New Echota December 30, 1829
We have the unpleasant task to inform our readers that the Secretary of War has countermanded his late order for the removal of the intruders. What does the executive intend to do with us? To wear us out by degrees undoubtedly. It is too much to be treated thus when we have to bear continually the insufferable acts of abandoned white men, who are preying upon us. Where is the faith and justice of the nation, if treaties are thus to be disregarded merely because the state of Ga. has alleged an unfounded claim to a portion of our country. We repeat what we have heretofore said, if the state has any claim, let her first establish that claim upon equitable principles, not by such disgraceful proceedings which has characterized her conduct, in the meantime let intruders be kept at a distance. This would be justice, and we could have no complaint to make. But as the case now stands, we have serious apprehensions that we shall not be treated with justice. We do hope our apprehensions may be unfounded.- The Cherokees feel deeply on this subject, and they think they have reason to distrust the Government. Time will show.
We wish the reader to bear in mind, that the following is the fourth order from the War Department, relating to the present intruders-two for their removal, and both have been countermanded. Such a course of conduct would justly subject any individual to the charge of instability.
26th, Nov, 1829
SIR,- When you were directed forcibly to remove all intruders from the Cherokee lands by the 15th of December, an expectation was had that General Coffee might be able to make report to the Department, as to the title of the country; and as to the dispute which prevails in regard to that subject-that expectation now must fail, General Coffee cannot be heard from, and hence the necessity of deferring the execution of the order for the present. The commanding officer at Fort Mitchell has been instructed not to advance under any order from you into the Cherokee Nation until he shall receive further orders.- Urge on the settlers the necessity of retiring from the Indian lands to the east side of the Chattahoochee River as a matter of justice to themselves, because so soon as General Coffee's report shall be received and a decision had on it, some immediate and definitive action may be expected to take place.- For the present let any further step on your part be forborne--
JNO. H. EATON.
Col. Hugh Montgomery
Who is to make the decision, we know not. It must certainly be in favor of the Cherokees if it is decided agreeably to evidence. We have seen most of the statements of individuals of this nation, which have been collected by General Coffee, and they sustain the rights of the Cherokees strongly. They are not like the affidavits procured by Col. Wales, which are all hearsay- but they are to the point. Gen. Coffee has obtained the good will and respect of the people among whom he has travelled for his impartiality in the discharge of the duties entrusted to him.- His was unlike the conduct of the said, Wales, who we are informed, in his first interview with General Coffee, denied, in the presence of other persons, that he was an agent on the part of Georgia to collect evidence, but soon after dropped a line to the General, stating that he was. This is characteristic of Georgia proceedings in this unpleasant affair.
MEMORIAL OF THE CHEROKEES.
During the last session of the General Council, a memorial to Congress was signed by the members of both bodies which has been forwarded to Washington by the Delegation. Another memorial intended for the people at large, has been lately circulated through the nation, and it affords us much pleasure to say, that the opinions and feelings of the members of the Council are readily supported by the people. For want of time, it will not be convenient to obtain every man's name- sufficient number will, however, be obtained to put to rest the long repeated assertion that the majority of the Cherokees are willing to remove. We have in our possession upwards of one thousand signatures to the memorial.
Our readers probably wish to know what the chivalric legislature of Georgia have been about respecting the Cherokees-whether they have already doomed them to destruction. The following, which we copy from the Savannah Georgian, is the latest account we have received. It is well the treaty making power is in the United States. If Georgia had the power to treat with Indians, she would negotiate with every villain among us for cession of lands, and then protect them from just and deserved punishment. Such would be perfectly consistent with her other kindred proceedings.
The bill to extend the laws of the State over the territory in the occupancy of the Cherokees, and to add it to certain counties being the special order of the day, was taken up in Committee of the whole. An amendment was offered to the 6th section, postponing the extension of the laws until the 1st of June next, and lost on a division. A good deal of debate was elicited. Mr. Shorter offered an amendment, which was adopted, of some length, going to meet the late harsh ordinances of the Cherokee Council, and to protect such Indians as may wish to emigrate, to sell or to treat, and to punish those exercising arbitrary power.- Any person or persons preventing Indians from exercising their right of selling, emigrating or treating for cession of lands to be guilty of high misdemeanor, and punished in the penitentiary. Those Indians punishing Indians by death for any of these acts, to suffer death.-- That part of the 8th section, taxing full-blooded Indians, was stricken out. After a long debate on the lst section, the bill was reported to the House with the amendments, and was then taken up by sections. An amendment was again offered, to postpone the operation until the 1st of June, and carried, yeas 70, nays 48. The bill was then passed without any dissenting voice.