WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4, 1829
The progress of emigration is but slow. At the present rate, it will be a great while before the Cherokee Nation is removed. And if the price now paid for improvements is continued throughout, it will cost the United States millions of dollars. It will be a dear emigration. The subject is creating an increased interest among our citizens -- meetings are held in various places, and decided and unanimous opinion is given that it is not to the interest of the Cherokees to remove to the western wilderness. A meeting, it appears, was held in Turkey Town, the result of which the reader will see in our present number. Another was held, a few days ago, at the house of William Hicks, Esq. An address was drawn in Cherokee, which was published in our last. It is signed by a committee of seventeen persons, viz: three from Hightower, two from Pine Long, one from Oostahnablee, one from Chusoogalah, two from Dirt-town, three from Springtown and two from Oongillog. We hope it will not be said, that these meetings are improper interference of the Chiefs -- the Chiefs have had nothing to do with them.
The frivolous claim advanced by Georgia to a part of our Country shows, too manifestly, the nature of her boasted rights, and the inconsistency of her proceedings. It appears from the summary of the evidence collected by Col Wales, to prove the real boundary line between the Cherokees and Creeks as far north as the High Tower River, that evidence originates from the Indians, ' is all hearsay, which would be of little avail in a court of law. The additional testimony furnished by the editor of the Stats. ' Pat (which see in a preceding column) is also of the same kind -- he heard Indians say so and so. Now what says the law of Georgia? 'No Indian or descendant of Indians, residing within the Creek or Cherokee Nation of Indians, shall be a competent witness, or a part to any suit, to which a white man is a part.' Will it be contended that the evidence in question was given previous to the passage of the law? The Indians then were once capable of telling the truth if they are not now. Or are the words of the Indian manufactured into truth after passing the mouth of the whiteman in the form of a deposition? It appears that Indians' testimony will be received when it is considered to the advantage of the State, even when the law declaims such testimony unavailing in a court of justice. How shall we account for such inconsistencies?
We stated in our last, that previous to the establishment of the present boundaries between the Creeks and Cherokees, there was no other which was considered a line by either party. We believe this to be strictly correct. We will, however, assert further, that the Cherokees had a better right to the country south of said line than the Creeks north of it -- and it is not at all unlikely, that if the Cherokees were as powerful as the State of Georgia, ' were governed by similar principles, they would now be attempting to wrest the counties of Carrol and Coweta from their neighbors. Why? Because many of our citizens believe, and no doubt can testify to just effect, that the Cherokees in council at Fort Jackson, on the 5th day of August 1814, did agree that the boundary should commence at Vann's Store on the waters of the Ockmulgee. It was the intention of the Cherokees at the Council to agree with the Creeks on their boundary, which was then unsettled, and the following, which we copy from a printed document, was committed to writing as expressing the agreement made by the parties.
THE UNDERSIGNED, head men, chiefs and warriors of the Cherokee ' Creek nations, availing themselves of the present happy occasion, of the United States giving peace and boundaries to the Creek Nation; and having had an amicable interview, at which the subject of their boundaries has been in the most friendly manner discussed, have unanimously agreed, that the following described line shall forever thereafter be acknowledged by the parties respectively, to be their permanent boundary line, viz:
Beginning at a point where Vann's store formerly stood, on the waters of the Ockmulgee River, this point being well known to the parties respectively,: and from thence continued to the Coosa river, crossing the same at the place where the pre-cut military road crosses the said river, and drawn from thence in a straight line, ' crossing a fork of the Black-warrior River a little below the old town burnt by General Coffee; and in the same direction continued until it shall intersect the Chickasaw lands: thence leading to the Flat Rock, or old corner boundary, this being known to the Cherokees by the appellation of the long leafed pine: for this point, viz: Flat Rock, or old corner boundary, reference is had in the convention made and concluded at Washington City, between the United States and the Cherokees, on the 7th day of January 1806.
The parties respectively request Major General Andrew Jackson to present a certified copy of the above arrangement to their Father, the President of the United States.
Done in the council house at Fort Jackson, the 9th day of August, 1814.
The above was, however, merely a verbal agreement, for it appears that the formality of a treaty was not concluded, this having been deferred at the request of the principal Chiefs, and by the advice of Maj. Gen. Andrew Jackson. But an instrument was drawn, expressing the sentiments of the Cherokees and Creeks on the subject, which we request the reader to peruse attentively. No intimation is given that either the Cherokees or Creeks knew of any boundary line then existing.
Be it known and remembered. That the Cherokee and Creek chiefs assembled at Fort Jackson: the first with a view to agree with the latter on a boundary line dividing the lands of the two nations: That, in proposition being made by the first to make a definitive settlement of the boundaries of said lands, the second replied, that they had no objection at some time to settle their boundary with the first: that in the present distressed state of their nation they could enter into the business with that consideration and deliberation which the subject required; but that until this could be done they had no objections to the Cherokees settling themselves down on lands which they might deem to be clearly with their proper boundaries and that it is their desire to live in amity with the Cherokees, and would even consider them as their good friends and neighbors and would render them all the friendly offices within their power.
Done at Fort Jackson, the 9th day of August, 1814.
The above contains the voluntary and friendly arrangement entered to between the Chiefs of the Cherokee Nation of Indians, and the Chiefs of the Creek Nation, requested to be committed to writing and attested by us. Agreeably thereto, the same is committed to writing, and attested by us.
Maj. Gen. Com'ng.
Agent of I.A.
RETURN J. MEIGS.
Agents for the Cherokees.
August 9th 1814.