Cherokee Phoenix


Published March, 13, 1828

Page 1 Column 1a


The following laws of the Cherokee Nation, we publish as we find them in print, without any corrections, except what we suppose maybe typographical errors. They have already been circulated in this Nation in a pamphlet form.- Our readers at a distance will perhaps be gratified to see the first commencement of written laws among the Cherokees. We publish some that are not now in force. The repealing laws will appear in the order of time they were passed.


Resolved by the Chiefs and Warriors in a national council assembled, That it shall be, and is hereby authorized, for regulating parties to be organized to consist of six men in each company; one captain, one lieutenant and four privates, to continue in service for the term of one year, whose duties it shall be to suppress horse stealing and the robber of other property within their respective bounds, who shall be paid out of the national annuity, at the rates of fifty dollars to each captain, forty to the lieutenant, and thirty dollars to each of the privates; and to give their protection to children as heirs to their fathers' property and to the widow's share, whom he may have had children by, or cohabitated with, as his wife, at the time of his decease; and in case a father shall leave or will any property to a child at the time of his decease which he may have had by another woman, then his present wife shall be entitled to receive any such property as maybe left by him or them, when substantiated by one or two disinterested witnesses.

Be it resolved by the Council aforesaid, When any person or persons which may or shall be charged with stealing a horse and upon conviction by one or two witnesses, he, she, or they shall be punished with one hundred stripes on the bare back, and the punishment to be in proportion for stealing property of less value; and should the accused person or persons rise up with arms in his or their hands, as guns, axes, spears, and knives, in opposition to the regulating company, and should they kill him or them, the blood of him or them shall not be required of any of the persons belonging to the regulators from the clan the person so killed belonged to.


BLACK FOX, Principal Chief,



CHARLES HICKS, Sect'y to the Council. Brooms Town, Sept. 11th 1808.

Be it known That this day, the various clans or tribes which compose the Cherokee Nation have unanimously passed an act of oblivion for all lives for which they may have been indebted, one to the other, and have mutually agreed that after this evening the aforesaid act shall become binding upon every clan, or tribe; and the aforesaid clans or tribes have also agreed that if in future, any life should be lost without malice intended, the innocent aggressor shall not be accounted guilty.

Be it known also, That should it so happen that a brother, forgetting his natural affection, should raise his hand in anger and kill his brother, he shall be accounted guilty of murder and suffer accordingly. And if a man has a horse stolen, and overtakes the thief, and should his anger be so great as to cause him to kill him let his blood remain on his own conscience, but no satisfaction shall be demanded for his life from his relatives or the clan he may belong to.

By order of the seven clans.


Speaker of Council.


BLACK FOX, Principal Chief.



CHARLES HICKS, Sect'y to the Council.

Oostanallah, April 10, 1810

WHEREAS, fifty-four towns and villages having convened in order to deliberate and consider on the situation of our nation, in the disposition of our common property of lands without the unanimous consent of the members of the Council, and in order to obviate the evil consequences resulting in such course, we have unanimously adopted the following form for the future government of our nation.

ARTICLE 1st. It is unanimously agreed, that there shall be thirteen members elected as a Standing Committee for the term of two years, at the end of which term they shall be either re-elected or others; and in consequence of the death or resignation of any of said Committee, our head Chiefs shall elect another to fill the vacancy.

ARTICLE 2d. The affairs of the Cherokee Nation shall be committed to the care of the Standing Committee but the acts of this body shall not be binding on the Nation in our common property, without the unanimous consent of the members and Chiefs of the Council, which they shall present for their acceptance or dissent.

ARTICLE 3d. The authority and claim of our common property shall cease with the person or persons who shall think proper to remove themselves without the limits of the Cherokee Nation.

ARTICLE 4th. The improvements and labors of our people by the mother's side shall be inviolate during the time of their occupancy.

ARTICLE 5th. This Committee shall settle with the Agency for our annual stipend, and report their proceedings to the members and Chiefs in council; but the friendly communication between our head Chiefs and the Agency shall remain free and open.

ARTICLE 6th. The above articles for our government, maybe amended at our electional [sic] term, and the Committee is hereby required to be governed by the above articles, and the Chiefs and Warriors in Council unanimously pledge themselves to observe strictly the contents of the above articles.- whereunto ye have set our hands and seals at Amoah, this 6th day of May, one thousand eight hundred and seventeen.

Approved in Council, on the day and date above written.


Speaker to the Council.

Approved of the within government by the head Chief,




A. McCOY, Sect'y to the Council.


[To Be Continued]