Cherokee Phoenix


Published March, 27, 1828

Page 2 Column 4b


'The very ancient men who have seen the former glory and the prosperity of their country, or who have heard from the mouths of their ancestors, and particularly from their beloved men, (whose office it is to repeat their traditions and laws to the rising generations, with heroic achievements of their forefathers) the former state of their country with the great prowess and success of their warriors of old times they weep like infants, when they speak of the fallen condition of their nation. They derive, however, some consolation from a prophecy of ancient origin and universal currency among them, that the man of America will at some future period, regain his ancient ascendancy and expel the man of Europe from this western hemisphere. This flattering and consolatory persuasion has enabled the Seneca and the Shawnese prophets to arrest in some tribes the use of intoxicating liquors and has given birth, at different periods, to attempts for a general confederacy of the Indians of North America.'- Clinton.

The writer of this was present at a dinner given by General Knox, to a number of Indians in the year 1789, at New York; they had come to the President on a mission from their nations. The house was in Broadway. A little before dinner, two or three of the Sachems, with their chief or principal man went into the balcony at the front of the house, the drawing room being up-stairs. From this they had a view of the city, the harbor, Long Island, 'c., 'c. After remaining there a short time, they returned into the room, apparently dejected; but the chief more than the rest. General Knox took notice of it and said to him, brother! what has happened to you?- You look sorry!- Is there anything to distress you? He answered- I'll tell you brother. I have been looking at your beautiful city- the great water-your find country-and see how happy you all are. But then I could not help thinking, that this fine country, this great water were once ours. Our ancestors lived here-they enjoyed it as their own in peace-it was the gift of the great spirit to them and their children. At last the white people came in a great canoe. They asked only to let them tie it to a tree, lest the waters should carry it away-we consented. They then said some of their people were sick, and they asked permission to land them and put them under the shade of the trees. The ice then came, and they could not go away. They then begged a piece of land to build wigwams for the winter-we granted it to them. They then asked for some corn to keep them from starving-we kindly furnished it to them, they promising to go away when the ice was gone. When this happened, we told them the must go away with their big canoe; but they pointed to their big guns round their wigwams, and said they would stay there, and we could not make them go away. Afterwards more came. They brought spirituous and intoxicating liquors with them, of which the Indians became very fond. They persuaded us to sell them some land. Finally they drove us back, from time to time, into the wilderness, far from the water, and the fish, and the oysters-they have destroyed the game-our people have wasted away, and now we live miserable and wretched, while you are enjoying our fine and beautiful country. This makes me sorry brother! and I cannot help it.'--Boudinot.