NEW ECHOTA: OCT. 8, 1830
It was said, and repeated a hundred times, with a great deal of confidence, among those favorable to the emigration of the Cherokees, that the full Indians were desirous to remove, but were kept where they are by the power of the Chiefs, and laws of rigid character were enacted in Georgia to bring these chiefs to their proper senses for exercising such influence over their people. Who now asserts any such thing. Either truth has prevailed, or these Georgia laws must be miserably inefficient.
The grand jury of Gwinnet County did not find a bill against Mr. Ross.
Many of the people of the United States, who think with Mr. Forsyth that the Cherokee are poor devils, may perhaps be surprised to learn that among them there are several societies for the spread of religion and morality, and what is still more astonishing, the chiefs of these people, 'who grind the faces of the poor' and 'keep them under, in poverty and ignorance,' that 'their avaricious propensity may be gratified,' generally take the lead and support them by their example and contributions. They have Missionary Societies, Tract Societies, Sunday School Societies, Benevolent Societies, Book Societies, and Temperance Societies. It was only the other day we had the pleasure of being present at the formation of a Missionary Society, the constitution of which we insert below. We wish success to every effort intended for the spread of true religion in this nation. We hope the people will feel the importance of doing something for themselves. Let us show the world that we are not so degraded as to prove the truth of Mr. Forsyth's contemptuous words, or if we are, we will manifest a strong desire to arise from such a degradation. Such a desire we found was apparent among the people at the formation of the Society of which we are speaking. They gave their mite freely. The following officers were chosen: John Ross, President--N. D. Seales; Vice President:- Col. W. S. Adair, Corresponding Secretary- Evan Nicholson, Treasurer:- John Miller, Edward Adair; Jeremiah Horn, Turtle Fields, Young Wolf, Edward Graves, Edward Gunter, Geo. W. Adair, B. F. Thompson ' Joseph Crutchfield.
Art. 1st. This Society shall be denominated, 'The Missionary Society of the Cherokee Nation auxiliary to the Tennessee Conference Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church.'
Art. 2d. The officers of this Society shall consist of a President, Vice-President, a Corresponding and Recording Secretary, a Treasurer, and ten Managers.
Art. 3d. Five Managers shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
Art. 4th. The payment of twenty-five cents shall constitute a member for one year, and the payment of two dollars and fifty cents, at one time, shall constitute a member for life.
Art. 5th The proceeds of this Society shall be appropriated to the spread of the gospel in the Cherokee Nation.
Art. 6th The Annual meeting of this Society shall be held at the time and place of holding the last Quarterly Meeting for Conasauga Circuit in each year at which time it shall be the duty of the board of Managers to present a Report of the Society's proceedings for the past year, and recommend such measures for its future prosperity as they may deem necessary and expedient.
Art. 7th. An election or re-election of all the officers and Managers of this institution shall take place at each of its annual meetings and no person shall be eligible to an office, or appointed a manager of this Society, but a native Cherokee, or a legal citizen according to the constituted authorities of the Nation.
Anniversary meeting of the Cherokee Sunday School Society of
The second annual meeting of this society was held at Oougillogee Camp Ground on the 19th of this inst. After the reading of a very interesting Report by the Secretary, the Sunday School cause was warmly and ably advocated in three addresses; delivered to a large and respectable audience, who proved by their liberal contributions at the conclusion of the meeting that they were more than merely idle and uninterested spectators.
The first address was delivered by the Rev. N. D. Seales, in which he appropriately brought to view the great and singular advantages accruing to the rising generation, and to the community at large, from Sabbath School instruction.
The second address was delivered by the Rev. G. M. Rogers. From a brief review of the great and visible good that this society has already effected in the short space of two years, and an anticipation of its future, and more enlarged usefulness, the speaker became much animated by his theme, and very pathetically encouraged the superintendents, teachers, and patrons of the institution to proceed, if possible, with more untiring diligence in their labor of love.
The last address was delivered by the Rev. F. A. Owen, who, in a quite lucid manner demonstrated that Sabbath School institutions are calculated to be one of the most efficient auxiliaries in the promotion of the missionary cause in this nation; and that consequently every laudable effort, within our power, should be made in the support of an institution so beneficial in its results. He also suggested, and even urged the propriety of forming Bible Classes in every neighborhood where it would be practicable, as being very conducive to the spread of scriptural knowledge.
The Board have resolved to put the plan of Bible Class instruction into operation as soon as possible, and have made arrangements to obtain a suitable library of books for the purpose. This measure, if carried into successful operation, will doubtless prove a strong wall of defence, and a fruitful source of spiritual instruction to the Sunday Schools.
