Cherokee Phoenix

Georgia and the Indians.- Much curiosity has been evinced by the public in anticipating the finale o

Published March, 5, 1831

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Georgia and the Indians.- Much curiosity has been evinced by the public in anticipating the finale of the conflicting claims to exclusive sovereignty which have been asserted by the State of Georgia and the Cherokee tribe of Indians over the territory occupied by that tribe. In the case of George Tassels, an Indian who was lately convicted of killing another Indian and under the laws of Georgia, sentenced to be hung the Writ of Error issued by Chief Justice Marshall if it had been obeyed by the authorities of the State would have taken the case before the Supreme Court where the question would have been settled in a regular and peaceable manner. But the State of Georgia has taken a short cut to end the matter. Orders were immediately issued to hang the Indian, and as our readers are apprised, these orders have been carried into effect. Tassels is in his grave ' this fact being suggested to the Supreme Court as he was the plaintiff in Error the suit must abate. But as our readers will have seen by a statement in our last paper the Cherokee Nation have filed a Bill in the Supreme Court for an injunction to restrain the State of Georgia from trespassing on their lands or executing the laws of that State within the bounds of the Cherokee Territory. That the Supreme Court has jurisdiction in such cases, is doubted by some on the authority of the 11th article of the Amendments to the Constitution, which is in these words:

'That the Judicial Power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in Law or Equity, commenced or prosecuted against any one of the U. States, by citizens of an other State, or by citizens or subjects of any foreign State.'

On the other hand it is asserted that that Court has exercised jurisdiction in several cases wherein the objection was raised, and particularly in the case of Cohens vs. the State of Virginia. Whether that Court has jurisdiction in this case or not we think nothing could more clearly show than the conduct of Georgia herself in this matter, that justice requires a tribunal higher than any in that State to decide this important question. We do not mean to express any opinion of the claims to jurisdiction set up by Georgia, but we think a stronger exemplification of the truth of the old saying that 'Gold's corrupting,' can scarcely be found than in the avidity which that State has exhibited to seize on the territory of the Indians and oust them right or wrong by the oppression of burdensome laws. The zeal which is exhibited in this attempt, can easily be accounted for when it is recollected that the Indians Territory is understood to contain rich mines of Gold, ' that by the laws of that State her public domain is divided by lottery among the people. Under these circumstances the venerable and upright judges of the Supreme Court would form a tribunal quite too disinterested to suit the purposes of Georgia in her controversy with the Indians. But, the 'poor Indian' who is scorned and scoffed at by a certain set of political zealots in our country, when supplicating justice from the Supreme Court, will be just as sure of the protection of his rights, as if he were the proudest nabob in the land.- Florence Ala. Gazette.