Cherokee Phoenix


Published September, 16, 1829

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At this interesting time when the Indian question is about to form a matter of great public interest, it is important that the disposition of the Cherokees as a people towards the United States should be known. We therefore invited attention to the correspondence inserted in another part of our paper. We have of late been charged with hostile intentions by our enemies and persecutors, who, we venture to say, are themselves more savagely disposed. To so respectable a witness as Gov. Carroll, we trust the public will give full credit.

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We are gratified to say to our readers that public attention is at last turned to Indian affairs. A deep feeling on the subject is evidently excited. This is what we have uniformly hoped for since we have been conducting a newspaper. We have always been confident that we had but little to expect from the Government of the United States, without the expression of public opinion, and we have frequently been grieved to notice the apparent indifference which has heretofore existed. We believe now no one can remain neuter. We hope, we sincerely hope, this excitement will not die away until we shall know with certainty whether there is sufficient virtue and humanity in this great nation to save the poor Indians from destruction.

We invite the particular attention of our readers to the leading article in our present No. William Penn deserves to be extensively read, as he most undoubtedly will be. We find his pieces copied into many papers of the first respectability.

On this subject, the N. York Observer says,

There are many indications that the case of the Indians will soon excite deep interest throughout the United States. The number on the' present crisis in the condition of the American Indians,' which we have copied into our paper form the National Intelligencer, are re-printed in the Boston Daily Advertiser and Repertory, the Boston Palladium, the Massachusetts Yeoman, the Newark Sentinel, the Journal of Humanity, and many other highly respectable prints; and of the hundred papers from all parts of the country which fall under our eye every week, there is scarcely one which does not manifest a decided disapprobation of the conduct of the Georgians. Editors are beginning to comment on the subject in the strong terms which the case demands, and the whole community are evidently becoming prepared to utter a voice which will be heard and obeyed. The State Governments, and the General Government will yet be compelled to respect the rights of the Indians. We cannot doubt it.

We believe the above is not too sanguine. This is an intelligent and a Christian nation, highly favored of God. It cannot be accessary in the ruin of a weak and defenseless people.

The following is from the Boston Daily Advertiser:

Rights of Indians. The following short extract from a private letter, written by an eminent lawyer in one of the middle states, shows in what manner the Indians controversy is regarded by persons of character and intelligence. There can be but little doubt, that, if the subject were fairly and fully understood by the American people, an immense majority would declare in favor of good and faith and honest dealing with the Indians. 'When I think of these afflicted tribes and consider who it is that threatens to distress them -- a people whom God has signally blessed above all the nations of the earth, with liberty, and the richest social, civil, and national blessings, my heart sickens at the bare possibility of such an outrage -- and I tremble not so much for the Indians, as for my countrymen. I do still trust that Georgia and her sister states will pause: or, if they do not, that He, who has all hearts in his hands, will raise a phalanx against them to shield their feeble fellow men from oppression.'

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In our last we made some remarks on the tardiness of the government to remove the intruders. We are not able to present our readers the following order of the Secretary of War to Col. Montgomery. The Agent is expressly ordered to use no harsh or rigid measures against, what the Secretary is pleased to call the settlers, which is equivalent to use no measure at all. We believe it is the intention of the executive to uphold the state of Georgia in her most iniquitous transaction. By what precedent, and we would ask Mr. Secretary Eaton, who we believe is a lawyer, by what legal usage are we to be deprived so long of a large and valuable part of our Country? We have always though that, in all civilized nations, the claimant must first establish his right, before he can be put in possession of the property. It will be time enough for Georgia to settle the lands now claimed by her when she shall have established her right by some legal process. The settlers, for whose removal frequent application has been made, are intruders in the proper sense of the word, and the executive of the United States are bound to eject them by harsh and rigid measures. The mere claim of Georgia cannot possible (sic) alter the case -- the country is the property of the Cherokees until a proper and competent tribunal shall declare it otherwise. The Cherokees have suffered much by the United States permitting her citizens to intrude upon their lands, we hope therefore she will be disposed to satisfy all damages.


18th August 1829

SIR. Application has been made to this Department to suspend the proceedings against intruders on Indians lands within your Agency. It is represented that you are about to cut their corn and destroy their houses. This you will for the present, omit to do.

