Cherokee Phoenix

From the Missionary Herald

Published January, 1, 1831

Page 4 Column 2b-3a

From the Missionary Herald.


Extract from a letter of Doctor Butler, dated at Haweis, Sept. 22nd, 1830.

Since the Indian question has been in agitation, I have, so far as I have been able, noticed the movements of the Cherokees and their friends, and also the movements of their enemies. I have often been grieved at the unfounded assertions made to the dis-advantage of the Cherokees; such as those respecting their degraded state, their nearness to extinction, 'c. 'c. I have been acquainted personally with the affairs of the nation for ten years, and know these assertions to be untrue.

Last September I say Mr. H. whose statements, or rather answers to questions proposed to him respecting the state of the Cherokees, were presented to Congress last winter. We conversed freely on that subject. He stated that he lived on the borders of the Nation and had been acquainted with the Cherokees for a number of years; and that he was very much surprised at their rapid improvement in the arts of civilized life; that they appeared to him to be doing well, and that he thought in justice they should be let alone; he thought they could never be placed in another situation where they would improve so rapidly as in their present one; provided the whites would not molest them.

Those who have made statements with regard to Cherokee starvation are certainly very ignorant, or guilty of gross misrepresentations. I know from personal observation that there are a large number of families who raise considerable quantities of corn and meat to sell; and many of these are full Cherokees who speak no English. From an extensive acquaintance I cannot select a family that does not raise corn and meat. Though some few may not raise enough for home consumption. During some seasons I have had to purchase considerable corn; and although I live in the interior of the Nation, I could at any season purchase as much as I wished. Last season, while travelling on the frontiers of Georgia, I well recollect seeing wagon loads of corn going from the Nation to supply the settlements in the State. Droves of beef cattle and hogs are driven annually from this nation to the different states. A few weeks since, not less than 200 beeves were driven from this vicinity to the northern marker; and I think as great numbers were collected in previous years. While many persons in the southern and middle states unite in speaking of Cherokee starvation, their tables are undoubtedly sometimes spread with meat which the alleged half-starved Indian has spared from his surplus stock. When I consider what God has done for this people, their improvement the last then years, the justice of their cause, the unjust ground their enemies stand on, the falsehood and slander, instead of argument, against the Indians, I cannot but think favorable of the issue of their present contest. I have never seen the Cherokees more united than they now are. It is not known that anyone now thinks of emigrating unless it is a few who live in the northern part of the Nation, who enrolled about twelve years since, and have repeatedly renewed their promise of removing. The Cherokees generally feel that their cause is the cause of justice, and that their rights will be maintained in the supreme court of the United States, where they rest all their hopes. Mr. Ross told me a few days since, that his hopes of success were never greater, and that the uncommon union of the Cherokees was a great encouragement.