Cherokee Phoenix

From the Auburn Free Press

Published January, 29, 1831

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From the Auburn Free Press.

Indian Meeting.- In another column will be found the proceedings of a meeting held at the Western Exchange, on Monday evening last, to which the reader is referred. In the course of the evening several of our citizens addressed the meeting, whose language was uniformly marked with that spirit of candor, which is so well suited to the subject upon which they had been called to deliberate. They spoke of the Indians, as they once were-bold, liberal, and independent; and compared their situation then, with that in which they are at present time, when they are compelled to look alone for protection to the justice and magnanimity of our government. They alluded to the numerous treaties which had been entered into between the United States and the Cherokees, during a term more than thirty years, all of which must be broken before the government of the United States can carry into effect its present course of policy! 'Shall we, said one of the gentlemen present-shall we now observe the treaties- treaties which have been made by our best citizens-and sanctioned by all three branches of our government, under each preceding administration? Or, shall we, in the face of heaven and earth violate them in the most despicable manner-merely because the parties with whom they had been made, have become weak and have not the power to redress themselves? Were we to break treaties with European nations, on what ground could our conduct be justified? And should not a treaty made with an Indian be as firmly as religiously adhered to, as though it had been made with any other nation under heaven? And yet we have been told that these treaties are a nullity-that our faith is a nullity-- and the course which the General Government is pursuing, is founded upon this position. In what way shall we, in what way can we justify it on other grounds? In what way can we sanction this violation of national faith, in relation to treaties with the Indians, unless, in the contemptible language of a member from Georgia, on the floor of Congress, we pronounce them 'POOR DEVILS,' and declare that on that account our treaties with them are not binding--that they possess no rights? If this be the case, what have we to do, should we in any future day consider our treaties with England or France in any way burdensome, but to pronounce them a nation of 'POOR DEVILS,' which, of course, will have the effect of nullifying all our previous obligations? Such is the principle advanced, and it is now to be decided whether honorable and high minded men will desire to bring upon this country the sin of violating her faith upon such grounds!........Let it be remembered that the treaties which have been made with the aborigines, have uniformly been entered into for our benefit- by them we have gained immense tracts of territory; and now if these treaties are not binding, give back to the Indian his land, let him again hunt unmolested in his own forests, and roam unchecked among his native hills!'

It was our intention to give a general view of the remarks which were advanced during the evening; but owing to the crowded state of our columns, we must desist, after recommending to such of our citizens as feel the importance of the subject, to attend the adjourned meeting on Monday evening next.



At a highly respectable meeting of the inhabitants of the village of Auburn opposed to the declared policy of the General Government, in relation to the removal of the Cherokee and other tribes of Indians held at the Western Exchange on Monday evening, Dec. 27, Ebenezer Hoskins, Esq. was called to the Chair, and Henry Oliphant, appointed Secretary.

After the Meeting had been addressed by several gentlemen present in a manner that was well calculated to place the subject in its proper light, the following resolutions were read, and unanimously adopted:

Resolved, That this meeting disapprove the declared policy of the General Government, on the subject of the removal of the Cherokee and other Indian tribes, from their country; because, in our opinion, that policy violates the faith of the nation, repeatedly, and solemnly pledged to these tribes, in a succession of treaties, negotiated by our greatest and wisest men; and sanctioned by a succession of Presidents, Senates, and House of Representatives.

Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed to prepare an address to the inhabitants of this county; and that Alvah Worden, Lyman Paine and John Grover be said committee.

Resolved, That in our opinion, it is advisable for the citizens of this village to express freely and respectfully to our National Legislature, their opinions and feelings on this important subject. Therefore

Resolved, That William Brown, Abijah Fitch, Lorenzo W. Pease, George Ratbun, and Henry Oliphant, be a committee to draw a memorial to Congress expressing their views and feelings on the aforesaid policy of the General Government; and that the said committee report the same to us at an adjourned meeting to be holden at this place on Monday, the third day of January next, at 6 o'clock in the evening.

Resolved, That the doings of this meeting be published in the several papers of the village, and that a general invitation be given to our fellow citizens opposed to the course pursued by the Gen. Government, in relation to the removal of the Indians to attend the said adjourned meeting.