This exercise of your authority, arising under some order of former years is different from ordinary cases of intrusion. Georgia claims to a certain line, as having been formerly the property of the Creeks, surrendered to her by treaty with that nation. The question arising is, were the lands settle upon ever the property of the Creek Indians, or is it in fact the soil of the Cherokees? If the latter, then are the settlers intruders, acting in violation of the act of Congress of 1802. For the present, until this matter can be better understood, you will forbear any harsh and rigid proceedings affording as early as practicable any information you may be possessed of on the subject. When a full understanding can be obtained you will receive from this Department further Instructions as to the course you shall pursue.

Very Respectfully



Cherokee Agency Calhoun Ten.

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Gov. Wm. Carroll to Mr. John Ross

New Town, C.N.

August 29th 1829

DEAR SIR -- I have come into the Nation by appointment of the Secretary of War, to see you and other principal men on a subject interesting to the Cherokees as well as the United States.

It is scarcely necessary to say that the President of the United States feels a deep interest in the removal of the Cherokees west of the Mississippi -- This you have been informed of by himself. He believes that it will tend to the permanent advancement of the prosperity of the Nation, and will prevent those unpleasant bickerings which are sure to arise from the extension of jurisdiction by the adjoining States over that part of the Nation within their respective chartered limits.

Without entering further into any train of reasoning on the subject permit me to say, that I am directed to make the plain simple proposition to you -- Will you agree to meet commissioners to be appointed by the President, at such time as may best suit the convenience of both parties, for the purpose of discussing the subject of the Cherokees removing west of the Mississippi? You will then have an opportunity of hearing the propositions of the Government -- If they are such as meet the approbation of the nation you will of course agree to them; if they are not, you will reject them. It is to me a source of much satisfaction to find that the best feelings exist everywhere towards the United States in the nation, and that the circulation of tales of hostile intentions on their part is wholly without foundation. This pleasing intelligence I shall not fail to communicate immediately to the President. I trust that you will readily agree to meet commissioners for the purposes above mentioned. It is granting nothing on your part, and will evince a disposition to keep up those friendly relations which have so long happily subsisted between the Cherokees and the United States, and which I trust will not be lessened by any circumstance to come. Receive assurances of my best wishes for the future happiness of the nation over which you preside, and of the regard, with which, I am, most respectfully your friend. WM. CARROLL

MR. JNO. ROSS, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

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Answer to the foregoing letter.

New Echota, C.N.

August 29th 1829

DEAR SIR -- Your communication of this date, containing the object of your visit to the nation under instruction from the Secretary of War, is received and maturely deliberated in Executive Council convened for the express purpose.

The deep interest felt on the part of the President of the United States for the removal of the Cherokees west of the Mississippi is known to the nation; it is a subject that has often and long since been submitted for consideration and been deliberated on by the Councils of the nation with all that solemnity its importance deserves, and the conclusion and result of those deliberations have been expressed in soberness and sincerity to the Government of the United States, adverse to a removal. We declare that those sentiments and proposition remain the same, and are unchangeable.

You state that you are instructed simply to propose, that 'we will agree to meet commissioners to be appointed by the president, at such time as may best suit the convenience of both parties, for the purpose of discussing the subject of the Cherokees removing west of the Mississippi, and that we would then have an opportunity of hearing the propositions of the Government.' It is deemed in- expedient to enter into a special agreement to meet commissioners for the purpose of discussing the subject of the Cherokees removing west of the Mississippi, when it is well known that the disposition of the nation is adverse to a removal, and that no proposition could be made so to change their disposition as to induce them ever to enter into a treaty on the subject; especially as the proper authorities of the nation are ever ready at all times to receive in the most friendly manner all public functionaries of the United States, that may be appointed by the President for the purpose of submitting subjects for our consideration. The Executive department of the nation will never neglect to attend to such business during the recess of the General council, as is manifest on the occasion, and the Legislative department during its session, which is convened annually on the second Monday of October, in like manner will always receive and act upon all subjects submitted for their consideration and decision.

The right of individual States exercising jurisdiction, over the Territory solemnly secured and guaranteed to the Secured Nation by treaty, is a subject that is certainly questionable. The principles contained in the Constitution of the United States and the treaties establishing relationship between the United States and the Cherokee Nation are at variance with the exercise of such a power by the State Governments. We are aware that a decision on this important subject must seal our fate in prosperity and happiness or in misery and destruction; but confiding in the magnanimity and justice of the United States, we place our dependence upon their plighted faith, and await the result. We are happy to hear that it affords you much satisfaction to find that the best feelings exist everywhere towards the United States in the nation, and that you will take occasion to communicate this fact to the President of the United States, in contraction to the slanderous reports circulated by the frontier New Papers, prejudiced to the best interests of the Cherokee People.

