Thursday, March 6, 1828
To Readers And Correspondents.
'Socrates' is deferred on account of the length of the report of the Committee in the Legislature of Georgia, which we could not very well divide. It shall appear in our next.
The Communication of 'A FRIEND' we have inserted with some corrections. We rather apprehend that the subject is not properly understood by either 'A FRIEND' of 'A CHEROKEE'. We consider the Constitution to be in force, yet it does not affect the appointments previously made, until the election of 1828. The appointment of Judge Martin as Treasurer of this Nation, is not, in our opinion, unconstitutional.
Our readers will notice, that there are more sections in the Cherokee part of the Constitution published today, than in the English. The mistake occurred in the original copy, and in correcting the proof sheet, it was accidentally overlooked, and before we could examine the second proof sheet, the first side of the Number was struck off. For the same reason, a number of other typographical errors will be noticed.
We particularly requested our principal Printer to change the order in which the English names of members of the Convention, and names of Districts stood annexed to the Constitution, as we thought it rather uncouth to mention a person's name, after his place of residence. But he has thought it to print them as they are.
The situation of Indians is peculiar in the history of man; and the disadvantages in the way of their becoming an enlightened people, which they are obliged to encounter, are numerous and formidable. Such has been the case from the discovery of America to the present moment, and for aught we can say, will still continue to be so. Enemiss [sic] to Indian improvement, would do well to consider, these disadvantages. When they are properly and candidly considered, we cannot but believe, instead of creating astonishment why the Indians have not been civilized before, they will at least suggest the enquiry why they have not degenerated more. What but pernicious effect must such a document as the report of the Joint Committee in the Legislature of Georgia, have on the interest and improvement of the Indians? Who will expect from the Cherokees, a rapid progress in education, religion, agriculture, and the various arts of civilized life, when resolutions are passed in a civilized and Christian Legislature, (whose daily sessions, we are told, commenced with a prayer to Almighty God) to wrest their country from them and strange to tell, with the point of the bayonet, if nothing else will do? Is it in the nature of things, that the Cherokees will build them good and comfortable houses and make them great farms, when they know not but that their possessions will fall into the hands so strangers and invaders? How is it possible that they will establish for themselves good laws, when an attempt is made to crush their first feeble effort towards it? These are sad facts, ' we beg our readers to bear with us, when we express ourselves so freely ' frequently on a subject which we consider to be of vital importance to the Indian race. But midst troubles, difficulties and evil wishers, we can look around us with much satisfaction, and see those who are truly our friends, not only in profession, but in deed. As a specimen of the feelings of such friends we take pleasure in publishing an extract of a letter addressed to us by an esteemed correspondent.
'The fact that a newspaper is to be put in circulation among the Cherokees, in their own language, and designed for their benefit, and edited by one of their own Nation is, in itself a Prospectus--pointing out the condition to which the Cherokees may, ere long, attain as an enlightened people;-- a guarantee, under providence, to their rise and prosperity as a Tribe a State, prepared for the privileges of inter-community, in all that constitutes political life, and health, and vigour [sic], and enjoyment, among the States, composing the Great American Republic.'
Cherokee Constitution.-- We are happy to see that the attempts made in the House of Representatives of the United States, to interfere with the newly organized government of the Cherokee nation, are likely to fail. It would have been a deep reproach to this country, after all the injustice the Indians have suffered at our hands, and all the aspersions that have been cast on their native character and capacity, if we should refuse to permit them to follow us in those paths of civilization and moral improvement, which through our means have been already strewn with thorns for their feet. The prospects of the Cherokees are flattering in some respects. They are considered equal to any of the red men in their mental capacity; they have made very considerable progress in civilization and one of their members has recently made an invention of a syllabic alphabet, which seems to afford the only means by which education can be speedily and efficiently introduced among them; an invention which is considered, under all the circumstances of the case, comparable to that which the ancients ascribed to Cadmus. They have within a few months, by popular delegates, formed a government under the first liberal constitution ever adopted by a savage tribe. This will form an era in a new branch of the history of constitutions, and if their plan succeeds, will furnish philanthropists new grounds for congratulation, and legislators new subjects of reflection. ______
N. Y. Daily Adv.
FOR THE CHEROKEE PHOENIX
MR. BOUDINOTT-- I see in your paper of the 28th, a communication signed 'A Cherokee,' on the subject of public offices, in which he says, 'In viewing the public offices of the Cherokee Nation now held by different persons; it will be found, on recurrence to the signers of the late Constitution, that there is no conformity to it in their subsequent proceedings, compared with their asserted principles.'
That the late convention which framed the Constitution was composed of twenty-one Members, and that several of those members were members of the Convention, and others members of the Council, I readily admit.--Those members were recommended by the Legislature to the several districts in which they respectively resided, under a law which passed both houses of the Gen. Council on the 13th(?) of Nov. 1826, and under which the delegates from the several districts were duly elected as members of the Convention to frame a Constitution for the Government of the Cherokee Nation. This Constitution was submitted to the General Council for their assent or rejection, and was unanimously approved by that body. 'A Cherokee' complains of one person's holding more than one office; referring to the electing of the present Treasurer of the Nation. He appears to think that the Council, in appointing John Martin Treasurer for one year, acted unconstitutionally from the provision made in the constitution, which expressly declares that no person shall hold more than one office, under the authority of the nation; stating that the Treasurer now holds four different offices. It would appear at first sight of the Communication that a Cherokee thinks that the present Treasurer has abandoned principle for the sake of gain. Among the provisions of the Constitution, you will find in the 12th section of the 6th article these words. 'All laws in force in this nation, at the passing of this Constitution, shall so continue until altered or repealed by the legislature, except when they are temporary, in which case they shall expire at the times respectively limited for their duration; if not continued by an act of the Legislature.' I cannot therefore admit or argue that the constitution is in full and operative force, neither will it be until after the rise of the General Council in 1828, at which time the several offices of the nation will be appointed and commissioned agreeably to the provisions of the Constitution. If the present Treasurer's acceptance of his appointment is an abandonment of the principles of the Constitution, I am confident that other officers of the Nation are guilty of the same, as some of them are holding responsible offices under the United States Government. But this I do not consider contrary to the Constitution, as it is not yet in full and operative force.
I will not however pretend to say that the Constitution is without its faults, this part of the subject I leave for those who are more qualified than myself; but the appointment of a Treasurer was made by a joint vote of both houses of the General Council; and if the same appointment had often been conferred as a citizen living in a remote part from the seat of Government, of the Cherokee Nation, I say let him have it, if he can give sufficient security, for the faithful discharge of his duty.
Page 3 Col. 4a
We are informed of a murder being committed in the neighbourhood of Sumach. The name of the person killed is William Fallen, and of the murderer Bears Paw. We have not heard of the circumstances.
Page 3 Col. 4b
In the year 1804, the number of persons committed for trial in England and Wales was four thousand, three hundred and forty-six; in 1816 it had increased to nine thousand, and ninety-one; ' in 1826, it amounted to sixteen thousand, one hundred and forty seven.
No less than 105,517 hogs have passed the turnpike gate, Cumberland River, Ten. the past season. New York Ob.