Cherokee Phoenix


Published February, 25, 1829

Page 2 Column 1b


Wednesday, Feb. 25, 1829

An attempt is made by the authorities of Georgia to establish a legal right to that part of this Nation lying south of a line commencing at Suwanna Old Town, to Six's (sic) on the Hightower, and down said river to the chartered line of Georgia and Alabama. The claim rests simply upon the following: It is contended that the line above described was once the boundary line between the Cherokees and Creeks- that the new boundary line between these two nation of Indians has never been ratified or recognized by the United States Government, of course it is null and void- and that, as the whole chartered limits of Georgia in the Creek Nation was ceded to the United States, in what is commonly called the Old Treaty, that part of the Cherokee Nation now contended for, was included. It appears that the Governor was authorized by the legislature to have testimony on this subject collected, and if he thought the evidence was sufficient to establish the claim, to take possession of the country- by force of course. The Milledgeville Journal of 30th ult. contains a summary of the evidence collected by Col. Wales of Habersham, who was deputed for that purpose. The reader will form a correct opinion of the nature of the testimony from the following:

Jacob R. Brooks, of De Kalb, states that he has resided on the Chattahoochee since 1819, and had a transient residence there some time previous- recollects conversing with natives and citizens of the Cherokee Nation about their boundary, and always, till 1821, understood that the line commenced at Suwanna old town on the Chattahoochee, and ran on thence to a Creek called Nah-Kulsee(dividing line) thence down the said creek to the Hightower River, near Sixas Old Town, and down said river to the mouth of Wills Creek.- Has understood that in 1821, an arrangement was made between the chiefs of the two tribes, by which their line was removed, so as to commence at a point 50 miles lower down on the Chattahoochee, called the Buzzard Roost, and from thence to the mouth of Wills Creek- That there was no white man present when the last line was run- has never understood that it was ratified or recognised (sic) by the government of the United States.

Isham Williams, of Gwinnet, was living at the Hog Mountain for some time before the treaty of 1817 with the Cherokees- has understood from those who had become citizens of the Cherokee Nation by marriage, that the dividing line between the two nations, was an old trail crossing the Chattahoochee at Suwanna Old Town, and running on, and striking the Hightower River at a place called Sixas Old Town.

After inserting a string of similar, and all hearsay evidence, the Journal says._

Such is the testimony collected by Col. Wales and it surely is quite enough to establish the fact that the true line between the two nations is as described in the evidence.

Undoubtedly, if a man may be allowed to be a judge in his own case, and to decide without hearing evidence pro and con.

The facts as connected with this subject, we believe, are these. Previous to the establishment of the present line commencing from the Buzzard Roost to the mouth of Wills Creek, there was no established boundary between the Cherokees and Creeks. The Creeks to be sure claimed once as far north as the Hightower, but this was no evidence that they were correct, for the Cherokees claimed as far south of the present line. To avoid misunderstanding and disputes, a convention was held, composed of commissioners of both nations. It was sometime before they could agree, but finally the present boundary line was established in the satisfaction of both parties. In this transaction the Creeks did not cede any lands to the Cherokees, nor the Cherokees to the Creeks, but merely defined the extent of their claims. We do not see why it was necessary for the U. States Government to ratify or recognise (sic) such a transaction. Certainly it was against no treaty. But furthermore, if it was necessary that such a recognition be given, our neighbors are still unfortunate, for the General Government has recognised the boundary between the Cherokees and Creeks. In the second article of the treaty of Washington, defining the extent of the cession made by the Creeks to the United States, these words occur- 'Beginning at a point on the western bank of said river, forty-seven miles below the point where the boundary line between the Creeks and Cherokees strikes the Chatahoochy (sic) River, near the Buzzard Roost.' Again in the same article- 'and from the point of beginning, running in a direct line to a point in the boundary line between the said Creeks and Cherokees.' Here it is evident the contracting parties, the Senate and President of the United States who ratified the treaty, considered that boundary line lawful, and that, the Creeks had no right to any lands north of that line. Mr. Wright, the United States Surveyor, was also expressly instructed to follow the line, and not to turn either North or South, if the line marked out by the Cherokees and Creeks should not happen to be direct. Is there not here a sufficient acknowledgement on the part of the U. States that they considered this line as a boundary line between the Cherokees and Creeks?

But supposing the Creeks really owned the land now claimed by the State of Georgia, under what treaty would it be possessed by that State? She would have to obtain it by a new treaty, for the treaty of Washington, which nullifies the one of the Indian Spring, does not relinquish it to her. It is therefore quite premature for her to talk of taking possession of the country, unless she is determined to go contrary to law and justice.

Since this subject has been agitated, our intruding neighbours (sic) have thought that there was nothing to do but to move in and occupy the country. There has consequently been a general stir amongst them. In some instances, we are told, attempts have been made to force the Cherokees out of their peaceful habitations. Our readers will, however, be glad to learn that efficient measures will be employed to prevent the progress of this evil.

The Journal concluded with the following. 'That the Cherokees themselves indulge the belief that Georgia will succeed in establishing her claim, is evident from the fact, that since the subject has been agitated, a deputation has been sent to Washington City.' The only reply we have to make to this is, that the deputation was sent before the subject was agitated.