Permit us Sir, in addition, to say, that so far from the Cherokees entertaining any hostile feelings towards the citizens of the United States, that in our opinion, no people could be found in the United States who would, in case of actual war, prove more loyal to the cause of the United States than the Cherokees. Yourself as well as the President of the United States have witnessed this fact realized during the late war. With great pleasure we reciprocate your wishes for the future happiness of this nation. In return you will please to accept the best wishes for your happiness for the peace and prosperity of the United States. In behalf of the Cherokee Nation, we have the honor to be, Sir, very respectfully, your obedient servants,





His EX. WM. Carroll, Governor of Tennessee. Present.

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Mr. Boudinott: by a resolution of the Board of Managers, of the Sunday School Society, it is made by duty to send you the following Report, which you are respectfully requested to insert in the Phoenix.

D.C. M'LEOD Cor. Sec.

Mt. Wesley, Sept. 7th 1829.

The First Annual Report of the Board of Managers of the Cherokee Sunday School Society at Mount Wesley, auxiliary to the Sunday School Union of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

The right education of youth is a subject of primary importance; and as soon as the tender germ begins to bud, and the opening flowers show themselves, the hand of cultivation should be extended, that the rising foliage, being entwined around virtue, might grow up to maturity. Whenever the improvements of the young mind is neglected, it becomes a barren desert, overrun with briers and thorns, and it is then that the seeds of vice are sown, which take such deep hold, and which are so ruinous and destructive in old age. Early, then, should the precepts of morality be taught, and the pure principles of Christianity imbibed, that their benign influence might properly mound the heart, form the manners, and direct the life. The knowledge, fear, love, and service of God constitute the true dignity of man, and is that by which he holds his destined rank in the scale of moral excellence; and which alone can qualify him to add to the felicity of his fellow-creatures.

To aid the Missionary cause among the Cherokees, to prepare the rising generation to act well their part here, and for higher destinies in the world to come, this Society has been organized; the institution of which we, the Board of Managers, hail as a happy era in our moral and religious improvements, and cherish the most sanguine expectations that, ere it is long, these nurseries of piety will be planted in every place, when the light of the Gospel has shone among us. We feel grateful emotions of thanksgiving to the Father of mercies in presenting this our first annual Report; that, notwithstanding we have labored under difficulties for want of suitable books, and qualified teachers to extend our operation yet we are happy to say, that something has been done to promote this noble cause.

There are, at present, three schools under the superintendence of the Board, in successful operation, and which promise much and lasting benefit to the youth of those neighbourhoodsd in which they are located. The school at Asbury consists of an average number of 20 scholars, who have made considerable improvements in spelling ' reading, and have memorized and recited, since about the first of last March, 2180 verses of scripture, and 313 answers in the Wesleyan Catechism. Two of the scholars have been happily converted to God, and we trust they will eternally rejoice for the gracious privilege of Sabbath School instruction. This school has 4 teachers, 2 recording secretaries, and one superintendent.

The school at Mounty Wesley is in a flourishing condition, composed of about 35 scholars, who have memorized, in about 7 months last past, 2636 verses of the holy scriptures, and 1188 catechetical answers.

The officers of this school are the same in kind and number with those at Asbury. Two of the members of this school have recently professed to find 'the pearl of great price.' The school at Sa-la-quo-ye has 20 scholars who have memorized 3000 verses of scripture and 1310 answers of catechism. This school has 2 teachers, one clerk, and one superintendent. The total number of scholars in the 3 schools is 75. Total number of verses which have been recited is 7845. Total amount of Questions ' Answers recited is 2311. These three schools have, in all, 2 superintendents, 9 teachers, and 4 recording secretaries.

The amount of funds contributed to the Society by subscription is $7, 75 cents, 5 dollars of which have been sent to New York for books, and the balance remains in the hands of the Treasurer. The Board of Managers feel very thankful for a donation of $16, 29 cents, received from Rev. William M. Mahon, which has been of essential service to the institution.

We have only to say in conclusion of this Report, that, from the incalculable good that has already been done by the formation of this Society, we have abundant reason to thank God, to take courage, and renew our exertions in prosecuting this 'labour of love,' believing that time and great eternity will unfold, to our unspeakable delight, the immense good accuring to the youth of this Nation from having received a religious education in those schools, in the establishment and support of which, we, in union with many others, have taken an active part.

By a resolution of the Board, the editors of the Christian Advocate and Journal, and Zion's Herald, are hereby requested to give this Report an insertion in their paper.

D.C. MCLEOD, Cor. Sec.