New Echota: May 22, 1830
Many of the people of Georgia are just waiting for the first day of June, to begin a work upon the Cherokees. Their first onset will be on the leading men, supposing that if they are ousted, others will of course follow. Having this object in view, plans are already matured to break up a number of individuals in the nation. We understand there are false notes and false accounts made up, to the amount of several thousand dollars, against Messrs. Ross, Ridge, Vann, 'c. and that some time in June, the Sheriff of Carroll County will make his descent on these men. If we know anything of the feelings of these Cherokees, we believe they would first see their property go by piecemeals (sic), before they would run to the western country for shelter.
The intruders are not yet removed, ' we know not when they will be, if they are ever to be removed. The number of the gold diggers is accumulating daily, and it is said they speak rather lightly of the troops. It is estimated that not less than ten thousand dollars worth of Gold is dug every day by these men. This is undoubtedly a moderate estimate. What is then the whole amount which has been carried away by the permission of the Government? We say
permission, for we can conceive no way why they should have continued so long in their unlawful occupation, without being in the least molested. If they dig $10,000 a day, and supposing they have been employed 150 days, the sum of one million, five hundred thousand dollars has been taken away from the poor starving and naked Cherokees! So much for government honesty, fair dealing, and justice. If humanity to the Indians (to which many hypocritically lay claim) is the order of the day, let the sum be returned to these 'poor devils' to save them from starvation and nakedness.
Among the many circumstances, which induce us to believe, that the Government has been conniving at this public robbery, are the following, which are worthy of notice. Sometime since, the agent of the United States, Col. Montgomery, warned these miners off, and threatened to prosecute them under the intercourse law. Many took the alarm and left the nation. It is well known that agent did not prosecute them. We have been informed from a source which induces us to make it public, that soon after the return of the agent from Georgia, his son-in-law, Mr. Hardwick, who lives next door to him, and we believe is under the protection of the agency, was seen, with a number of hands, digging for gold, with the intruders. If it should turn out that we have been misinformed, we shall do ourselves the pleasure of making proper correction.
CHEROKEE NATION, 14th May, 1830.
Mr. Boudinott, Editor of the Cherokee Phoenix.
Dear Sir- We are betrayed in the Senate of the United States, of which we have received certain information by letters from our Delegation. Mr. Frelinghuysen's amendments, to the resolutions of the committee on Indian Affairs in which our rights agreeable to treaty were comprehended have been voted down, by 27 votes to 20. The simple question in a form of an amendment, will you be governed by treaties you have made with the Indians? was also voted down by the like vote! Our apprehensions that the subject would be molded into a party question are now realized before, us. In the House of Representatives, we may presume the same result. While the spear thrown by Jackson's Party in the Senate, is quivering in our sides, and our hearts' blood is flowing a pace, we have the consolation to know that we are defended, so far as that defence can go, by such men as Frelinghuysen, Sprague and Robbins, and the tears of Christians and all good men mingle with ours in this our day of sufferings. In a trial of this kind, where, (aside from Political influence) strong interests depend in the result, and which are felt and supported by a portion of the Judges, we may apprehend the verdict to be given in their own behalf. Such were the character of the votes of Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, North Carolina, Indiana and Illinois, who afforded on this occasion 14 votes. Deduct these from 27 leaves 13 disinterested votes against us, and gives us 7 votes majority of the same character, which is a fair commentary of the strength of our cause before an impartial tribunal, if any can be found in these United States.
Our correspondent will please to excuse us from publishing his entire piece. Although his remarks are strictly correct, yet it would be, we conceive, a deviation from our rule of forbearance and moderation to express truth with severity, even when it is richly deserved, as in the present case. Our correspondent comments upon a toast which was drank by Senator Hayne of South Carolina, at the late political dinner served in Washington. It is certainly a curiosity, considering the gentlemen who drank it, and the time and place when it was drank. SENATOR HAYNE, who in a few days was to give his vote in a case of momentous importance, on which, perhaps, depended the destiny of a whole people, drinking the following toast, before the President of the United States, and the principal leaders of the party, was indeed a matter of astonishment. What was the nature of his vote when it was given?-When party spirit has such an ascendency (sic), it is time to tremble for liberty and justice. But here is the toast:
'The State of Georgia. By the firmness and energy of her Troup, she has achieved one great victory for state rights; the wisdom and eloquence of her sons, will secure here another proud triumph, in the councils of the Nation.
Drank with great applause.'
Our correspondent next comments upon the speech of Mr. Wayne on the occasion. We insert the following sentence:
'Then Wayne expressed thanks, spoke of Revolutionary deeds done by Georgia, who nobly
tho' last, joined in the opposition to Britain, but neglected to tell that she was the first and only one that did submit and was conquered!'
