NEW ECHOTA, MARCH 24, 1830
Intruders- We have often complained of the remissness of the executive of the United States to remove the intruders who have settled upon Cherokee soil; in defiance of the treaties, and the intercourse law of the Union. Our complaints have been thus far of no avail. The President has refused, at least for a time, to employ force, because the intruders, or the settlers, as they are stiled (sic) are on disputed land.- Georgia claims it as having been purchased from the Creeks. The Cherokees have contended that if Georgia does claim it, that is not a sufficient reason that a lawless set of people should be encouraged to come and abuse the original inhabitants, for it is an established rule among civilized people, that a claim must first be substantiated before possession can be had. Why should the Indians be deprived of this rule? The Cherokees have been in peaceable possession of this disputed land- now Georgia comes in and claims it, and must they, upon that naked claim be deprived of their country and rights? must they with their families as a number of them have been, be turned out of doors? Is this justice? Is this protecting the Indians in their rights? Let the public judge. See also the effects of the tacit consent of the General Government to these intrusions. To the many injuries upon our persons, murder, in its most heinous, brutal, and cowardly form has been added. Who would not cry oppression under such treatment as this?
But what becomes of the reason given by the War Department for refusing to employ military force, indeed any measure, to remove intruders on the disputed land, when there are thousands on other parts of the nation? In one spot, within the circumference of a few miles, there are not less than three thousand employed in robbing the Cherokees of gold! But this is not all-they bring into the nation all their vices, drunkenness, profane swearing, 'c. We are informed that there are tippling shops on every hill where those gold diggers are collected; and that intemperance, of course, may be here witnessed in its aggravated form. Of these men we do not speak indiscriminately-some no doubt are good men, for we are credibly informed that preachers of the Gospel may be found among them, led into error, probably, by prospects of immediate wealth. Some of these teachers of religion after performing a good day's labor in pocketing the Indians' gold without leave, have preached to their associates from the word of God, whose precepts, such as 'Thou shall not steal.' might well have deterred them from such a service.
Col. Montgomery, the U. S. Agent has lately been to the place where these miners are collected, and warned them off. Some have already obeyed and removed, but others have positively refused to go, and probably will not until they are forced away. That part of the country not being within the line claimed by Georgia, we should like to know what possible excuse the executive will make, if the intercourse law is not forthwith put in force, ' these people ousted. If the President does withhold the authority entrusted to him, and countenance such aggressions, then indeed, oppression, systematic oppression, as plain as day light will be at our doors!
As every effort is now made by the enemies of the Indians to misrepresent them to the public, it is proper occasionally to bring forward disinterested witnesses, whose opinions are made by personal observations. The Pittsburgh Christian Herald contains a unanimous resolution of the Synod of Mississippi, relative to the Southern Indians to which the attention or our distant readers is particularly invited.
'Resolved, That this Synod conceive it to be their privilege to express their views and feelings in regard to the efforts which may be made to remove the Indians within our boundaries, from their present places of residence. And having witnessed the progress of improvement especially among the Choctaws, they would regret as men and as Christians to see any attempts to coerce their removal- And resolved that in the opinion of this Synod, the time is not far distant, when these Indians, if left to the power of the religion of Christ, which is now beginning to unfold its civilizing influence, will become honorable members of our Christian civil community.'
We had prepared remarks on the report of the Committee on Indian Affairs to the House of Representatives, but are obliged for want of room to defer them until next week.
Our subscribers will please to remember that the second year of the Phoenix is nearly at its close, and that we must, according to our terms, expect pay from those who are indebted to us.
The late fire at Brainerd, which we noticed in our last, has been more destructive than we first supposed. Five principal houses, and a meat house, including all the meat, were burnt. The fire extended its ravages so rapidly, that very little household property was saved. The damage has been estimated from six to ten thousand dollars.
For the Cherokee Phoenix.
