Cherokee Phoenix


Published November, 20, 1830

Page 3 Column 1c



Friday, Oct. 29.

In the Senate of the legislature of Georgia, the joint Committee on the state of the republic made the following report:

The propriety of effecting an entire abolition of the exercise of governmental powers, by the Cherokee Indians, your committee consider as settled. The State, by an act of her legislature, has extended her law, both civil and criminal; over the territory and persons of said Nation indiscriminately, and thereby virtually abolished all government over such territory, save her own; and any further legislation, having for its object the prevention of the exercise of sovereign power of the Indians, would have been rendered by such act unnecessary, had any or sufficient pains and penalties been annexed to the enforcement of Indian laws or regulations. Those who claim the right of managing the affairs of the Indians, having availed themselves of such omission on the part of the Legislature, and continue to assemble in Council from time to time, for the purpose of making new laws and enforcing them, and others already adopted, or said tribe has rendered it necessary, in the opinion of your committee, to enact such laws as will prevent in future, the exercise of such assumed powers. The Government of Georgia or the Cherokee Nation, alone has the undoubted right of jurisdiction over the territory and persons of said nation within the chartered limits of Georgia. Both cannot possess it. And if such co-equal right could exist, the exercise of such right, by both powers, would be cruelty in the extreme to the Indian. What would be required by the one authority, might be rendered highly penal by the other. The same act being declared criminal by both, would inflict severe punishments twice for the same offence -- a state of things not to be desired by any civilized community. Such, however, is not the situation of the Cherokee Indians. They live exposed to the penalties and requisitions of the codes emanating from sources different in their origin, different in their principles, and different in their exactions. In determining which power should yield this contest of jurisdiction, your committee have no difficulty, nor can they perceive what violence can be done to the feeling of humanity, when they recommend the abolition of a severe and tyrannical code, and propose to substitute in its place, a human and republican government. For the purpose therefore of more effectually preventing the exercise of power by the Headmen and Chiefs, of said Nation, they recommend the following bill: A bill to be entitled an act, to prevent the exercise of assumed and arbitrary power by all persons under pretext of authority from the Cherokee Indians and their laws -- Which was read the last time.