Cherokee Phoenix

We publish in another part of our paper the letter addressed by Mr. Wirt to the Governor of Georgia

Published October, 1, 1830

Page 2 Column 4b-5a

We publish in another part of our paper the letter addressed by Mr. Wirt to the Governor of Georgia announcing in respectful language the course which the Cherokees have prescribed for themselves to ascertain the amount and extent of the rights which have descended to them from nature, or been acquired by treaty; and the reply of Governor Gilmer, which some newspaper Editor has pronounced to be dignified. Our notions of dignity may be crude and erroneous, but, whatever they are they lead us to a very different conclusion. While engaged in the perusal of this reply, we have found it impossible to divest ourselves of a feeling of astonishment, not unmingled with vexation of the petulant tone in which narrow views of the relative positions of the State of Georgia, and the Indians within its borders, are conveyed in this gubernatorial production. It does not strike us that Georgia gains any advantage, when she places herself on a remote point, and looks down with contempt on a proscribed and enfeebled people, who dare to make an appeal for protection, in their extremity, to the only and the legitimate and constitutional tribunal by which mooted questions of this important character must be decided. Unless one of the most august and intelligent and impartial Judiciaries in the world can be influenced by menace, or swayed in its decisions by the fretful insolence of one of the parties before it, we see no benefit which the Governor of Georgia has conferred upon his State by this silly indulgence in spleen and peevishness, and by the wilful misconstructions which he has been led to place on a proper, temperate and respectful communication. Weakness may be sneered at by folly, and oppressed by power, but before the tribunals of justice, it acquires a strength equal to that of the most haughty and self elevated spirit--it has rights which entitle it to equal respect, and command for it equal attention. Were it to accomplish no other end, the decision of the Supreme Court on this great question would be of the first importance, even if it should be adverse to the Indians, because of its efforts in reconciling to a measure of such sternness those friends of humanity who consider the legislative act by which it has been decreed as the result of prejudices which ought to be subdued rather than indulged, or of party feelings, which should never be allowed to mingle in a question of such vital consequence to thousands of human beings.

Nat. Jour.