Cherokee Phoenix


Published July, 24, 1830

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We recommend to the attentive reader, the address of the 'committee and council' to the people of the United States, which he will find in our first page. After carefully perusing it, let him hand it to his neighbors. It is very desirable that it should be circulated as extensively as possible-and we see nothing in it which ought to check its circulation. The language is mild and respectful. It cannot even offend our opposers (sic). Our friends with whom we have the honor of exchanging will also do the Cherokee people a great favor by inserting it in their papers.

That a document of the nature of the one now presented to the american public was called for, by the peculiar circumstances of the times, no one will doubt. Every man must know who has watched the progress of the Indian question during the last six months, ' who has been familiar with the doings of the Congress of the United States respecting the Cherokees and other tribes, and the proceedings of the state of Georgia, that, by the refusals of the former to protect, and the extension of the jurisdiction of the latter over them, they are placed under new and very trying circumstances,and that their views, feelings,and the course they have determined to pursue should be speedily made known to the world. This is fully expressed in the address, which after a most attentive observation, we can freely testify, contains the sentiments of the nation at large. Indeed, we have never known the people so firm and united as at the present time.-Their eyes are turned, not to the western country, but to that period when, by the judicial decision of the Courts of the United States, they must be either satisfied that they have rights, or that they have none. They intend to wait for that time. It is therefore considered by them perfectly idle to talk about exchanging countries, or entering into treaties while the great question remains unsettled. If we are removed, say they, by the United States from our land and possessions, we wish to leave in the record of her judicial tribunals, for future generations to read, when we are gone, ample testimony that she acted justly or unjustly. The reasonableness of this determination must appear evident to every mind.

The Cherokees think they have rights, secured to them under their various treaties, and the laws of the United States.- This opinion has never been shaken by all that the general Government has done, and the proceedings and oppressive laws of the state of Georgia. Their views in regard to their rights, for which they have so strenuously contended are supported by some of the ablest lawyers of the United States. Of this we have the most ample evidence. And now that protection is withheld, and license given for the abrogation of those laws and treaties by State legislation, what must be done? Surely the Supreme Court of the United States is the proper tribunal where the great question at issue must be settled. To this tribunal the Cherokees will freely refer their case.


Some time ago, we said, in reference to a remark of the editors of the Chataugue Phoenix, 'Can the editors point to a single act of the Cherokees towards the intruders which was cruel and deserved severe punishment?' To this question we have received the following answer.

We believe it was admitted by the Cherokee Phoenix at the time that the Indians did drive the intruders from their dwellings and burn their houses, and that some of these were women in child-bed; and at a season of very inclement weather. Perhaps this is what the Cherokee Editor calls justice-but it is savage justice! We supposed even an Indian would oppose such justice, after having been instructed in the customs of civilized life. We ask Mr. Boudinott if the Indians did not drive the Whites, who had intruded upon their promises from their homes, in an inclement season, and burn their dwellings? Did not the Editor of the Cherokee Phoenix approve of this conduct at that time?

If these questions can be answered in the affirmative, we ask the world to name a punishment too severe for those who could be guilty of such deeds. Our blood boil within our veins, when we think of deeds like these.

We have been the advocates of the Cherokees and are yet; but we shall not justify their evil deeds; neither shall we always be the advocates of their rights, if they claim the right of torturing these helpless Whites that may fall into their hands. If the Whites intrude upon them, let them take a civilized course to redress their wrongs, and not come upon the helpless women and children with the yell of the war whoop.

Now we do not wish to be justified if we do evil, nor do we ask that our rights should be defended, if we torture our 'helpless' white brethren; but we are far from pleading guilty to the charges alleged against us. We will respectfully inform the editors of the Chataugue Phoenix, as they appear to have founded their first remarks upon our authority, what we have not admitted, and what we have admitted. We have not admitted, and we challenge any person to point out such admission in the columns of the Cherokee Phoenix, that some of the Intruders who were removed by the Cherokees were women in child-bed. This slander upon the humanity of the Cherokees was got up by our enemies-we have never admitted it, and the editors will so find it, by recurring to the past numbers of our paper. If they believe everything that is laid to our charge, their blood within their veins will not only

boil, but it will boil over. In the account we gave of the affair, we said nothing of the inclemency of the weather. We knew not what sort of weather it was. We never admitted that the intruders were driven out of their houses-we expressly said these houses were the property of the Cherokees, having been abandoned by emigrants, sometimes by force.