The following officers and managers were chosen for the ensuing year. Rev. J. I. Trott, President, John Martin, Esq. Vice President, Rev. N. D. Seales Cor. and Rec. Secretary, and Mr. J. A. Thompson, Treasurer, Messrs. Edward Adair, Evan Nicholson, Jer. Horn, Jos. Crutchfield, Johnson Thompson, George W. Adair, Andrew Adair, Col. Walter S. Adair, Benj. Paydon and John Saxon, managers.
September 22, 1830
D. C. McLeod. Ex. Cor. Sec'y.
For the Cherokee Phoenix.
Sir-- Were it not for the present peculiar and unpleasant situations of our nation, and the extraordinary measures used to force the Cherokees from their homes and their country, I would be content with silence; my voice should not be heard, even in audible whispers, in questioning the motives which influence the Government toward the Indians. Injustice has been done to the Cherokees, and to the State of Georgia, alone, I am not prepared to impute its perpetration. Her cruel and oppressive course has met the approbation of the United States Executive. The most solemn treaties, as well as acts of Congress, aye, the faith and honor of a proud Republic, are stained with disgrace, in order to deprive helpless Indians of their dearest rights and obtain possession of their lands, their cultivated fields, their orchards, the homes of their aged sires and little children, the country given them by their Great Father in Heaven. Laws and treaties have been trampled with impunity under foot, that the avarice of the white man might triumph over justice. The Cherokees have appealed, though again, to the solemn pledges of protection give them by the United States- pledges which stand not only recorded in the many subsisting treaties made with these unfortunate people, but witnessed by HIM, who governs the destiny of man, Kingdoms, and Empires.
It was lately asked by a high officer of the Government, 'why should you indulge an excess of feeling for your Indians?' Let the people of this nation answer by stating all the injury and abuses which they have suffered within the last twelve months and the losses sustained under a course of unparalleled oppression on this continent-let the nation be heard in the strange efforts to extinguish its existence, and there is not a human heart but what must beat with sympathy, not a candid man who will hear but must feel that injustice 'follows in the wane' of some measures, and not a patriot that will not feel for his country's honor.
My principal object in this communication is to expose an important fact connected with the change made in the payment of our annuity. It may be proper to state first, that this annuity is not due to the individual Cherokees; but is stipulated to be paid to the 'Nation' as a nation, by the United States for lands which have been ceded by the 'Nation'. It is not a bounty prepared solely by the benevolence of the Government for the benefit of the Indians, as has been gravely, but unjustly, stated by some of the word-mongers' of the present dynasty. This nation once owned a large extent of country, which has been narrowed down, by cession after cession, until little remains. These cessions were always made by the nation, or its authority. Attempts have been made by individual Chiefs to cede, but they never in any instance effected their object. The consideration paid for these cessions has been to the 'Nation.' The right of the Cherokees to their lands I conceive to be a national right, and as such has been guarantied to them by the United States. With the termination of their national existence, this guaranty also terminates as a consequence.
In pursuance of the kind and paternal advice of Presidents Washington and Jefferson, they have adopted a 'Government of regular law.' They have a Treasury into which are deposited the funds of the nation for the support of this government, under which state of things they have peaceably and happily prospered for many years. But with the ascension of the present rulers of the United States, a most salutary system of 'Reform' was commenced, which it is benevolently intended shall end in the extinguishment of our National existence, the emptying of our treasury, and, in all probability, the severing of the ties of country and kindred. The state of Georgia has attempted to break down our humble government and to enslave our citizens on their own lands by legislation. The President has said she has the power and the right in exercising it,- but our treaties declare the contrary. We resolved to refer the question to the Supreme Court of the United States and the expenses were to be met by the Nation. But our determination was no sooner publicly known, than the President of the U. States, the 'Friend of the Cherokees,' issued his mandate, through the War Department, that the annuity shall no longer be paid into the Treasury, but distributed amongst the individuals.- Thus enriching these 'poor wretched ill-clothed beings.' by giving to each about forty cents!! That the Executive may have ample justice for this gracious act, the Secretary of War shall be heard, himself assigning the reasons.
