Cherokee Phoenix

From the National Journal

Published March, 5, 1831

Page 2 Column 3b

From the National Journal.

The following memorial of the head men and warriors of the Creek Nation exhibits the dreadful situation into which the perfidy of the General Government has plunged those deluded Indians of that nation who believed the promise (sic) of the President were made in sincerity, and that they would be fulfilled with good faith. It seems that 'during the early part of the last summer,' these Indians were told 'that those who wished to remove would be carried off at the expense of the Government.' In reliance on this promise, such as wished to remove refrained from planting their , 'crops of corn, and other articles of subsistence, and sold most of their stock.' After they had placed themselves in this destitute condition they are told 'that unless the entire Creek nation should resolve to leave their country, no assistance would be afforded to those who had prepared to emigrate.' The melancholy condition to which these deluded individuals are reduced by this violation of pledge by this forfeiture of the faith of the nation, by the President and his advisers, is well described in the memorial, which, without further preface we append:

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States in Congress assembled.

BROTHERS: We the undersigned, and men and warriors, for ourselves and that part of the Creek Nation desirous of emigrating, would beg leave respectfully to present for your consideration a brief, but correct statement of our present condition. For several years past, as it is known to your great council, in all the talks that we have received from our great father the President, the most forcible arguments have been employed, and the strongest inducement constantly held out, to induce us to emigrate west of the Mississippi, we have been repeatedly told that the country to which we should remove would be secured to us in fee simple; that the expense of our journey should born, and provisions made for one year's subsistence in our new homes. Even during the early part of the last summer, similar promises and renewed assurances were made of this friendly disposition and parental care of our great father toward his red children. We were then told that those who choose to remain and come under the laws of Alabama, could do so, and those who wished the removal would be carried off at the expense of the government.

To encourage us in a more fearless expression of our sentiments, and induce us to act with more promptitude on this subject, we were also promised the protection of the government against the hostilities of those opposed to emigration, ' were told our present agent, Col. Crowell, would conduct us to our new home, and there reside permanently among us. These inducements, together with the hardship and difficulty of our present situation, and the prospective oppression consequent on the extension of the laws of Alabama, had inclined us and several thousand of our people to prepare for a speedy compliance with the wishes of our great father, to leave the scenes of our nativity and the land of our ancestors and seek a more peaceful habitation in the unexplored wilds of the west. Reposing the utmost confidence in these promises, thus positively made-these pledges thus solemnly given- the necessary arrangements were made by us and our people for an immediate removal during the last summer. In order that the least obstruction should be presented, and the greatest facility afforded for an early departure, we failed to plant our crops of corn and other articles of subsistence essential to our support and comfort, and we contemplated a continued residence in this country; and to further our preparations, we disposed of the most of our stock and other articles that would have been inconvenient to carry with us. Having taken these steps to comply with the wishes of our great father the President, judge, if you can, what must have been our surprise and mortification, when we were told in a recent talk from our great father, communicated to us by our agent, that unless the entire Creek Nation should resolve to leave their country, no assistance would be afforded to those who had prepared to emigrate: and to aggravate our misfortunes, the probability is our agent will be withdrawn at the expiration of the present year. This unexpected decision has placed us in a more deplorable condition than the rest of our people. By the disposition that we have shown to remove, we have incurred the displeasure of those opposed to emigration: they deride and insult us as the deluded victims of the white men; and by the neglect of our crops and the disposal of our stock, we shall be inevitably reduced to absolute want. Such being the circumstances in which we are placed no alternative seems to be left us but a speedy removal, or the endurance of all those dreadful ills attendant on famine and persecution. But without the promised assistance of government we are utterly unable to go. Your great council, at its last session, appropriated $500,000 for the removal of the Indians west of the Mississippi, ' provided for the payment, not only of the improvements, but the expenses, and one year's subsistence in Arkansas of all those that wished to emigrate. We are not aware that the provisions of this bill render it necessary for the whole nation to remove, or none could receive the promised boon: neither was the most distant intimation of this intention contained in the repeated talks communicated from our great father, until we had openly manifested our disposition to remove. We had been accustomed to place the most implicit confidence in the promises of our white brethren. We hope this confidence will not be impaired, and that your great council will direct that we shall speedily be removed at the expense of the government, or make us an indemnity for the injury we have sustained in consequence of a compliance with the wishes of our great father. This unlooked for change towards us was not doubt intended to operate on those hostile to emigration; but monstrous indeed is that policy that will prostrate its friends in order to reach its victim.

Reasoning on the supposition that we have rights of some character, if not as lords of the domain, or as occupants merely of the soil, at least we are human beings, and should expect, in our intercourse with the white men, some show of uniformity and consistency. Will a great and magnanimous nation turn a deaf ear to our misfortunes? Will they sport with our calamities when they are of their own inflicting? Forbid it humanity! forbid it justice! We are now but the remnant of a once large and powerful nation: our situation, until lately was flourishing and happy; it is now clouded by misfortune. Recently, peace and plenty flowed around us: now, haggard wart and persecution awaits us. Our destiny is in your hands, it is with our white brothers (by a compliance with their promises so often repeated) to raise us to our former prosperous condition, or (by persisting in the injuries they have done us) debase us to the lowest depths of degradation. we ask nothing from your mercy; we demand it from your justice.

Creek Nation, 30th Nov. 1830.