MR. EDITOR,--I see in the 47th Number of the Phoenix and article headed, 'The Philadelphian and the Indians,' in which are given the views of the Rev. Dr. Ely in regard to the situation of the Indians residing on this side of the Mississippi. 'The miserable condition of the majority of the Indians' east of the Mississippi; he says, 'calls loudly for such a measure [Indian colonization] for although the Gospel has greatly benefitted all who have been brought under its benign influence, still the civilized Indians are generally of a mixed blood, being one half or one quarter white, and the mass of the people, even among the Cherokees, are idle, uncultivated, and destitute of the most of the comforts of life. At this moment they are more than half naked and frequently half starved.'
This statement is entirely false, and without the least foundation. I was through what is called the Valley Towns on the head waters of the Hiwassee and Little Tennessee and visited a number of the most of the popular towns and villages, and in all I saw nothing like nakedness or starvation. In fact the majority of the people are better farmers in that section of the nation, than elsewhere among our people. I saw large cribs of corn and stocks of cattle, hogs, sheep and horses, and in several instances among the full blooded Indians, as they are called, we had sugar and coffee, and as plenty of vegetables as can be found on the tables of our surrounding white brothers--I know not what could induce the Cherokees to come fifty and sixty miles to the mill of the gentleman who made the report to the Honorable Senator, for they have mills near them where they can have their grinding done, and plenty of corn at their doors.
The statement I believe is for no other purpose than to deceive the public, and to further the policy of the Government in removing us to the west of the Mississippi.--I saw in my travels a number of full Cherokees who are regular members of the Baptist Church.
For the Cherokee Phoenix.
CHOCTAW NATION Jan. 1830
MR. EDITOR.- It has just been reported to me from an authentic source that the State of Mississippi has extended her laws over us, Choctaws and abolished all the tribal usages that have been hitherto exercised amongst us, subjecting any chief or Captain to fine and imprisonment who may presume to exercise any authority among us.
This to white men may seem to be justice and good faith; but to me, an Indian, it seems to be the most goading piece of injustice that ever was implicated on any
free people. And if this is the result of that fatherly care and protection, that have been so profusely offered to us, what are we to expect? for truly others have not cared for us. Where is the plighted faith of the United States?-- Where is that strong arm of our great father, that Major General Andrew Jackson told of in the year 1820, when he was Commissioner on the part of the United States? has our father's arm become palsied that he cannot stretch it over his red Children? How extremely childish have our Chiefs been, that they could not see that it required land to give strength to our father's arm. Could they not foresee that when there was no more land to spare he would be constitutionally affected to such a degree, that it would be impossible for him to shield us?
Is it reasonable to suppose that a great nation which boasts of its magnanimity should be faithful in little matters as well as in matters with great nations who are able to redress their own grievances? Is it because the Indians are few that they may be regarded, as a mere cipher or as children who do not know what they want? Admit they are children-has our great father done justice to us, think you, in telling us what he never intended to perform.
It is extremely painful for an affectionate child to correct a father in secret-how must those sensations be increased, when that child has to preserve his own existence by the exposure of acts that may be employed to seduce him and place him in a situation that endangers his very being.
Such is the course the Indians must pursue. No wonder then, that in view of this situation, Col. Folsom, on a late occasion, said that he was distressed. I wish that the good people of these U. S. had been there like me and heard these heart rending accents fall from his lips in his own native eloquence. Surely he would have made friends of them all. How truly hard must be the fate of that people, when reason, justice and eloquence cannot move the stubborn purposes of their oppressors? Had avarice closed every avenue of justice? Has every feeling heart ceased to feel for us? Alas! poor Indians! when will you have a resting place?- how long are avarice in the accents of friendship undisguised by baser feelings will bid your wanderings cease, and say you are my children and I will protect you?
A NATIVE CHOCTAW
Friends Mission- The Society of Friends, or Quakers, have hitherto taken no part, at least publicly, or as a body, in the work of missions; it being thought incompatible with their doctrines of preaching without pay, and only as commissioned and moved by the Spirit. The N.Y. Observer quotes, from the London Christian Guardian; a letter from a member of that society, in which he endeavors to rouse up his brethren to that great work, and proposes to bring forward a plan on which they can engage in it 'without in any manner violating their peculiar testimonies and opinions.'