Cherokee Phoenix


Published March, 3, 1830

Page 2 Column 2a-4b



The following is from the Georgia Journal:

Cherokee Line:- We are informed that General Coffee's report on the Creek and Cherokee line, has reached Washington City. From the map accompanying it, and from what is understood to be the substance of the report itself, it appears that the true line should begin at the Shallow Ford on the Chattahoochy ' follow circuitously on their ridge, a range of hills to Will's Creek. This line, it is understood, cuts off from the Cherokees, about one-third of the land believed by us to belong to Georgia under the treaty with the Creeks 1827. So that if it should be established, Georgia will lose about two-thirds of what we contend properly belongs to us, under that treaty. The evidence, in support of the position assumed by Georgia is so strong, that we are well satisfied she will not be content with any other line than that run by Colonel Wales.--Georgia Journal

Georgia says, and she will agree to no other, that the true line is as run by Col. Wales: Gen. Coffee does not think so, but supposes the line to run on the dividing ridge between the waters of the Hightower and Chatahoochee(sic) Rivers; the Cherokees contend that the only line ever amicably established and settled between them and the Creeks, (though their claim extended further down ' was acknowledged by the other party,) is the one now in existence, from the Buzzard Roost to the mouth of Wills Creek. The Hon. J. C. Calhoun, then Secretary of War, supposed the true line to run considerably below the present one, throwing, at least part of Carrol County, on the Cherokee side. But we will give his own words from his instructions to the Commissioners who negotiated the treaty of the Indian Springs, on the 8th day of January, 1821.

'On consulting with the members from Georgia, I am of the impression that a cession from the Creeks of the northern portion of their territory, so as to admit of a white population between them and the Cherokees, would be preferred, which you will accordingly first propose and urge on them. In the event of their agreeing to such a proposition, it may be proper to observe that there is some uncertainty as to the true line between the Creeks and the Cherokees; and that after investigating the subject two years, in the presence of a delegation from both nations, it is believed that the claims of the Creeks do not justly extend north of a line drawn due west from the high shoal of the Appalachee.

Now who is right. The reader will please to recollect what we said at the commencement of this controversy--we expressly declared that no line as such was ever established between the Cherokee, and Creeks except the present one, we said further that the Cherokees had a better claim to the country south of this line than the Creeks north of it. So Mr. Calhoun thought, and his opinion, was impartially and deliberately made, after a candid investigation of the subject in presence of both the parties. If justice is done, no part of the land will be taken way from the Cherokees. If the declaration of the journal, that the state will not be content with any other line than that run by Col. Wales, be true we are only sorry that such a domineering spirit should be exhibited by a Christian people. Will she make herself judge, convict upon exparte evidence, pass sentence and execute? If so, let her do it.


By the last mail we received two letters from Washington which we have the pleasure of presenting to our readers this week. One is in English and is inserted below-the other our Cherokee readers will find in its proper place.


February 11, 1830

I have been here 21 days, waiting for important news on the interesting subject of Indian Affairs to occur in Congress, to transmit to you. I feel it a duty now not to delay writing any longer; but to send what little has come within my knowledge. Part of the Cherokee Delegation, Maj. Lowrey; ' Messrs. Taylor and Vann were here in Brown's Hotel at my arrival, the others, being detained by sickness in Pittsburgh, did not reach here, until after a week and a half subsequent to my arrival in the enjoyment of renewed health.

On the 26th ult. I addressed a note to the Secretary of War as Clerk of the Creek Delegation, announcing our arrival, and requesting to be introduced through him to the President.--This was returned in a letter of McKenney by direction of the Secretary, stating, from what he had told me, as the accredited agent of Government in Tuckoohatchie, that no communication should be received from the Creeks, of which I was not a member, if I was made the organ, it was not expected I should present myself in that character. From another source, the Creeks were invited to come, and they held an interview with the President, whom they informed of the objections made at the War Department to the use of their clerk, and expressed a regret, particularly as they were destitute of a competent one of their Nation. The President told them in the presence of the Secretary that they had a right to employ whom they pleased as their clerk, but he could not receive their clerk in the character of a Chief of the Creek Nation!! When my note expressly stated by appointment as a clerk, this impression of the President was no doubt made from the fountain head, the Indian Misrepresenter, McKenney.

