Cherokee Phoenix

We publish today a document, and some resolutions accompanying it, from the Milledgeville Journal, w

Published January, 1, 1831

Page 4 Column 1b

We publish today a document, and some resolutions accompanying it, from the Milledgeville Journal, which are before the House of Representatives of the State of Georgia, respecting the Cherokees and their lands. The sentiments of the politicians of that state, are the most singular of all that we have met with, regarding any subject of so much importance. By an agreement between the United States and the State of Georgia, in the year 1802, the former agreed to extinguish the title of the Indians to their lands in that state, 'as soon as it could be peaceably done, and on reasonable terms'. The United States have never found an opportunity to perform this agreement, according to the terms of it. They have not thus far been able to do it 'peaceably and upon reasonable terms;' and yet the politicians of that state, not only loudly complain of injustice on the part of the United States, but actually treat them as if they had wilfully violated their agreement. To say nothing of the gross indecency of their charge against the National Government, it was of necessity a matter which rested entirely with the latter to determine when they could carry the agreement with Georgia into effect, according to the terms in which it was framed by the parties. The time referred to in the condition has not arrived, and therefore there is not the slightest ground for the State of Georgia to complain. They may, if they are so disposed, accuse themselves of folly in making such an agreement; but having made it, like all other parties to contracts fairly made, they are bound to abide by it; and they ought to do so without grumbling.

The propositions in the resolutions accompanying the memorial shew, that the framers of them at least are disposed not to depend upon the agreement of 1802, but to make a new bargain. The resolutions pray that the President of the United States would establish a registering office in the Cherokee country, for the purpose of registering the names of such of the members of the tribes as are not disposed to emigrate, but choose to remain on their lands, and reserve for themselves portions of their lands; and to appoint agents to assess the value of such reservations; and that the President may pay to the State the amount so assessed. This memorial, it will be observed, is not addressed to Congress, but to the President: and all the requests contained in it are made to him individually. This is a very extraordinary fact, and well calculated to shew the extremely loose notions which prevail in that state respecting constitutional subjects. The President has no power, without authority derived from Congress, to do any such things, and above all to pay the State of Georgia for the Indian reservations. Georgia has no right to the Indian lands until the agreement of 1802 is executed, and the Indian title extinguished; and the United States alone are competent to determine when the execution of that agreement shall take place. N. Y. Obs.