Cherokee Phoenix

The Rev. THOS. STRINGFIELD, the late editor of the 'Knoxville Enquirer,' is to be succeeded by J.J.

Published March, 20, 1828

Page 3 Column 2b-4b

The Rev. THOS. STRINGFIELD, the late editor of the 'Knoxville Enquirer,' is to be succeeded by J.J. MEREDITH, who in his address to the public, proposes to support the cause of the Administration.



Mr. Editor,-- Over the signature of 'A Friend' appears a short exposition, but apparently an elaborate detail of the actual state of the several points, in which I had rather accused the Council and their Treasurer of indifference to principles, which they had recommended for the future government of the Cherokee Nation, than maintained that every article and clause of the new Constitution should be carried into effect immediately after the rise of the Council of 1827.--I will here again recur to, and quote more particularly the last clause of the law which created the Convention. Is as follows:

Be it also further Resolved, That the Principles which shall be established in the constitution to be adopted by the convention, shall not in any degree go to destroy the rights and liberties of the free citizens of this nation, not to affect or impair the force of the fundamental Principles and Laws, by which the Nation is now governed; and that the General Council to be convened in the Fall of 1827 shall be held under the now existing authorities; PROVIDED NEVERTHELESS, nothing shall be construed in this last clause so as to invalidate nor prevent the constitution adopted by the Convention from going into effect after the aforesaid next General Council.'

The Convention then met on the 4th July, 1827, which framed the new Constitution; and the subsequent Council convened on the second Monday in October, 1827. This Council embraced ten influential members, who composed the most conspicuous members of the Convention. They again had to deliberate on the final adoption of the Constitution, which was accordingly done. This Council, then being composed in part of members of the Convention, were as much bound, on the principle of consistency, to conform in every act to the spirit of the newly advised Government, as they will be in October 1828. When the same members of the Convention which formed the Constitution, adopted it again in Council, and then acted upon principles contrary to it, it would fairly mark out the fact that the framers themselves could not relish the new Constitution; inasmuch as they had set to work and conferred nearly all the offices on one individual. The circumstance cannot be denied to exhibit their attachment to the former practices of the Government. When the exercise of long established principles had been decided by members of the Convention to be wrong in July, and they had proclaimed in lieu certain dissimilar principles, which should direct the government of the Cherokees, then in October following the same members acting upon the principles decided to be unfit, amounts to an abandonment of principle by the party giving, as well as by the party receiving. When the hunter, after traversing the wilds, finds the game of which he has been laboriously in pursuit, he does not run off immediately from it, but, with the greatest caution, adopts measures in order to secure his object. The members of the Convention should, from the time the new Constitution was adopted, have maintained strictly every principle that they had discovered to be so important and essential for the Cherokees. Again, when the planter sows his grain, it becomes his duty to cultivate and cherish the growth; for it would be an unwise employment to be engaged in retarding and depressing the growth. Hence it may be permitted to state, that the guide of the Council and of the Treasurer has not been principle, but their ever dear attachment to the aristocracy in the National Committee, that has so long wielded the affairs of the Cherokee Council.

If there may be a fallacy in the objections alledged [sic] against the Council and Treasurer for keeping the Treasury away from Echota, the fact cannot be denied, that it has been done to the inconvenience of the greatest portion of the people. The institutions of Government are for the security and convenience of its subjects, to command what is right, and inhibit what is wrong. For this purpose the late Principal Chief, Charles Hicks, had called his cabinet council, in order to remove the Treasury to Echota; but, in the mean time, the Path Killer's death, and his own, prevented the accomplishment of the necessary arrangement.

A seat of Government without a treasury may be called a coat without a pocket and all sincere advocates for a well organized government would endeavor to adorn a naked metropolis with its Treasury. The relation in which the Treasury stands to the seat of Government is so essential, that a nation will always stand below its merited elevation, so long as the public offices are conferred elsewhere; and this will be the case, while the government is held and directed by men politically wanting, and politically wandering.

But 'A Friend' argues, 'if a person residing at a remote distance receives the appointment of Treasurer; and can give sufficient security for a faithful discharge of his duty, let him have it.' This policy, if persisted in, will not fail to confirm the Georgia position, that the Cherokees are an erratic people and for that reason they ought to be removed. If the Cherokee consider themselves permanently located, they should cease to keep away from the seat of Government their public offices. Supposing, 'A Friend' were to remove his crib twenty miles from his residence; what would be his convenience in such a situation? I presume that, after a few days experience, he would find it convenient to concentrate his stores. Who, that has a fancy for the common forms of Government now in America, could learn the following circumstance, but would condemn the present policy. The Second Principal Chief, a short time before his election, had occasion to search and ascertain where the National Treasury was kept. He had heard of it at Coosawatee; and, from the singularity of the country, there are several paths leading to that place. He came to a small stream after dark. Although, being a Cherokee, he was a stranger to personal fear, he apprehended it might be dangerous to cross the stream. After some delay, a search for a log succeeded. Here again the spirit of fear repelled the venture; but necessity being stronger than fear, impelle [sic] his excellency to coon the log. One more circumstance will suffice. A short time since the Editor of the Phoenix dispatched a young man to the Treasury, who on his return was crossing Salloquoe river [sic], when only his faithful horse saved him from drowning. Entirely wet he encamped in a waste house, together with his bleaky [sic], nightly companion. These are a few among the numerous difficulties which the Treasury is producing by its movement towards Georgia. The friends of this policy have never disclosed to the public the utility of sending the Treasury the circuit it has gone. If they have any to disclose, which carries a wholesome countenance, they would do well not to remain in silence.

As to that portion of the communication of 'A Friend', in which his lynx-sighted eyes have discovered more persons than I had accused, who have not adhered to principles, I have, after several days reflection, come to a conclusion to whom he must have alluded. But one person, I believe, the Marshal of Chattooga District, holds a responsible office under the United States Government, who, we are told, is a contractor for the post route through this place, and who, no doubt, may have unintentionally trespassed against popular principles.-- But if ' A Friend,' has deluded himself into notion that the Postmaster at New Echota, who was President of the Committee at the time of the last General Council, holds two offices, his firm confidence may be easily eradicated. The President of the National Committee was chosen during his absence; for what term he was not informed; but, on his acceptance, distinctly informed the Council, that he accepted the office for no longer time that during the then present session. If the National Committee is now in existence, it is without a President.