Cherokee Phoenix

From the New York Observer

Published October, 1, 1830

Page 2 Column 4a

From the New York Observer.


A highly respectable gentleman at the south in a letter to the editor of the New York American, says:

Some months since I accompanied a small party of soldiers to the Cherokee country, in order to quiet some disturbances, which had arisen between the Indians and some white intruders: in the execution of this duty, circumstances rendered it necessary for us to visit some of their head men, and, among others, Mr. John Ross, their principal chief.

The dwelling of Mr. Ross is pleasantly situated in the northern bank of the Coosa River; the house is very well built, much in the style of the residences of farmers in flourishing circumstances at the north, and is surrounded by well cultivated fields. The day on which we arrived happened to be Sunday, and, from the concourse of well dressed natives there assembled, we supposed they intended celebrating divine service. This proved to be the case; for, after a short time, we were invited by Mr. Ross 'to hear divine service, performed in Cherokee.' We attended accordingly, and found an audience of about fifty Indians. There were present two regularly ordained native preachers, of the Methodist persuasion; one of them was a full blooded Indian, the other a very dark 'mixed blood,' possibly one-fourth white: the services commenced by the singing of hymns in the Cherokee tongue, translated from the English and adopted to English tunes, hymn books in the Cherokee character were used, and nearly all the audience participated in the sacred exercise.- Then followed a chapter from the Bible, then a sermon and exhortation, 'c. according to the rites of the Methodist church. The deportment of the audience throughout, was serious and attentive. I need not say that I was surprised and delighted, indeed it was a truly affecting sight to see the descendants of a race, who, twenty years since, were plunged in ignorance and barbarism, now profiting so largely by the precepts of that Gospel, intended by its divine author to benefit ali,e the white man and the red man.

I entered the Cherokee country with an impression that through the well meaning zeal of their (the Cherokees') friends, the accounts given of their progress in civilization, 'c. had been rather exaggerated; but, although I visited by no means the most flourishing portions of their country, I was led to the conclusion that if errors had been committed, they were generally on the side least favorable to the Cherokees.

Mr. Ross, as you have no doubt heard, is a gentleman of excellent natural talents, and of solid, I had almost said, brilliant attainments. His library is small but well arranged. I had an opportunity to see but few of the other chiefs; of these, some were full Indians and others of mixed blood. They appeared to be men of good sense, and generally possessed a tolerable English education, which they acquired in Tennessee and at the missionary establishments. The common people were almost universally comfortably clothed in habiliments of their own manufacture and after the manner of the whites.'