NEW ECHOTA:JAN. 22, 1831
A late number of the Milledgeville Journal contains all the acts passed by the last legislature touching the Cherokees and the Cherokee territory. The first has the following title:
AN ACT to authorize the survey and disposition of lands within the limits of Georgia, in the occupancy of the Cherokee of Indians, and all other unlocated lands within the limits of said State, claimed as Creek land, and to authorize the Governor to call out a military force, to protect Surveyors, in the discharge of their duties, and to provide for the punishment of persons who may prevent, any surveyor from performing his duties, as pointed out by this act, or who shall wilfully cut down and deface any marked trees, or remove any landmark, which may be made in pursuance of this act, and to protect the Indians, in the peaceable possession of their improvements, and of the lots on which the same may be situated.
This act is contained in 37 sections, in which every provision is made for the surveying of the land and drawing for it-the same as though it was already purchased. In the 35th section, however,( which we have already published) it appears the act is to remain partly in a state of suspense until the next legislature.
We copy the 33 section with the single remark, that if Washington, or any of his successors (excepting of course the present incumbent) was not President, he would most assuredly make himself liable to the penalty therein contained.
Sec. 33 And be it further enacted, That any person or persons who shall by force, menaces or other means, prevent, or attempt to prevent any surveyor or surveyors from running any line or lines, or doing and performing any act required of him or them by this act, shall on indictment and conviction thereof be sentenced to the Penitentiary at hard labor for the term of five years.
The second act published in course is quiet a curious one--We insert it entire.
AN ACT to declare void all contracts hereafter made with the Cherokee Indians, so far as the Indians are concerned.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of State of Georgia, in General Assembly met, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same. That no Cherokee Indian shall be bound by any contract hereafter to be entered into with a white person or persons, nor shall any Indian be liable to be sued in any of the courts of law or equity in this State, on such contract.
The third is
AN ACT to provide for the temporary disposal of the improvements and possessions purchased from certain Cherokee Indians and residents.
The fourth is
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, and to prevent white persons from residing within that chartered limits of Georgia, occupied by the Cherokee Indians, and to provide a guard for the protection of the gold mines, and to enforce the law of the State within the aforesaid territory.
The substance of the six first sections of this act we published sometime since. We add the four next following.
Sec. 7. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all white persons residing within the limits of the Cherokee Nation, on the first day of March next, or at any time thereafter, without a license or permit, from his Ex. the Governor, or from such agent as his Ex. the Governor shall authorize to grant such a permit or license, and who shall not have taken the oath hereinafter required, shall be guilty of high misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by confinement in the Penitentiary at hard labor, for a term not less than four years: Provided that the provisions of this section shall not be so construed, as to extend to any authorized agent or agents, of the government of the United States, or of this State, or to any person or persons, who may rent any of those improvements, which have been abandoned by Indians, who have emigrated West of the Mississippi: Provided that nothing contained in this section, shall be so construed as to extend to white females, and all male children under twenty years of age.
Sec. 8. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all white persons, citizens of the State of Georgia, who have procured a license in writing, from his Excellency the Governor, or from such agent as his Excellency the Governor, shall authorize to grant such permit or license, to reside within the limits of the Cherokee Nation, and who have taken the following oath, viz: I, A.B. do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I will support and defend the Constitution, and laws of the State of Georgia, and uprightly demean myself as a citizen thereof, so help me God,' shall be and the same are hereby declared, exempt ' free from the operation of the seventh section of this act.
Sec. 9 And be it further enacted, That his Excellency the Governor, be and he is hereby authorized to grant licenses to reside within the limits of the Cherokee Nation, according to the provisions of the eighth section of this act.
Sec. 10. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid,That no person shall collect, or claim any toll from any person for passing any turnpike gate or toll bridge, by authority of any act or law of the Cherokee tribe, or any chief or headman or men, of the same.
We doubt whether in the annals of civilized history a more outrageous and tyrannical law can be found, than this same Georgia act, especially the 7th section. Ye Christians of Georgia, and Republicans of America! where is your boasted freedom of opinion and liberty of conscience, of a man may be torn from his wife and children by a legislative act, and sent to the Penitentiary as a culprit, because he will not perjure himself? And where is the right, so highly prized by you, to worship God without fear or disturbance, if the religious instructors of the Indians may be rudely shut up four years at hard labor in the Penitentiary for performing the service of their divine Master, because they cannot with a clear conscience swear allegiance to Georgia? We should like to know whether ministers of the Gospel in Georgia are commanded by law to make such an oath. We verily believe, that the authorities of that State, ' the authorities of the united States are fixing a stain of infamy upon themselves and their constituents, who uphold them, which will require ages to wipe away. Yet after all many good men have 'confidence in the wisdom and integrity of the rulers.'
We will wait until our missionaries are driven away, and then we will give the alarm to all the oppressors of the Union of Church and State.
The last act has the following title:
AN ACT to authorize the Governor to take possession of the Gold, Silver and other Mines, lying and being in that section of the chartered limits of Georgia, commonly called the Cherokee country, and those upon all other unappropriated lands of the State, and for punishing any person or persons, who may hereafter be found trespassing upon the Mines.
Of this act we copy the 3d and 7th sections.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, For the better securing said mines from trespass, that if any person or persons shall be guilty of digging for gold, silver or other metal upon said mines, or who shall take from or carry away any gold, silver or other metal from said mines, unless authorized by law, he, she, or they shall be sentenced to hard labor in the Penitentiary during the term of four years.
Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That his Excellency the Governor, is hereby authorized to appoint one or more agents if he should deem it necessary, for the protection of the Gold mines in the Cherokee country, or other unappropriated lands of this State, and for the purpose of assisting in the enforcement of the laws of this State, over said country and land, whose duty it shall be to give to the civil authority, information of any trespass upon the gold mines, or violation of the laws of this State, and to see that the transgressors are promptly proceeded against, and to give information from time to time to his Excellency the Governor, of the actings and doings in said premises.
We have no heart or disposition to comment upon these laws-they are too outrageous. We only wish we had room to republish the whole of them.
To the Editor of the Cherokee Phoenix
DEAR SIR--I understand that some person has taken the unwarrantable liberty of putting my name down as one willing to take a reservation and come under the laws of Georgia. I hereby inform the public that I have never put my name down for such a purpose,nor authorized any person to do it.
Dec. 22d. 1830