Cherokee Phoenix


Published July, 15, 1829

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From some official documents recently published, it appears to be the determination of the President to sustain the States of Georgia and Alabama in the policy they have adopted towards the Indians within their limits. One of these documents consists of a 'Talk' from the President to the Creek Indians, through the Indian Agent, Col. Crowell. The primary object is to obtain the surrender of certain Indians who had been concerned in the murder of a white person.- The President, however, takes occasion to point out the difficulties and dangers to which they are exposed from their proximity to the whites, and strongly recommends to them a removal beyond the Mississippi where they may enjoy their game in peace, and be protected from all molestation and encroachment from the whites. He informs them that Alabama has extended its laws over their country to which they must submit, or remove beyond the Mississippi.

The other document is a letter from the Secretary of War to a delegation of the Cherokee Nation. It is addressed to them in reply to an appeal made to our Government against what they consider a wanton usurpation of power on the part of Georgia, in extending the jurisdiction of the State over the Cherokee Nation. The object of the letter is to defend the policy of Georgia, and to justify the Government in their refusal to interfere in behalf of the Cherokees. The claims of the Cherokees to the right of sovereignty over their country are met with a very summary answer from the Secretary. During the war of the revolution, it is said, the Cherokee Nation was the friend and ally of Great Britain, a power which then claimed entire sovereignty, within the limits of what constituted the Thirteen United States. By the Declaration of Independence, and subsequently, the Treaty of 1783, all the rights of sovereignty pertaining to Great Britain became vested respectively in the original States of the Union, including North Carolina and Georgia, within whose territorial limits the nation was then situated. From the fact of their having remained on their land from that period to the present, enjoying the right of soil and privilege to hunt, nothing more could be inferred than a permission growing out of compacts with the nation.- Nor could it be considered as a circumstance whence to deny these States their original sovereignty.

The Secretary notices the various treaties which have at different times been made with the Cherokees, all of which are explained as securing to that nation protection in the possession and occupancy of the soil, but as conferring no right to the exercise of sovereignty. On these grounds the right of Georgia to extend her laws over the Cherokees is sustained by the Secretary. The Cherokees are explicitly told that our Government will not interfere to prevent the exercise of that right, and that the only alternative left them, is either to submit to the laws of Georgia, or remove beyond the Mississippi.

The Cherokees have made too great advances in civilization to be insensible to its blessings. Having relinquished the chase for the cultivation of the soil, and made valuable improvements on their lands; and having adopted a constitution of civil government, established courts of justice, organized schools, in short, laid the foundation for the improvements, the arts, and comforts of civilized life, they are reluctant to abandon the whole; and return to their former habits in the wilds of the west. But this they must do, or submit to the degrading and oppressive laws, which their white neighbors may choose to impose on them.

Some of the Georgia papers exult very much at the course adopted by the President. They consider it as securing the great object for which they have so long contended, viz. 'the entire control of the land within the limits of the State.' The Indians, they say, will now find, 'they have to deal with a man who will not temporize' 'that they go they must, and the sooner the better.' Such is the language now held towards this remnant of a brave but unfortunate race, and so little are the great principles of justice and the claims of humanity regarded, when they interfere with the interests of selfish men.--Con. Cour.


One of the motives of the Government in removing the Indians over the Mississippi is to avoid the evil consequences of their being too near neighbors to the whites. But from the following article, we should suppose the Cherokees would have, in case of removal, neighbors not a whit more conducive to their interests. In case of an irruption from the hostile Indians, the friendly Indians who will form the vanguard of the whites, must either strike hands with the savages, or their scalps must fall a prey to the Comanches, Pawnees and Wacoes.

Unprotected state of our Southwestern frontier.- The following letter to the Editor, from a respectable citizen of Miller county, we doubt not speaks the sentiments of every inhabitant of that section of our territory; and we do not know that we can better subserve the interests of those interested, then by laying it before the public.

Ark. Gaz.

MILLER C. H. June 1st. 1829

'DEAR SIR.-- The troops stationed at Cantonment Towson will doubtless leave there for Cantonment Jesup, by the 15th inst. at farthest, which will leave this frontier in a deplorably helpless condition-exposed on two sides for a distance of upwards of 300 miles, to numerous hostile Indians.'

'It is impossible to ascertain with any degree of precision the number of warriors that the unfriendly tribes of Comanche, Pawnee, and Wacoe Indians can bring into the field-but it is generally estimated at not less than 30,000. When the present frontier settlers remove, which they are preparing to do immediately, it will still leave and exposed frontier which will require the strong arm of government to protect them. I am astonished at the removal of the troops, and am at a loss to account for the cause- but suspect it has grown out of some false representations, the result of private prejudice. Though I am preparing to remove immediately, yet the same strong reason exists for keeping up an efficient armed force in this quarter; and I would suggest the propriety of the dignitaries of our land using their influence with the government, for the purpose of procuring relief for the unfortunate and unprotected inhabitants of this exposed frontier. I have spoken to Col. Sevier on the subject, who is decidedly opposed to the removal of the troops, and offers to render us all the assistance in his power.'

'All is hurry and confusion here, to get off from this neglected region, ' out of the reach of the devastation ' ruin which is anticipated from the hostile Indians on the withdrawal of the troops.'

'Some of the unfriendly Indians have recently stolen a number of horses, and it is believed that two of the friendly Indians have fallen victims to their tomahawks. This creates considerable excitement among our citizens who look upon it as only a prelude to what will follow the abandonment of the post at Cantonment Towson, unless they also remove, and seek new homes elsewhere. The giving up of the fairest portion of this section of the Territory to the Choctaw Indians, certainly cannot justify the government in sacrificing the lives and property of those of her citizens who are still left on the frontier. They are entitled to the paternal care of their rulers, and I ardently hope they will not always be neglected.'


The following information we think proper to correct. Instead of the 'Cherokees' the Editor of the Gazette ought perhaps to have said, Creeks, for to our knowledge 600 Cherokees have not emigrated, and those who emigrated, were not fantastically attired.


Cherokees.-- An emigrating party, consisting about 600 Cherokee Indians, who until recently have been dispersed over the country east of the Mississippi are now on the way to join their red brethren on the Arkansas. They will probably reach this place to-morrow, or the following day at farthest. So large a number of these untutored sons of the forest, with their fantastic attire, will be a novel sight to most of us.- Gazette,