Cherokee Phoenix

The Indians have a right, a natural right to the soil which they cultivate: a right which as Coloni

Published August, 19, 1829

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The Indians have a right, a natural right to the soil which they cultivate: a right which as Colonies and States we have universally admitted. By treaty we have guaranteed to the Cherokees the very land from which General Jackson would forcibly eject them. The treaty of 1791, concluded at Holston, contains this article: 'The United States solemnly guarantee to the Cherokee Nation all their land not hereby ceded.' The President now tells that nation, that he is unable to comply with his guarantee, and absolves himself from the obligation, with as much ease as Alexander cut the Gordian knot. In the exercise of power, right is most shamefully forgotten, and the poor Indian is expelled form his property, his home, and his inheritance, without even the ceremony of a mock trial. We pronounce this act of tyranny unprecedented in the annals of our country; an act of oppression that would disgrace the most arbitrary despot. If the Indians are expelled, what is to become of their property? Shall we parcel it out among us as soldiers do goods captured from their enemy! The various tribes of Indians now own in the United States east of the Mississippi,

seventy-seven millions of acres of land, variously estimated at from fifty cents to two dollars an acre. It is hardly presumable that the Government will purchase this land of them at a fair price. It is hoped for the credit of the country that we may not with the ruthless hand of power seize and appropriate it to our own use. The mandate has gone forth, and the peaceable and friendly Cherokees, are banished from their sacred homes, their hunting grounds, and the tombs of their ancestors.

Mass. Journal.