Wednesday, June 4, 1828
We addressed a word, some time since, to our 'Cherokee Correspondents,' requesting the favor of their assistance. Our list of Cherokee subscribers is increasing, and we take the liberty of renewing our request. It is our desire that the Phoenix should contain more Cherokee matter than we have been able to present to our readers; our desire cannot however be realized, if everything is to depend upon us, for we have now more than we can do with justice to our health. Cherokee Correspondents would greatly relieve us, and we hope all those who can write will assist us with their pens. We tender our thanks to those who have already favored us.
By 'principal men of the Nation,' we do not mean the head chiefs, that is to say, William Hicks and John Ross, but our leading men, or in other words, the members of the National Committee ' Council. These men we do not believe, can alter the Constitution in any way, except that which is prescribed in the last article of that instrument.
Our readers will see on the second page, a communication of 'One of the mass.'- Sometime since we published another of a similar character, written by a different correspondent. It may be necessary, as an apology for admitting these pieces into our columns, to state, that we have, in the course of our observation, noticed with much regret, misrepresentations of the character, habits, and situation of Indians. Frequently these misrepresentations are made through false information, and as often they are studied. We are opposed to every species of exaggeration, and as one of the objects of our paper is to correct misstatements, in regard to the Cherokees, we feel ourselves bound to give room to such correspondents as we think deserve a place in our columns, by their temperance, and regard to truth. We do not wish to encourage unnecessary attack upon any individual of our neighboring states, particularly upon a person possessing a seat in the national Legislature of the Union, to which frequently we are forced to look for protection. The individual who is the subject of the 2 communications above alluded to, has nevertheless, by his course in regard to us in the house of representatives, given us sufficient cause of animadversion. When we saw his speeches, we thought that truth was perverted, and when we considered the opportunities he possessed to acquire a correct knowledge of our condition, (he being 'unfortunately our neighbour [sic]') we could not keep ourselves from the belief that this perversion of truth was studied and intended to create false impressions in the minds of the Representatives of the Union. So thought, we presume, our correspondents; and how far they have reason to complain, our readers would easily discover by considering the expressions of Mr. M. which we believe are correctly quoted by our correspondents. Those expressions are indefensible; and we fearlessly challenge every liberal man to come and see whether such things are correct. Instead of finding the Cherokees on the point of starvation, and 'subsisting upon roots' (as a grave Senator lately expressed himself,) they would be cheered with the sight of an Indian nation, (to be sure, not a civilized people, in every sense of the word,) progressing in every department of improvement, with a speed which ought to secure a better treatment from Mr. M. and others.
In our 11th number, we earnestly requested that the controversy between 'A Cherokee' and 'Marshal' might be put to an end. We made this request for two reasons. 1st. Some of our readers had considered the discussion a useless one, and desired that it might be brought to a close. 2d. Our feelings accorded with those of our readers. We made the request at that time, because we thought neither of the parties could complain, the last communication being by way of reply. We had flattered ourselves that our request would be regarded, and that our readers would no more be taxed with this unpopular topic, 'Money and principles.' 'A Cherokee' has however thought himself entitled to another hearing, and therefore has sent us a long communication, which we reluctantly publish. We do it more by way of compliance to his earnest request to give him a place in our columns, that from a conviction of the usefulness of his piece. We should have been thankful if he had regarded our request and dropt [sic] his favorite subject of discussion. Such a course would have been the best, for we cannot see, ) as far as we understand him,) wherein he has meaded [sic] the matter. We see no new light cast upon the subject. 'A Cherokee' perhaps thinks that we have not done him sufficient justice. If he is under such an impression, he labours [sic] under a mistake. We have endeavored to do him justice, by publishing ' correcting his pieces, tho' at the same time we considered him in an error. When he is aware that we are averse to the continuation of the controversy, he cannot reasonable expect us to correct his long communication, which we therefore send to the press, as it was handed to us.
N.B. Since writing the above we have received a line from 'A Cherokee' wishing to recall his communication, provided we intend to encumber it with our 'editorial poke-stick.' We are sorry that his request did not reach us in time, as we should have done ourselves the pleasure of complying with it. When his note was handed to us, a column of his communication was already in type, and we were told by our printers that other matter could not be set in its stead without being one week later in meeting the mails. We hope this explanation will be satisfactory to 'A Cherokee.' It is not our wish to have anything to do with this 'political controversy.' Whatever our opinions might have been on the subject, what they are now will be easily known from our short remarks, on the communication of 'A Friend' published in our third number.
At a sacramental meeting held on last Sabbath, at Hawies, one of the Missionary Stations of the American Board, we were gratified to see a large assembly of people, most of whom were, what are commonly called, full Cherokees. A meeting of 150 to 200 persons is considered large in this country, ' it is so in truth, when our scattered population is considered. Many had come from the distance of 10 and 20 miles to hear the word of God proclaimed to them. An interesting discourse was delivered by the Rev. Mr. Chamberlain, a Missionary at Wills Town. Immediately after sermon, ten came forward as candidates for the holy ordinance of baptism, who were accordingly baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and of the Holy Ghost. The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was then administered to about forty communicants, most of whom were members of the Church at Hawies, some belonged to the Methodist Episcopal Church, and we saw a few who were members of the Moravian Church. It was a pleasing sight to behold professing Christians of different denominations uniting in celebrating the dying love of their common Redeemer. At candle light we attended a Cherokee meeting, conducted by John Huss ( or Spirit,) who is an uncommonly interesting man. He understands his native language only. His exhortations are heard with pleasure, as they are always fraught with good sense and energy. As a speaker he has, perhaps, few equals. His knowledge of the Bible we thought remarkable, considering his limited means of information. He is now in the service of the American Board.
We cannot but consider the Church at Hawies in an interesting state. God has evidently blessed it with his own hands. Its increase has been gradual, and we trust it will continue to increase and have a happy influence on the surrounding people.- It is now composed of thirty members, exclusive of the ten who were baptized. As respects those who are admitted into Church membership in this nation, it becomes us to speak in a very cautious manner, for it is not to be expected that all those who unite themselves with the people of God will continue steadfast to the end. It is therefore no wonder, particularly in this country, where the people are comparatively ignorant of the doctrines and duties enjoined in the religion of Jesus Christ, that some of those who make a public profession, should go back to the world. All that a Minister of the Gospel can do, before receiving persons as Church members, is to use necessary and Scriptural precautions, and to receive none but such as appear to give evidence of a change of heart. We are happy to say that such precautions have been used by the Missionaries of the Board.