It will be seen from a subsequent paragraph, that another slice has been cut off from the territory of the Cherokees by their neighbors the Georgians, comprising 1824 square miles, or 1,167,360 acres. It is only a few months since the unfortunate discovery was made that the Georgians lost any right to this land: but the hint being once given, there was no difficulty in making out the proof; for according to the laws of Georgia, no Indian or descendant of an Indian can give testimony in a Court of Justice, and of course the evidence was wholly exparte.
The new line, it is said, runs directly through the estate of JOHN ROSS, the Principal Chief of the Nation, who at the time of the survey, was absent on some public business. Mr. Montgomery, the U. S. Agent, entered a formal protest against the survey. 1. Because the Cherokees positively and unequivocally denied that any such boundary ever did exist between them and the Creeks. 2. Because the evidence taken by Georgia was wholly exparte. 3. Because the dividing line between the Cherokees and Creeks was definitely settled, and the line ran between them several years before the Treaty of the Indian Springs, under which the State of Georgia claims.- 4. Because it was the province of the General Government to run all boundary lines claimed under Indian Treaties, and not of individual States. To all this Col. Wales replied, that he was acting under the authority of the State of Georgia, and was bound to fulfil his instructions.
Whatever the Georgians may think of such conduct, we venture to say the decision of posterity will be, that it was oppressive, cruel, and unjust. Even in the dominions of the Sultan, men are not often proceeded against, without being permitted to be heard in their own defence; but here, in this boasted land of liberty, a State has the impudence to act as advocate, judge, and jury in its own case, and declare a verdict in its own favor, without granting even an audience to the victims of its oppression. Such proceedings, we confess, awaken our indignation, and lead us almost to wish that the Cherokees had the power to vindicate their rights and chastise their persecutors. Had Jefferson lived to see this day, he might have said in reference to such proceedings, as he did on contemplating the horrors of slavery, 'I tremble when I think God is just!'_____________Jour. of Com.
Cherokee Phoenix and Indians' Advocate
Vol. 2 No. 16
Wednesday July 22, 1829
Page 1 Col. 4b-5a
From the Lancaster (Mass.) Gazette.
We have inserted on our first page two interesting and important documents touching the relation of our government with the Indians. The first of these documents is an Indian talk of President Jackson to the Creeks, demanding a surrender of the murderers of one of the whites, and recommending to them a removal to the westward of the Mississippi. The other document is a letter from the Secretary of War to the Cherokee Delegation, in answer to a complaint recently made by them of encroachments upon their rights by the State of Georgia. The Indians insist upon being an independent State, and deny the right of Georgia to claim jurisdiction over them, and extend over them her legislative enactments. The Secretary of War informs them, however, that the government of the United States cannot deny to Georgia the right which she claims; and proposes to them as the only remedy for their troubles, to remove beyond the Mississippi, where they will receive protection as an independent government.- It is desirable that the unhappy troubles of the remnant of the Indians of this country should be terminated: but it is very evident that Georgia will never manifest a more accommodating spirit than she has done, and that the Indians will never find any mercy at her hands. It may be their policy therefore, where they cannot obtain justice, to seek peace in a place more remote from their tormenters. Our Indians have been oppressed, and crowded, step by step, from the territory of their fathers, till they have dwindled from a powerful to an insignificant race, and have been reduced from the possession of an immense territory to a spot barely sufficient to lay the bones of the small number of them that remain 'like the lone column of a fallen temple, exhibiting the sad relics of their former strength.'- They command our sympathy, and much is due from our government to alleviate the distresses of their declining race.
The following eloquent appeal is a recent talk of an aged Chief of the Creek Nation to Gen. Jackson. Its language goes to the heart:-
'Brother! The red people were very numerous. They covered the land like the trees of the forest, from the big waters of the east to the great sea, where rests the setting sun. The white people came- they drove them from forest to forest, from river to river,-the bones of our fathers strewed the path of their wandering. Brother, you are now strong; we melt away like the snow of spring before the rising sun. Whither must we now go? Must we leave the home of our fathers, and go to a strange land beyond the great river of the West?- That land is dark ' desolate- we shall have no pleasure in it. Pleasant are the fields of our youth.- We love the woods where our fathers led us to the chase.- Their bones lie by the running stream, where we sported in the days of our childhood.- When we are gone, strangers will dig them up--The Great Spirit made us all--you have land enough--Leave us then the fields of our youth, and the woods where our fathers led us to the chase.--Permit us to remain in peace under the shade of our own trees.--Let us watch over the graves of our fathers by the streams of our childhood.--May the Great Spirit move the heart of our father, the President, that he may open his ear to the voice of children, for they are sorrowful.'
Cherokee Improvements.--We understand, that the Appraisers appointed by the Secretary of War, have completed the valuation of the improvements belonging to the Cherokee Indians, in the country recently ceded by that nation to the United States, under the late treaty. The total value of all the improvements, agreeably to their appraisement, we are informed, is between $43,000 and $44,000- which is $6,000 or $7,000 more than the appropriation by Congress for that object. The principal part of the Cherokees have already removed to the country to which they are assigned above Fort Smith, and all it is expected will have removed on or before the 6th of next month, which is the day fixed by the treaty for their surrendering the entire possession of their country to the United States.
It will be recollected, that instructions were forwarded to the Government of this Territory, by the Secretary of War, some time ago, directing him whenever the valuation of the Cherokee improvements should be finished, to lease out all such as should be valued at $200 and upwards.- Pursuant to these instructions, we understand that Governor Pope has conferred the appointment of Agent for leasing out the improvements on ANDREW SCOTT, Esq. who will set out in a few days, for the purpose of entering on the duties of his appointment immediately after the 6th of next month. His appointment extends to the taking care of the various public buildings which the United States has acquired by the treaty and which may not be leased out.--Ark. Gaz.