Cherokee Phoenix


Published January, 27, 1830

Page 3 Column 2b-3b



The editor of the [Georgia] Athenian of the 29th ult, after inserting a paragraph of Col. M'Kenney's letter to us, which appeared sometime since in our paper, and our reply to the same, remarks, 'Thus it is these red gentlemen of the west get on.' How would the editor of the Athenian have us conduct ourselves? To tip our hats, and make low obeisance to every one who may take the liberty of misrepresenting and slandering us, and cry all is right when we are required to kiss the oppressor's rod? Such humiliating submission, and such acquiescence in the dictatorial language of our opponents, and those who have taken upon themselves the false garb of friendship, would no doubt be considered, by a haughty Georgian, as befitting poor degraded Indians, whom, by way of contempt, the Athenian is pleased to stile (sic) red gentlemen of the west. It is a matter of rejoicing to the philanthropist and the republican, there is as yet in America, but one class of slaves. These red men of the west are not yet slaves-their judgment and freedom of speech are not yet muzzled by some proud earthly master. That they are not thus brought down to the level of negro slaves, but rather that they enjoy and exercise the right of speaking in their defence, and contradicting misrepresentations which have been so long imposed on the credulity of the public, is a cause of much chagrin to the Athenian and his brethren.

Are the common rules of right and justice different when they are applied to an Indian? We have always thought he who affirms must prove what he asserts, or stand convicted of falsehood, if he fails to make his word good. Col. M'Kenney publicly asserted things we knew to be false, ' which, as in duty bound, we contradicted and called upon him to prove. How would a white man act under similar circumstances? Certainly we have an equal right to require evidence from any man who misrepresents us-this right we have exercised and shall exercise, while we have the liberty of speech, and while the liberty of the press is extended alike to the Indian and to the white man.

There was very good reason in the insinuation of the Athenian; that an Indian ought not to contradict a white man, as the reader will perceive from the following:-

Holding all the proofs in their [red gentlemen of the west] own hands-making it punishable by their laws with a fine of two hundred dollars and a hundred lashes on the bare back for any one of them to speak of the sale of their property with a view to emigration-compelling all who have the least desire that way to keep it to themselves, under pain of the severest punishment for its promulgation-and being on the spot with the gag and the hickory in their hands-they call loudly on those at a distance for proof and evidence.

No such thing. 'We call loudly for proof and evidence.'


While we return our thanks to our correspondent W. for his list of Cherokee tenses, we must apologize to him for the apparent neglect shown to his former communication. It was not intentional. We earnestly hope he will still continue his favors.

In our 37th number the following questions were proposed by W. 'Is it true that the familiar form is used in the absence of the person spoken of? Or does it rather imply an intention on the part of the speaker that the person spoken of should hear what is said?'

Ans. It is sometimes used in the absence of the person spoken of, but it is used improperly, for the form implies that the person spoken of should hear what is said.


Congress has done nothing of importance as yet on Indian affairs. We notice that on the 4th inst. the memorial, which our readers will find on our second page, was presented before the Senate, by Mr. Sanford, on whose motion it was referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs.

Mr. Burnet moved that the memorial be printed.

Mr. Forsyth called for the reading of it.

The Secretary accordingly proceeded to read the memorial to the House; and had gone on for some time, when Mr. Bell rose and objected to the further reading of it.

Mr. Troup hoped the memorial would be printed, if the reading of it was discontinued:

Mr. Bell said, he asked the discontinuance of the reading of the memorial merely with a view to save the time of the Senate.

Mr. Burnet withdrew his motion to print the memorial.

Mr. Forsyth then moved to discharge the Committee from the further consideration of the memorial-which motion was carried in the affirmative-' on motion of Mr. Forsyth, the memorial was laid on the table.

January 7th.

In the Senate, Mr. Forsyth offered the following resolution.

Resolved, That the Committee on Indian Affairs be instructed to inquire into the expediency of modifying the laws of the United States, for the regulation of trade and intercourse with the Indians, so as to exempt expressly from their operation, the territory occupied by any Indians within a State, over whom, as tribes or individuals, the laws of a State have been or may be extended by the Legislature thereof.