We have submitted two communications to the War Department. The 1st impeached the integrity of the Creek Agent for misdemeanor in office and requests his removal. But the executive in their rigor and chilling policy against the well being of all Indians east of the Mississippi always act adverse to their wishes, and perhaps their objects can be better attained by applications of reverse character than the true one; for instance, to approbate the character ' conduct of an Indian Agent and most anxiously request his continuance in office, and give a high finish of his generosity and friendship to the Indians, I believe would effect his removal. In the 2d. we have asked for the money paid out of the Creek annuity to satisfy a claim of Houston and Blackburn for whiskey introduced among the Indians and which had been rejected by J. C. Calhoun when Secretary of War, and which has been paid by the Government since, in opposition to said decision and the consent of the Creeks.- This claim is $5000. The Indians are not only ruled by an iron rod, but they are lashed with a whip of Scorpions. Laws made in better times and by good and wiser men for our protection are suspended, and the whole of executive influence is exerted to expel us from the land of our fathers. And though it is not distinctly avowed, yet measures have been adopted indirectly to remove us by unlawful and tyrannical means.- Force of circumstances, necessity, and expediency, compose the whole of their argument, and justice, treaties, laws, or constitutions are left in the background, and remain unquote because they are all eloquent, speaking in a language of thunder in their rebuke, and in behalf of Indian rights.

To the Congress we have sometime since presented a memorial in behalf of the Creek Nation asking the protection of the United States from the operation of the Alabama laws, attempted to be extended over them. In both Houses the memorial is ordered to be printed, and in the Senate Forsyth has requested to suffer it to remain on the table until it is ascertained, whether our Delegation are properly authorized by their Nation. Trifling and weak as the Indian cause is represented to be by Georgia, her champion opposes a memorial, as a lawyer would a strong cause, by a flaw or error in the warrant. But we have our credentials in writing, and we have spoken the language of the whole Nation.

Sir, I have a strong hope and expectation of justice from the hand of Congress. New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania members represent a highly cultivated people, distinguished for benevolence and adherence to natural, civil, and divine laws. They will not shut their ears to the Indians, when they cry for help. Haman has made the gallows to hang Mordecai the Jew, and the day for the slaughter of the Indians, is appointed! But redemption comes when it is least expected. The sovereign people of the United States have not yet spoken.- But if contrary to my expectation they pronounced the verdict of our destruction, we shall sink to dust as true and faithful patriots to our Country, and fill one dark page on the history of America, when our fate shall be recorded, that the Cherokee Nation aspired too soon for Christian knowledge, and fell in the bosom of oblivion by the power of the United States, because they had not commenced the work of civilization in the prairies of the west, and because Georgia wanted the last remnant of their lands; and the American Republic had not virtue enough to execute their faith to the Indians.

An attempt is made by our enemies, to enforce on the minds of our friends, that the common people are anxious to remove to the west, and are only deterred by the power of the chiefs, who menace them with stripes, mutilations of body, or with the loss of life, and that the nation, as soon as Congress decides against them will yield up the land and retire simultaneously and without regret to the country to which the Government has pointed.- They ought to know our chiefs are elected biennially by the people, who are the controlling and rewarding authority, in all the honors of trust and profit in our nation. But this truth is too strong to be resisted, and if they persist like quacks to try experiments on our nation, they will make a corpse of it before they realize the truth of our devotion to our country. If I know our people, let the result be what it may, they will not give the United States executive an opportunity to say we have bought their land, but they can say, we have robbed them of it.