Cherokee Phoenix

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Published December, 26, 1830

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From the Massachusetts Journal and Tribune.

The following letter from one of the most intelligent and respectable citizens of this Commonwealth, afforded us so much gratification and encouragement, and was so pleasing to the friends of Indian rights, who have perused it, that we think proper in compliance with their wishes as well as our own, to publish it.


Nov. 16, 1830.

Dear Sir. In your remarks upon the late Message of the Governor of Georgia, I observe a sentence, which seems to indicate that you are somewhat afraid of exhausting the patience of your readers, by your continued attention to the subject of the Indians. Now my Dear Sir, although I am very much pressed with business, I cannot any longer refrain from sending you my tribute of cordial approbation, for the noble spirit, with which you have espoused the cause of the Cherokees. I do not know how the rest of your subscribers and patrons feel; but for myself I can say, that your efforts to save an oppressed people from the machinations of ferocious avarice, have given me a most thrilling satisfaction. A plainer case in respect to natural right, plighted faith, common humanity, to say nothing of the obligations of gratitude and religion, never was presented for the decision of a community, than is now furnished in the controversy with Georgia and the Cherokees. The argument is truly, 'all on one side.' How is it possible, then, that so many editors of respectable journals can be almost if not altogether silent, when measures are in operation, which if successful, will denationalize an independent community, and the people of the U. States a proverb of perfidy and a standing them of derision through the whole civilized world? It is not without much reading and reflection, that I assert, that the Georgia policy is utterly indefensible, except by men who breathe the spirit of a Cortez or Pizarro, or who have thrown their reason, conscience, and humanity under the wheels of our American Juggernaut. If there ever was a crisis, which demanded a full and unequivocal expression of the public sentiment, a crisis exists now. All that is dear to us in the associations of justice, of independence, of patriotism, of philanthropy, of religion, is involved in the decisions of the question, whether Georgia shall be suffered to accomplish her designs of ROBBERY AND EXTERMINATION. I say ROBBERY, for she has no more right to the lands of the Cherokees, than the pirate has to the goods of the merchant whose vessel he plunders. And I say EXTERMINATION, for there cannot be a 'shadow of a shade' of doubt, that the 'recent legislation was deliberately planned to effect the complete expatriation of those, whose lands she must and WILL HAVE.'

I do not despair of success in opposing the measures of Georgia. The cause of the Indians is not yet hopeless; by no means, Let the public mind be properly aroused, and the Indians will be saved. Go on, then, and cease not 'to call upon the Government and people of this country, for protection to those ill-fated, defenseless, confiding children of nature!'

I have said enough to secure the object of this letter. My heart is full to overflowing, and I could easily occupy much more of your time. But I forbear. May God reward you and all others, who labor to save the oppressed from destruction.

With sentiments of high respect,

Yours, etc.

David Lee Child, Esq.

P.S. I would just add, that I read your paper with increasing interest. I had thought of stopping my subscription, on account of my heavy expenses. But I have concluded, that I must not leave you yet, especially as 'my better half' would ply me with very urgent remonstrances, if I should not encourage a weekly visit from the Journal.