We admitted,and we wish our worthy friends to bear in mind, that a company of Cherokees of about 30 in number, did remove,in the most forbearing manner,some families of intruders, and after taking out with safety all their household property, burnt the house in which they lived. Thus far are admitted, and we refer our friends for the truth of what we stated to the official report of Col. Williams, who was despatched to the scene of trouble to ascertain the true state of things. that report we have already published, and if it does not bear us out, when we will make acknowledgments. But is it savage justice to remove intruders in this manner? The editors of the Phoenix are too hasty. We have never known intruders removed in any other way. Time after time have the Cherokees removed them in this manner with the approbation of the Government. If the thirty Cherokees exhibited savage justice, then the editors ought severely to castigate the United States troops, who are now employed in burning the houses of these 'helpless white.' Speaking of the gold diggers and their removal, the Augusta Courier says:

'By a gentleman just from the scene, we are informed that the gold-hunter in the Cherokee Territory were all removed last week by the United States troops. He say the smoke of their wigwams and shanties ascending to Heaven on Thursday last in all directions. They were too numerous all over the country, that the conflagration resembled a world on fire.'

Is not this cruel? Is it not savage justice? We approve of it, and if we are called savages for it, we cannot help it.

Perhaps it will be said, the Cherokees had no right to remove them even in this manner. That is a matter of opinion only. The Cherokees thought they had perfect right, and they acted conscientiously.


The United States Telegraph, the organ of the administration, as thought proper to notice us and our paper thus:

We have understood that the paper [The Cherokee Phoenix] is edited ostensibly by an educated Indian who bears the name of a late respectable and truly philanthropic citizen of New Jersey, and that the principal writers and managers of it are white men, who have recently gone among the Indians, and who are interested in preventing them from selling their lands and joining their brethren west of the Miss. It was established, as we have been informed, by contributions of charitable societies, ' by appropriations from the contingent fund of the United States Indian Department,and from the annuities of the Indians. An alphabet was invented for them, and a considerable expense incurred in procuring dies and casting types to give it the appearance of an Indian Newspaper which plain is now nearly or quite abandoned.

We might content ourselves by simply declaring the above utterly false from the first to last. Mr. Green may have been told to and so in regard to the Cherokee Phoenix,but we can tell him he has been imposed upon-no white man has anything to do in the management of our paper. No other person, whether white or red, besides the extensible editor, has written from the commencement of the Phoenix, half a column of matter which has appeared under the editorial head.

Col. M'Kenney can tell whether a single cent has been appropriated out of the contingent fund of the Indian department towards the support of our establishment. We request the editor of the Telegraph to call at his office if he wishes to know the truth. That a part of the annuity has been expended is true, but it was by those who had a right so to expend it. Is it intended to cripple the Phoenix by giving this annuity a different direction It is surprising how low some persons will descend in order to obtain a certain object-falsehood, forms no barrier with such characters.

We here copy the remarks of the Journal of Commerce, which we can assure the reader, as being perfectly correct.

If all this were true, it would not prove what the Telegraph is so anxious to make out, viz. that the said paper is not the 'organ of the tribe.'- But we have reason to believe that every sentence of the paragraph is false,--we hope not wilfully so. The 'ostensible Editor' of the Phoenix is the real Editor as much says the U. S. Telegraph, and probably more. It was not established by the 'contributions of charitable societies,' but by the Cherokee government, aided by individual donations in this, Boston, and other places. We have before us a list of donations in this city, together with various other donations received by Mr. Boudinott, [the editor] and be it remembered these donations were made before anybody dreamed of the system of persecution which has since been instituted against the Cherokees by the state of Georgia and the General Government. The alphabet was not invented for them,, by them, i.e. by one of their number, Mr. Guess. The particulars of this invention were stated in a lecture delivered at Washington, by S.L. Knapp, Esq. and have since been published in a volume, and republished in various newspapers, throughout the country. Not only was the invention made without the assistance of white man, but the inventor was totally unacquainted with any language but the Cherokee. The use of the Indian character in said paper is not 'nearly or quite abandoned.' We have seen about avery number since the publication was commenced, and have perceived no diminution in the quantity of Indian character used. The sheet which came to hand yesterday contains between two and three columns of this description of typography.

