NEW ECHOTA, FEBRUARY 22, 1834
The Communications over the signature of Oconestota on the proceedings of the Georgians against the Cherokees, and the matter of facts set forth in them, we take pleasure in communication to our readers, as from the pen of a gentleman strictly devoted to truth and justice.
A gentleman (Col. Springer) under appointment of the Governor of Georgia, arrived at this place a few days since, to carry the provisions of the late law which we published, into effect, or to drive Indians from their improvements in certain cases, and white men from Indian lots. He has given notice to several white men resident here on Indian lots, to leave by the 1st of March. This order embraces our foreman, and we presume, intended to muzzle the liberty of our press, but as he is employed by the Nation his continuance we hope, cannot be construed to the forfeiture of lots by individuals.
His honor of the palace presents the most stupendous appearance of the race of human beings that we have seen in the southern climate. His weight is 350 pounds. Can the small voice of justice come from this great man? Poh!
The remarks of the New Hampshire Sentinel we have copied into our paper, expressive of his sense of prostration of the American faith by the political sons of George Washington. We have been for several years past, dragging heavily our claims before the Government for protection, as I under the feet of the proud Georgians, as this course was the only alternative, and the lesser evil, it was pursued with the anticipations of our success. A Government that has no time to attend to justice, and struggling as it is to live without laws is certainly a miserable authority to redress the wrongs of the oppressed. But the Indian maxim, 'retreat not before the enemy is seen,' has enabled us to fight the political battle, and we have gained a signal and intellectual victory. If we are to be robbed after this, physical power and corruption will have to accomplish it. We are in the path of duty.
We have been permitted to make the following extract of a letter from one of the delegation from this Nation, to a gentleman of this place.
'Washington City, Jan 15, 1834.
'We arrived at this place on the evening of the 8th inst. worn almost out with fatigue and loss of rest. Having travelled night and day, the roads as bad as they can be, we travelled from Knoxville to Charlottesville in Virginia, eight days and nights, and slept but eight hours in the time, and that was at the Boatyard in Tennessee. We have had one upsetting in the stage on the way, fortunately none were hurt much, the horses, after the stage upset ran off with the forewheels of the stage, we had of course, to walk to the next stand, two miles, half leg deep in mud. We have indeed been both fortunate and unfortunate, broke down four stages, and upset once, still we persevered and got along without any material accident of a serious nature.
On yesterday we went and paid a visit to the President, Secretary, 'c. The Secretary appeared, quite friendly, so was the President, we had no conversation with the President touching the affairs of the Nation, we merely called in to see him, he was very busily engaged with Mr. Woodbury and Taney. Mr Herring and us had some conversation, touching the privilege granted to emigrants to sell their possessory title to citizens of the United States, thereby introducing intruders into the country; he stated he did not know of any such privilege being granted by the department. Consequently Major Curry and the Agent must have given and allowed the privilege within themselves, to encourage emigration, for the Department denies knowing anything of any order being granted.'
For the Cherokee Phoenix
SIGNS OF THE TIMES
Mr. Editor:-The Indian Bill, passed at the last session of the Georgia Legislature, deserves some notice, not because of its great importance, but in order that the public may understand its various designs, and the extent of the robbery which it is intended to commit upon the innocent, helpless, and much injured Cherokees. For, altho' the public generally, cannot help seeing that the ultimate design of the bill, is the expulsion of the Cherokees from the lands of their fathers, yet it is impossible for those not particularly acquainted with the local situations of the people in this country, to understand some of its most obnoxious features. Indeed, sir, had it not been for the law makers, and law suggesters (sic), who went to Milledgeville, from the Nation, the Legislature would never have thought of some sections of the Act. So soon as it was ascertained that the Union party, as they most inappropriately stile themselves, had a majority in the Legislature, away went the land speculators to dictate laws for their own aggrandizement, at the expense of the liberties and property of the citizens of this Nation. So various and numerous were the interests to be served, that it was very difficult matter for the Union gentlemen to please themselves! This was the cause of the things being on hand so long, and undergoing so many revolutions.
The first thing that arrests our attention on looking at the 'critter' is the great disproportion betwixt its forehead and its other parts! It somewhat resembles the image, Nebuchadnazzer saw in visions of the night. The head was of previous gold, but the feet of iron and mud! But the Georgians and the 'Gineral' too, will continue to call things by the wrong name, in spite of all the spelling books and dictionaries Webster can make!
The next thing that diverts me is, the many sorts of folks spoken of in the bill-'White men, white men claiming the privileges of an Indian, Indian, descendant of an Indian, persons of color and negro, 'c., 'c. And the various relations, these different classes of persons sustain to the State, and to each other is not less diverting! No wonder the Legislature labored long and hard in bringing forth the indescribable monster.
The two first sections of the act are devoted to white men married to Cherokee women, who have been the objects of the cruel envy and hatred of the Georgians, ever since they failed in getting more land from the Cherokees, 'peaceably and on reasonable terms.' One would suppose it was time to let these honest and industrious men alone! What new sin have they been guilty of, that their civil and personal rights should again be outraged? Why, they thought it best not to vote for these very consequential gentlemen, who cry 'union, union' and at the same time live in the daily practice of a nullification, which pays no respect to any laws human or divine. These two sections, it seems then, were designed for vengeance.
Next comes the case of fee simple and life estate reserves. The Georgians use to think that white men and the missionaries prevented the Cherokees from gratifying their insatiable appetites for gold and land, but having gotten out of that notion, they are now jealous of our rulers, some of whom belong to the class of reservees. They no doubt, imagine that if the reservees can be gotten out of the way, or they can get them and their descendants involved, they can manage the balance to their own liking. It is true that some of our people thought they could live among the Georgians, and accordingly remained on their improvements which fell within the ceded parts of the Nation. But it was not long till their land was surveyed and gambled for! Many of them were literally robbed of their improvements, and others were lawed(sic) and tormented in various ways, until finally they all fled to their own country and people for refuge. But these lustful persons are not yet satisfied, and I fear never will while there is a red man on the face of the earth.
But the legislature, in the most of their wrath and covetousness, pretend to make some provision for a part of the Cherokees. But why do they rob in part, those whose rights they pretend to acknowledge? Why take away all their improvements made previous to 1830 and also those not on adjoining lots? Now under the provisions of a former legislature, hundreds of acres of land were improved on the lots reserved, which by the present law is taken away. This is a cunning and easy way to get large and desirable farms! And so it seems we have been at the labor and expense of building mills and fine houses, and clearing thousands of acres, of our best land, just for the accommodation of a set of robbers, under the command of St. Lumpkin and Andrew the 1st! Now if the United States will submit to all this, farewell, farewell to American liberty!