, the proceeds of these gems would be but a pittance towards the payment of the Cherokee mines not including 8 millions of acres that ought to be worth as much as any lands in the United States.
For the cession of the lands which solicited by President Monroe, the Cherokees informed that exemplary functionary of the Government that the revenue of the United States could not buy the Cherokee Country. What is the consequence? The land which we have so highly estimated are about being seized by the state of Georgia-Preparatory to the consummation of this deed, near six hundred surveyors are now engaged in surveying our lands to be run through a game of chances preceding the possession, without any regard to the rights of the true proprietors of the soil. But our friends say, sell out, and move before the value of this property is lost. Good heavens! Are the Cherokees to be robbed of their inheritance by a Christian state, and to the perpetration of this act is regulate the price of the property in future? It would seem that so far as these measures are in progress the plundering of the Cherokees is at hand when the Constitution and laws of the U. S. have become the servants of the President, and justice made a slave to avarice in Georgia in regard to the Cherokees, it may be a fit subject to which our New York friends have called our attention. So far as I know the sentiments of the Cherokees, they consider that if the treaties held valid by the Supreme Court are not binding, another treaty not embraced in this decision would not be binding west of the Mississippi. If the force of circumstances compels them to move, they wish to go where they will not see the United States again. The question then resolves itself to this:-shall we sell out and make fortunes on the ruins of our inheritance and say the Cherokee Nation is no more? Or shall we continue our efforts in seeking redress in opposition to the combined powers of tyranny that have been crushing us? If the former is to be the alternative the Cherokees would not be unwilling to leave the United States. But our worthy friends in New York must not be surprised when we tell them that Congress cannot grant the favorable terms to which they have referred. The price of this property would be unequitable; tariff upon tariff whipped out of the United States Constitution would be but a beginning to pay for the gold region. If the latter course is to continue,the Cherokees must consult well their own strength in order to withstand the storm and without a calm.