Will the Telegraph inform us who are the white men referred to as 'interested in preventing the Cherokees from selling their lands,' and in what respect they are interested?


We are obliged to insert but little Cherokee matter this week on account of the length of the English Documents.

A Georgian shall have a place in our next.

The account related by An Observer is no fiction. Such facts are now becoming every day occurrence.


We now present to our readers the documents to which allusion was made in our last, with the reply of the council in the form of an act. Document first referred to in the reply have already been published. the letter of the Principal Chief to the Agent, and by him to be transmitted to the President of the United States at Nashville, is unavoidably deferred until our next.

We had intended to comment upon the two letters of the Secretary of War, but we are obliged, for want of room, to send them to the public without a word from us. Our readers will sufficiently understand them without our assistance-all that they will need, is the resolution which accompanies them.


To the Committee and Council,


I submit herewith letters from Col. Montgomery, the United State's Agent in this Nation, enclosing instruction from the War Department under the direction of the President of the United States, which calls for your deliberate consideration.

Very Respectfully Your Obedient Servant,


New Echota, N. C. July 15th 1830



10th July, 1830

SIR:_ Understanding that there is to be a special meeting of the General Council of this nation; on next week; I have enclosed you a copy of an order which I have just received from the War Department on the subject of the distribution of annuities, and request that the necessary arrangements be made by the Nation, for its future reception,so that each Indian ma get his share agreeably to that order.

I have also enclosed you a copy of a letter from the War Department on the subject of the gold mines by which you will see that all persons are ordered to be kept from digging for gold until further order; and have to request that you will, in such way as you think best, make it known to the Indians, and also that you will advise them to desist,for the present,as I am very desirous that no difficulties should take place between the United States troops and them on that subject.

Very respectfully your obedient Servant,


John Ross

Principal Chief Cherokee Nation



26th June, 1830

SIR:- An order has been this day been issued to the Officer Commanding the United States Troops in the Cherokee Nation directing him, until further orders, to prevent all persons from working the mines, or searching for, or carrying way gold, or silver, or either metal from the Cherokee Nation. In accordance with the above order, you will aid the Commanding Officer in the execution of the task assigned him, by any means which may appear advisable too promote the object desired.

In this delicate Crisis, it is imperiously necessary that you should exercise a sound discretion, and that the most pacific and conciliatory measures should be first appealed to; and i\under no circumstances to resort to coercive measures, until that resort can no longer be avoided

You will advise the Secretary of War at Nashville, Tennessee, of the steps taken in the execution of the duty assigned to you.

I am very respectfully your most obedient servant.


Acting Sec. of War.

To Col. Hugh Montgomery

' Cherokee Agent, Calhoun Ten.



June 18th 1830

TO COL. HUGH MONTGOMERY, Cherokee agent, Calhoun, Tennessee.

SIR:_ The President directs that the practice of paying annuities to the Treasurer of the Cherokee Nation shall from henceforth be discontinued, and with a view to secure to the mass of the nation their proportion of such annuities, shall be hereafter paid in every case to the individuals respectively entitled, that is to say, to the Chiefs, Warriors, and common Indians, and their families in the nation in which these several classes are entitled when there are Indians within families,the payments are to be made to them personally,and not to their Chiefs. This mode of distribution is not under any circumstance to be departed from.

I am very respectfully your ob't serv't

J. G. RANDOLPH, acting Sec'y of War.


New Echota, C. N. 17th July, 183-

WHEREAS, certain extraordinary ' unexpected documents have been received by the Principal Chief and by him communicated to the Committee and Council in General Council convened, for their information, it is deemed proper to express firmly but respectfully the sense of the Representatives of all the People of this Nation in regard to the following documents.