In a letter addressed by him to the Rev. Mr. Baldwin of the Indian Board, New York, dated 30th June, 1830, he says: 'Our word as to your last inquiry. The annuities which are payable to the Indians have heretofore been paid to the Chiefs of districts, or clans, by them to be apportioned amongst the heads of families within their jurisdiction. Complaints have been made, and recently that mode has been changed. An order from the War Department requires the different agents to pay to the several heads of families, each, his ratable portion of the annuity. Imposition may be thus prevented,' or at any rate complaints avoided. Complaints then have been made and the mode of payment is changed, which, if it will not prevent impositions, at any rate complaints may be avoided! The reasons are indeed weighty, and yet may be expressed in 'one word' and that significant word is, 'complaints.' What strange and astonishing powers are derived from the use of this 'one word!' Why, it enables the President (constitutionally I presume) to substitute his will or treaty stipulations to the serious injury of the Cherokees ' contrary to their well known disapprobation of the measure. But are the Cherokees included in the Secretary's answer to Mr. Baldwin's inquiry?' They certainly are. The same alteration is made with them, and I believe at the very same time, as with the other tribes, and he of course includes the whole where he allows of no exception. Every candid reader must come to this conclusion. To those who do not know the facts of the matter as they actually are, I can say that the annuity was not paid to us as stated above, but paid into our treasury by the agent, and that agreeably to the understanding had between the nation and the Government. As to complaints, none has ever been made. I understand from his letter that they came from the Indians, for who but themselves are interested in the disbursement of this fund? Complaints made by the Indians must be through the agent or direct from the nation. They have not been respected when made in any other way. I speak of the Cherokees, and from personal knowledge. No 'complaints' have ever gone from any branch of authority in this nation, nor from any respectable individual of the nation. No respectable Cherokee has ever been heard to use language that could even be tortured into a complaint on the subject. If any are of the opinion that it is possible complaints may have gone up through the agent, his words will settle the matter. The following is in answer to a note I addressed him:
SIR- In answer to your inquiry, I will state that no complaints have ever passed through me to the Executive or any other person, either from the Indians or any other person on the subject of the distribution of the annuity.
Respectfully your Ob't Serv't
Agency, 20th Sept. 1830.'
No complaints then have ever passed through him from any source, and none from the nation or its respectable citizens. I am extensively acquainted among these people and have never in all my life heard but a solitary individual 'complain,' and that person was a white man, of bad character, and at the time intoxicated. Ought any complaints from citizens of the United States of Georgia, for they alone have I heard clamorous, to have a greater weight of influence with the Executive than a part of the 'supreme law of the land?' Does not the Hon. Secretary of War owe it to himself, to the Indian Board, to the ill fated Cherokees, to state at what time they complained, the nature of such complaints, and the source from whence those complaints originated?
If I have misstated any particular, I am willing to be set right. If I have fallen into error in my opinions, I am willing to be corrected; and I only ask for the Cherokees that which they have prayed in vain, impartial justice. They have still some consolation, in the enjoyment of a single thought, and that is, even though the funds of the nation
may be controlled by others, yet there are private funds, thank Heaven, which they are still 'permitted' to control themselves; ' so long as that is the case, ' they have justice on their side, they will not yield their rights ' their country. They are resolved not to touch a single dollar of the annuity unless paid to them as it ought to be. The day of their fall may be at hand; and if there is a redeeming virtue in the faith of the United States' Government, then they are gone forever, and it matters not how soon they pass the Rubicon of their fate.
W. S. COODEY.
The following letter, which we have received from one of the Cherokees whose names are subscribed to the communication addressed to one of the officers of the United States Troops, will give our readers further light on the kind of protection the government is affording the Cherokees.
GOLD REGION. C. N. 6TH Oct. 1830
Dear Sir- I arrived here a few days since for the purpose of engaging in the mining business in common with other citizens of the Nation, not apprehending any molestation in our peaceful operations. I was informed on my arrival that a detachment of the United States troops from the Six's mines was daily expected. We determined to remain, however, notwithstanding the ill treatment many of the Cherokees have received at the upper mines. On the 4th inst. they made their appearance, ' moved upon us in military order. The commandant ordered his soldiers to 'take charge of these men' and then delivered verbally, what he said to be an order from the War Department, that all digging for gold by the Indians should be stopped. We obeyed for the while, and were permitted to return to our camps, where we held a consultation, and addressed to the officer a letter, a copy of which I sent you. We know not what will be the result of our disobedience,, but we are prepared for the consequences, and will remain here until our military masters shall have ample time to act upon the subject. Can it be possible, that this is the kind of protection President Jackson meant, when our Delegation at Washington last saw him, and he said to them, and, repeated two or three times, and raising his arm, as he spoke, 'I shall protect you in your territorial possessions.' Time must soon develop.
The officer at the Six's promised some of the Cherokees to obtain a copy of the order from the War Department to the commanding officer, and lay it before them, but the time has passed and yet no order. I presume they are acting under the same order laid before the call session of our Council by the agent, and under his forced construction of the same. We are anxious to see the result of matters. If we have rights let us enjoy them; but if they are to be surrendered at the point of the U. States bayonets, let it be done at once, that we may not deceive ourselves with unjust expectations. You shall be advised of future measures, and the world of our oppression.
Respectfully your friend. The letter above referred to is deferred until next week.