If an impartial tribunal had decided against us, our feelings would have been different from what they are now.- But we know party spirit has given the verdict-we therefore perfectly agree with our correspondent in what follows:
Mr. Editor, we know that General Jackson's reputation would be blasted forever, if a majority of his friends did not sustain his reputation in his construction of Indian rights. Here is the doctrine and plan disclosed in a report made by Senator Benton.- 'Those who make the President must support him, their political fate becomes identified and they must stand or fall together. Right or wrong, they must support him,' This is the language of party spirit which has organized power to trample on our rights. What the people will say to this we know not, and it is not material to know. This Nation has intelligence enough to know that the Government of the United States is a sentimental Government, and that they under every oppression and aggrievance will show to the American public, by every fair and peaceable means, their oppressed condition and ask for protection. So long as we live we will demand at their door, the use and enjoyment of that liberty they profess to love. Can we demand this in vain? The majesty of freemen, and their disposition to render justice, we believe to be our security and the rock of our refuge. We still hope.
Washington City, 3rd May, 1830
Very Dear Sir-Your letter dated 14th ult. I had the pleasure of receiving yesterday. It gives us much satisfaction to hear from our homes and friends at this distance, and after so long an absence. We know too, they are anxious to hear from us.- They have long been kept in painful suspense as to their fate. Public expectation has been raised to a high degree. All eyes have been turned to the present Congress; and there our hopes have rested as upon the rock and pillar of our safety. Fond anticipations have been cherished in the justice and magnanimity of the 'congregated wisdom' of the American people. While we have held forth to them and to the world our solemn treaties, our barriers against oppression, we have consoled ourselves in the sanguine belief that the spirit of Washington and Jefferson, which still breathes upon the face of these solemn pledges, would still prevail with their successors and descendants. But alas! how is it? Look back to the 24th of April, and you will see grave Senators turning with contempt upon these poor children of the forest, placed under their kind protection and a deaf ear to their humble and humiliating cries for justice. See these ill-fated beings coldly thrust aside all their claims for justice and humanity. See them thrown upon the mercy of a foe whose persecuting edict has long since gone forth, and under whose power wrongs have already been consummated upon our innocent heads; and created a dark forebodings of the future. Expectation has been raised, but to be disappointed;-Bright prospects, to be blighted; and fond hopes cherished to be crushed, but not extinguished. The people of the United States have not yet said to the Cherokees 'we have only promised to deceive you, and now since we have grown strong and you weak, our pledges you hold in your hands are void. 'They are not to bind us longer. They are worth--NOTHING!!' When they in the majesty of their strength and greatness shall rise up and declare us a people no longer, then will our appeals be silences; then shall we be prepared to meet our fate. Their sentiments have not governed the majority of the Senate, but a spirit I pray Heaven, may never enter the Councils of our people so long as they are a people. Let us then remain firm, and united in our efforts, pursuing that course of forbearance toward our enemies that prudence and moderation will dictate. Giving no cause for complaint and exception to the wise and good, and spurning with indignant feelings him who will sacrifice his own and his country's weal, to gain a paltry sum of filthy lucre. Let us prove to the world that as Cherokees, we know our rights, and as men we feel the evils of injustice; and although power may crush our humble institutions and shackle us with the chains of oppression, yet will we still breathe the healthy air of our own mountains, and proclaim from their tops, that justice-that Heaven born spirit, is banished from civilized society and Government, and innocence fallen a victim and sacrifice to civilized atrocity and avarice.
We have my dear sir, fallen upon strange times. The old adage that a 'new broom sweeps clean' it seems will be sadly verified in our case, for the new administration has been scrubbing hard to clear, and relieve us, not of impediments to our welfare, but our most sacred rights and enjoyments. It is even held a crime and punishable in the
Georgia penitentiary for an honest Cherokee to counsel and advise his neighbor for his good! But it is a charitable and Christian act to despatch agents to our Nation to persuade, promise largely, threaten, utter falsehoods, and even move upon the poor Indian 'in the line of his prejudices,' 'by large offers' (to use the phrase of the very Hon. Secretary who tried it effects to his disappointment) and all for what? Why to compel this poor Indian to commit an act contrary to his will and better judgment, prejudicial to himself and country's interest, and probably his ultimate ruin, merely to gratify the insatiable anxiety of Georgia to oust the Cherokees of their cultivated possessions, contrary to law and justice! No: not exactly contrary to law, for they have thought best to enact laws that our oppression may be conducted systematically! But see the admirable consistency, and acute perception between right and wrong; the legislature of Georgia declare it a crime and punishable for an Indian to do good; and the Executive of the United States hold that it is right and just to do an Indian wrong, if it is thought that it may turn out to his benefit. Surely the clear and philosophical principles of the learned Paley are coming fast into disrepute among the reformers of the present age. Be it so. The tocsin of alarm may sound from the walls of Georgia's prison; Executive denunciations heralded forth by its `organ' and a formidable phalanx of Troups arrayed, yet will I say, and do say, let us remain upon our own lands, and think not of Arkansas as a home--never; and let the traitor look to his safety; and here if treaties are not binding, we shall have no more. Let it not be said that the Cherokees ever sold the last spot of earth, where lie mouldering (sic) in dust, the bones of many a sire, to gratify civilized rapacity, and to hasten their own destruction. We know well there is no abiding place in the West for us, if forced from our present and lovely abode. Our neighbors need not be uneasy at our determination to remain; we have no warriors. They fell under gallant Jackson. We have prayed for justice; and we are prepared to meet our doom.