Cherokee Phoenix

By the last mail we received the following letter from a member of the Cherokee Delegation, now in W

Published February, 25, 1829

Page 2 Column 3b-4a

By the last mail we received the following letter from a member of the Cherokee Delegation, now in Washington City. It is dated, February 4th 1829.

Presuming that some of our Cherokee friends at home are anxious to hear how we are getting along with our business, I can merely inform you that we paid our respects to the Secretary of War on our arrival, after which we submitted the various subjects of our mission, but have heard nothing from the Department. On account of the multiplicity of business before the several Departments during the Session of Congress, I do not expect that our business will have an early attention, consequently, we have not correct idea how long we shall be detained. The Honorable Secretary, at our interview, soon took occasion to pass an eulogy upon the fine country at the West, and thought we had better emigrate:- there we would be out of Georgia's way, and she could no longer be raising up little quarrels with us, and we could build up a great republic of our own. But, Sir, it is too late, the day is passed by, for who is Georgia, and who are the Cherokees? If we trace the history of Georgia back to the days of Oglethorp, we find that her history as a colony has but just commenced, and a large position of her Territory has been bought from the Cherokees who have been acknowledged as the sovereign lord of the soil since the discovery of America or the issuing of the Royal parchment. But in tracing the history of the Cherokees we are lost in the ages of antiquity. They were a distinct nation of people, residing upon the very land they now occupy, long before the existence of Oglethorp. The population of Georgia encroached upon them, and they were compelled to recede, until they have become surrounded by the population of other states that have sprung up, and partly upon their land. The United States have magnanimously guarantied to them their present possessions, and are bound to prevent intrusion, but the restless spirit of Georgia would drive them into wretchedness and ruin to gratify their unbounded desires, and as a last resort have threatened the extension of their laws. If they attempt the measure, now will they succeed? There must of course be officers to execute those laws, and who are they to be? Not one will be a Cherokee. No, I am not so credulous as to believe there are any who will pull down ruin upon their own heads. They cannot be Georgians, for the very moment they enter our Territory, they are intruders and the United States Government is bound by a solemn act of her own to remove and enforce the intercourse law against them. The individual states have no power over us nor can they have until the Constitution of the United States is changed so as to affect it, and then what becomes of the plighted faith of the government. Our situation is not so deplorable as some would have us believe. A virtuous and enlightened people, yielding to the dictates of humanity and wisdom, have endeavored to meliorate our condition, and I am happy to say, with our own exertions, their efforts have been blessed with much success. Will they now with their own hands pull down the monument which they have for years been building to the memory of their exalted names, and crush us in the fall?