Cherokee Phoenix


Published October, 28, 1829

Page 2 Column 2b




We have received the Charleston Observer of the 10th instant, containing further remarks of the editor on the subject of Georgia and the Indians. As Mr. Gildersleeve has retracted some of his unwarrantable assertions, we do not wish to urge the matter much further, and are willing to take leave of him, on this subject, after republishing the following communication, which, the reader will please to recollect, bears us out in our former remarks:


Sept. 28, 1929

To the Editor of the Charleston Observer.

REV. AND DEAR SIR;--Your paper of Sept. 5th, having this week fallen into my hands, I read with pain a statement respecting the state of the Cherokee Indians, which too manifestly contravenes the representations often made public from Missionaries residing in the nation. The statement to which I refer is the following: 'We have been informed on good authority, that, so far as the Cherokees are concerned, while a few are growing wealthy, the majority of the people are actually growing poorer and poorer every year.' This statement is accompanied with no responsible name, though said to be made on good authority. I have now resided among the Cherokees in the capacity of a Missionary, for nearly four years, and have had some opportunity of judging respecting their state; and I have no hesitation in resting my reputation for veracity of judgement on the assertion, that the statement quoted above, is altogether without foundation. On the contrary, the condition of the majority of the people, not including those who may be termed wealthy, is, in point of property, constantly improving and never more rapidly than at the present time.

There is another editorial remark in the same article, respecting which, I beg the indulgence of a few words of comment. You say, 'though a few may feel the sanction of an oath, the majority of them -- unless they are greatly slandered -- utterly disregard it.' This remark relates to the Creeks and Cherokees. With the Creeks I am not acquainted; but in regard to the Cherokees I must say, then they are greatly slandered. There is no foundation for the remark in the character of the people. The magistrates of the nation are in the habit of administering oaths in their courts of justice, and I am persuaded that nothing has occurred to indicate that they are less regarded than among their more civilized neighbors.

I am sorry, dear Sir, that these unfounded reports should have reached your ears, especially through any such channels as to give them credence, and make your paper, respectable as it is, the means of circulating them.

With much esteem,

Your fellow-laborer in the Gospel, S.A. WORCESTER.

Mr. Gildersleeve says, 'In relation to the first statement to which Mr. Worcester refers, the Phoenix admits that it 'has been repeated heretofore in Congress by Georgia members, by Mr. Mitchell of Tennessee, by Mr. King of Alabama, and others;' and if it be a misrepresentation, the sin must lie upon those who made it.

We did admit that the misrepresentation has been repeated by the persons mentioned, but it was to show how unjustifiable Mr. Gildersleeve was to strike hands and make a common cause with such known enemies of the Indians. That it is a misrepresentation, we have declared over and over again, and challenged proof. We are willing that the sin should lie on those who have made it, ' on those who have circulated it.

Mr. Gildersleeve says further, 'It was from another source that we received the impression this was actually the case.

And again, 'We are ready, however, to admit that we may have been misled, but it has been by one who has been intimately acquainted with the Cherokee Nation for a great number of years, and in whose Christian character and integrity we had reason to place the utmost reliance.

We hardly believe, that any person intimately acquainted with the Cherokee Nation, (if he is a man of integrity) will make the assertion which has misled the Editor of the Charleston Observer. But this is not to the point. The assertion has been made, and we hold the editor responsible for it, until he reveals his authority, or retracts altogether.