NEW ECHOTA, NOVEMBER 23, 1833
The national council convened at Red Clay, on the 14th Oct., and after the meeting of the two houses, and a full attendance of the members from all the Districts of the Nation, the Principal Chief delivered his speech to the General Council, which will be found on our first page. Among the various acts of this Council and of general interest to the Cherokees, is the appointment of a delegation, to proceed to the Congress of the United States, pursuant to the Report of the Select Committee which follows the speech of the Chief. The council then proceeded to the consideration of various matters which came before them, and after the appointment of the following delegates, Messrs. John Ross, Richard Taylor, Daniel McCoy, Hare Conrad, and John Timson; the Council adjourned on the 1st Nov. to meet again on the second Monday of Oct. 1834. It is unnecessary for us to remark on the general policy of the Cherokees in regard to their grievances, and claims on the United States, as the documents which we publish, will show more clearly the disposition of the Cherokees at large, to which we invite the attention of the reader.
We publish a letter of Mr. John Rogers an influential chief among the Arkansas Cherokees to Mr. John Walker Jr. of this Nation. We admit this communication from Arkansas more especially for its suggestions to the injurious effects to our Nation in consequence of our people enrolling for emigration to that country. In the introduction of this correspondence into our paper, no motives of a conciliatory character to the measures of government are to be imputed to us. The writer of this letter appears to have seized upon an early opportunity, after the commencement of the present enrolling operations, as a philanthropist, to tell his brethren of this nation to beware of the measures of the Government. The great and laudable object which the writer has in view, is the harmony of the Cherokees. To whatever course the Cherokees may be driven by the arbitrary measures of the Government, let the Cherokees be united and 'let not one of you enroll.'
The enrollment of individuals is certainly to be deplored. By this process they disfranchise themselves by their own acts of their birthrights and liberties in the Cherokee country. Patriotism, the most conspicuous and inherent principle of every people on earth, is at once plunged into the hands of the enrolling agents, to be led down the rolling streams of the West, in a condition of perfect thraldom, to that country, where a distinguished Chief tells them not to come. Persons who enroll themselves under the present measures, divests (sic) themselves of all political rights that they may have had in this nation; sold to the oppressor; and their destiny in the future, will be that of intruders on the lands of other Indians.
The New Hampshire Centinel, we are sorry to perceive, finds but little ground of hope for the relief of the Cherokees, by the administration of a Republican President of the United States. The reasons assigned are, the opposition to treaties-the decision of the Supreme Court-the avocations of the American people, in banking and president making, are engagements unfavorable to the expression of the public sense on the wrongs committed on the small Cherokee community. The causes set forth as the prevention to the restoration of the liberties of the Cherokees, are obvious to all; but we think an independent journal should not relinquish, for these reasons, to the powers of usurpation, the most important cause that has occurred since the formation of the Federal Government. Suppose New York was to wrest from Connecticut its jurisdiction, and the landed property of its citizens, guaranteed as it is by the Constitution of the United States, to the latter State, would the people of the U. S. say that they were too busy in other matters to have the citizens of Connecticut redressed? It seems to us, to such palpable usurpation, the sons of George Washington would rush to the rescue. The relations of the U. S. and the Cherokees bears some analogy. The latter have placed themselves under the protection of the former, and its integrity has been guaranteed. The great question then comes up to be tested, promised protection, and before the world, will tacitly consent to our political annihilation. Our cause is a righteous one, the great principles at stake and the great property involved, impels us to go forward, and press upon Congress for a final action of the cause. If we mistake not, Congress has confirmed the integrity of our treaties, in a proviso to the Indian Bill, and the enforcing act settled the principles of State nullification, so that a simple resolve of Congress, we are sure, would move the President to sustain our rights. A veto by the President in this case, seems to us out of the question. Upon Congress, then, the Cherokees confidently rely for protection, and if the enlightened representatives of the American people, should turn away from the eternal principles of right and rectitude, and fail to sustain our rights, then we can say, in the conscious rectitude of our acts, and the last tried patriots of the aboriginal race, that the faith of the republic has set behind a black cloud, to rise no more for us.
FOR THE CHEROKEE PHOENIX.
Grand Saline, C. N. West Mississippi,
Sept. 29th 1833.
DEAR SIR:- I have had the pleasure of lately seeing a letter from you, to your old friend John Shepperd, it always affords me pleasure to hear from my friends, but I feel much mortified to hear of the course they are pursuing. I wrote some months ago to my friend Mr. Hicks, freely advising him of my opinion as relates to their present embarrassed situation in that country, and fully told to him how it was yet in their power to arrest the impending horrid fate, that was then, and is yet, hovering over them. But this was not for them to enroll themselves as emigrants to this country under the present provisions of the General Government, which is only to get them here, feed them one year and let them go; but my voice was to collect the people together, get them united, and make a permanent treaty with the United States, and thereby secure to themselves the country I described to them, which would afford them a comfortable asylum, from tyranny and oppression.
I wish you my friend, on the receipt of this, to call on Mr. Hicks, and ask him if he ever got my letter, if he did, you will see my sentiments on the subject of your affairs, in that part of the country, and I wish you also, to see as many of my old friends as is in your power, and advise them never to enroll under the present arrangements; there is no man feels more for his people that I do, nor feels more anxious to see them settled west of the Mississippi, to their satisfaction; but I feel distressed when I think of their coming off and throwing themselves entirely on the mercy of the Government, to provide land for them or not as they please. You all have an idea of their lenity, and therefore my advice is for not one of you ever to move, till you are provided for, by a permanent treaty; your coming a few at a time makes your situation worse, it weakens your nation, and therefore lessens your opportunity of making an advantageous treaty, which you can do, if you would all unite ' stick together. I never have had any correspondence with you on this subject, but have seen a number of your letters to my friends in this country with which I am pleased, my views with regard to the emigration of our people are unbiased, clear of speculation, and only tend to the wish of their future welfare and prosperity; there is I fear two (sic) much speculation in view of some, for the good of all, but you are rest assured, that there is nothing on earth could afford me as much satisfaction as to see our two nations or more united, and living as we once did, before we knew what oppression was, which I hope, with a steady and diligent perseverance of your leading men, will yet be the case, but let union be their polar star, for the old proverb tells us, a house divided within itself will never stand.
We have just had a Council with six or seven tribes of Indians, and have united in the strongest bonds of friendship.
I will write to you more fully after our National Council, which comes on the 1st Monday in Oct. next.
JOHN ROGERS, jr.