1st. Extracts of a communication from the War Department to the agent of the United States for this nation in which the citizens of this Nation are told, 'if they choose to remain' {in their own country,} the consequences whatever they may be, will be chargeable to nobody but themselves.' Again,' if the chiefs or principal men of the Nation desire to see the President he will gladly see them, but is they cannot go willingly and prepared for full powers to make a treaty for removal it will not be necessary for them to go, since in that way only can he assist them.' To this we answer that we never had any disposition to leave our country ' we have seen no reason to effect a change in this disposition. We have faithfully adhered to the faith of Treaties with the United States of which Georgia is a component part, and at all times, since the establishment of peace have continued faithful friends to the Union. The neighborhood of the whites, has not, been of our seeking, but we ave heretofore viewed this neighborhood as a blessing, from which, the rays of civilization and religion were copiously shed to enlighten this, once happy, but now oppressed nation. We have no desire to see the President on the business of entering into Treaty for exchange of lands, and regret there is no other way left open for interview with our great Father-but we still ask of him to protect us agreeably to treaties or according to the spirit of the laws of the United States provided for our protection which stand yet unrepealed by Congress. Inclination to remove from this land has no abiding place in our hearts, and when we move we shall move by the course of nature, to sleep under this ground, which the Great Spirit gave to our ancestors and which now covers them in their undisturbed repose.

Document 2d dated Department of War, June 18, 1830. 'The President directs that the practice of paying annuities to the Treasurer of the C. N. shall from henceforth be discontinued, and with a view to secure to the mass of the Nation their property proportions of such annuities 'c.' To this we answer, that the obligation under which money is due to this Nation ever year,arises from Treaties made by the Chiefs of the Nation with the United States, the later of which has value received in land and Stands bound to pay the money to the Nation,' and not to the Individuals of the Nation. A letter, accompanying this order, by the agent, 'requests the necessary arrangements be made by the Nation for its future reception.' This Nation has already made the arrangement in its constitution and laws,and to them the Agent is referred; and we do hereby enter our solemn protest against the distribution of said annuities in the way contemplated by the Government, as a violation of the letter and spirit of the Treaties subsisting between the United States and this Nation.

As some individuals and some officers of the United States have attempted to prejudice the minds of the people of the United States against the constituted authorities of this Nation on the subject of this money,we inform the public, that our population amounts to about sixteen thousand inhabitants, and the sum of six thousand six hundred and sixty dollars and sixty six cents is payable to this Nation for annuities; the proportionate share of the 'mass of the Indians,' as they are called, would be less than forty two cents,and the place for distributing this money is to be at the agency, of the frontiers of this Nation, compelling individuals to travel 50, 100, or 150 or 180 miles to receive it. This order of the President must have originated from false impressions, from some quarter. If the President was not known to this Nation as a high legal and constitutional Chief Magistrate, and in the magnanimity and honor of his station ample security and guarantee, in our rights were not to be found, we should almost be persuaded to judge unkindly. This Nation has a printing press to maintain through which they can make known their misfortunes. They are also struggling for life and freedom, and have appealed to the highest Judicial Tribunal for justice; the maintenance of these requires expenditures of money, and if this determination of the President is carried into effect, we can only show our love of country by individual contributions and the payment of Taxes.

From document 3d dated Depart. of War. 26 June, 183-, we learn that an order has been forwarded to the commander of the U. States Troops to prevent all persons from working the mines or searching for or carrying away gold or silver or either metal from the Cherokee Nation. To this we certainly could have no objection, if it was intended to prevent all persons not inhabitants of this Nation--But that our people are included we learn from the following passage of Col. Montgomery's letter. 'I have to request that you will in such way as you think best, make it known to the Indians and also that you will advise them to desist, for the present, as I am very desirous that no difficulties should take place between the United States Troops and them on the subject.' To this we can only express our surprise and astonishment.- On the same principle, orders may arrive to prevent us from working in our fields, planting Orchards, or putting down wood t make our fires. In consideration of all these, be it therefore,

Resolved by the Committee and Council in General Council Convened, that the Principal Chief of this Nation be, and he is hereby authorized to reply to the said documents,at his leisure, and furnish this act to the President of the U. States; through the Agent as containing the sentiments of this Nation-And also to call upon the Government of the United States to protect us according to Treaties and laws in existence and to prevent the expulsion of our people by force, by the state of Georgia, which we have now reason to believe will be in some way attempted,- And to state that this Nation cannot believe, and will not believe the United States capable of abandoning them to destruction until they are cast from promised protection and until they fall never more to rise or to express the voice of supplication to their Great Father the President of the United States.


Speak. of Council

Concurred by the Committee.


Approved-JNO Ross.


W. S. Coodey, Clk. Com.