Cherokee Phoenix


Published February, 24, 1830

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The late affair with the intruders, of which a particular account was given in our last, will show our readers the reason why the Cherokees have been so urgent on the government to execute the treaties and the intercourse law. It was natural to suppose that some unpleasant thing would occur by permitting such white men, as those by whom we are continually harassed, to settle amidst our citizens. They are known to be, generally, men of most abandoned character. For the sake of peace, the Cherokees have borne much-they have submitted to their insolence, and aggressions of every kind-they have had their property stolen, and many times they have been openly robbed. After all this what was done by them? Knowing that they had law and justice on their side, they appealed to the proper tribunal which was bound to protect them, and to punish their lawless invaders. Time after time complaints were sent to the executive of the United States-remonstrance after remonstrance has been brought to the notice of our agent, and nothing has been left undone to induce and urge the proper authority to remedy the evil. The complaints of the Cherokees were so well founded, and so earnestly made, the idea that they would be unheeded did not at first, in the least enter into the mind of any person. But we have been most sadly disappointed. Instead of having a plan and explicit law of the United States enforced against these white barbarians, they have been permitted, and in effect, by countermanding orders, encouraged to trespass upon our soil and upon our most sacred rights. They felt so secure in their unlawful possessions that, when some of them, who had settled in the midst of our citizens, were removed by the Cherokees, nothing would do but they must satiate their vengeance by the blood of a Cherokee.

The affair which has taken place will likewise explain the nature ' cause of the difficulties, which are said to be unavoidable, between the whites and Indians, when they are too near to each other. 'You are too near to my white children-there will always be difficulties between you and them-go to the west where I can protect you,' is the language of our political father to us. But, in the name of common sense, we ask, who makes the difficulties? We put it to every man in the Union, and repeat, who makes the difficulties? Turn to the late tragical affair. Troubles are made for us by the very government which has pledged itself, and which ought, by every consideration of honor and justice, to protect us. It has encouraged its lawless citizens to intrude upon our lands, to insult and to abuse us; and when any difficulty occurs as a natural consequence of its remissness to do right, it is manufactured into an argument why we should leave our fire sides, give up our lands to our invaders, and shelter ourselves under the arm of our father in the desolate prairies of the west. It is said that humanity to the inhabitants of the frontiers requires the removal of the Cherokees. But we again put it to the good sense of the public,- who have the best claim to be protected from savages, the frontier whites or the Cherokees? Let the account of the late barbarous affair tell. Does not humanity to the Cherokees require that the laws of the U. S., which were enacted expressly for their defence, and that of other Indian tribes, should be executed?-that the President should be just to his red, as well as his white children?- that he should be as ready and willing to punish the offending white children as the red? Certainly. Let justice be done where justice is promised, and there will be no difficulty, and then we will listen to offers of future kindness.

Another thing worthy of notice is, the Indians are not the only people who may be termed savage or barbarous. Certainly, if a party of Cherokees had treated a white man in a manner and circumstances similar to the conduct of the party, who in cold blood, barbarously butchered the Cherokee, they would have justly been considered by their countrymen as cruel and coward; for let it be remembered, the banditto (sic) for whose security it is proposed to remove the Cherokees, first bound their victim, before they commenced their bloody work. Can any person imagine a more detestable act? But the sufferer was an Indian, a despised Indian, against whom the door of earthly justice was closed with bars of iron, and who of course could be shot down with impunity.

Again. The Cherokees will learn from the affair what they have to expect from the State of Georgia. Every person, against whom any criminal charge is alleged, will be liable to be dragged out of his house, bound, beaten, and perhaps before he reaches his place of confinement, lose his life. There is no security that he will be treated humanely. Who would then commit his life and liberty to the charge of such ruffians as those who arrested the four Cherokees, and killed one of them, or the Sheriffs party whose first act was to fire at some of our citizens?

The forbearance which the Cherokees have exercised in this instance of great provocation, is one among the many signs of their improved state. They have not the imprudence, and revengeful disposition of savages. They have not taken the tomahawk and the scalping knife to revenge the death of their countryman, but they have appealed to the proper tribunal. Whether they will have justice or not is not for us to say--time will tell. But we very well remember the time when a certain white man was killed by some of the Creeks, the President of the United States forwarded his Indian Talk to the Chiefs of that nation, and formally, agreeably to treaty stipulation, demanded the murderers-he said he must have satisfaction for the blood of his white children. Now the case is reversed-the blood of his red children cries to him for satisfaction.

Since Gold has been discovered in this nation, a very strong incentive for intrusions has been offered to the frontier inhabitants of Georgia. We understand several hundreds of these people are now busily at work, digging for Gold on the sources of the High Tower River.


It has been frequently asserted by interested persons that the Cherokees are decreasing in numbers, and this is offered as an argument for their removal. The census in 1810 gave as the population of this nation 12395 Cherokees, 583 blacks, and 341 whites, total 13219. This was a correct census taken under the superintendence of the United States' agent Col. Meigs. Our population is not set down by the public functionaries of the United States, from what we have seen in the public documents and elsewhere, at 9,000 only, deducting probably 4219 for those who emigrated to Arkansas. If this statement were true, it would show that we are but stationary. But what is the fact? Here it is. In the year 1824 another census was taken by persons (among whom was the writer of this article) appointed by the general Council of this nation. According to that census, of the correctness of which there can be no reasonable doubt, the population was as follows: 6893 males-6900 females-1277 blacks-total 15060. Soon after, 500 Cherokees who were residing on reservation in the State of North Carolina removed into the nation, which made the total population, 15560. To this must be added the number of those who emigrated to the west of the Mississippi from 1810 to 1824. We will say 3,000 in order to be within the limits of truth. Here then we have 18560 for the year 1824; compare this with the population of 1810, viz. 13219, and you have means to ascertain whether the Cherokees are indeed decreasing or not.

What the population now is, we are unable to say, but this we know, the Cherokees since 1824, have been as rapidly increasing as at any former period. It was found lately that there was no difficulty in obtaining 4000 signatures ( including some lads under 18) to the Cherokee memorial to Congress.


We have just heard that the sub-agent has returned from Carroll County, and that he has succeeded in releasing the Cherokee prisoner who was confined in jail.


Some of our neighbors have such a contemptible opinion of us, that they must need not only abuse, but attempt to cheat us, by circulating among us counterfeit money. Their failure in this piece of villainy, however, proves their own ignorance. We have just seen one of these men in the custody of a gentleman from Hightower-he has been arrested for having counterfeit bills. He no doubt, times being very hard in Walton County, Georgia, came to make a fortune upon the ignorance of the Indians, for a large bundle (quite an unaccountable thing these times) of these bills was found in his possession. But the Cherokees are not such fools as that comes to-this man was found out in his first attempt at speculation, and is now taken to the agent to receive his reward.


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Extract of a letter from a gentleman in Philadelphia.

'Your friends at the north are active. A meeting I expect was held in Boston two days ago. Next week a meeting will be held in one of the counties of this state adjacent to Philadelphia.- A short memorial with a heading in blank has been written and published, and will be circulated for signatures in this city and the adjoining counties of Penn., New Jersey, and Delaware. A state meeting will probably be held in your behalf at Trenton, N.J. within a few days. An edition of the Essays of William Penn is now printing in this city consisting of a thousand copies.'


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Gov. Houston, late of Tennessee, who some months ago resigned his post and abandoned civilization for the wilderness, is now on a visit to Washington.

A treaty has been made with the remnant of the Delaware Indians, by which the latter cede to the United States a tract of land three miles square, adjoining the Wyandot reservation on the Sandusky, for the sum of three thousand dollars.