Cherokee Phoenix

From the Missionary Herald

Published March, 19, 1831

Page 2 Column 1b-2a

From the Missionary Herald


Ill Effects of the late Treaty.

Testimony similar to what is subjoined, respecting the feelings of the Indians, and the effects of the treaties recently made with the Chickasaws and Choctaws, has repeatedly been given. This is added only to show how well different statements agree.

'I have not yet had much opportunity of knowing what is going on in the nation. The following facts have come to me from sources that may be relied upon. When the nation were invited to enter into negotiations preparatory to the late treaty, they at first refused to comply; but after much persuasion they permitted a delegation to be selected with this specific understanding, that they were not to cede away their country. As you have learned ere this from the public prints, the delegation adhered to their instructions for some time after the address of the president; but at length like the Choctaws, they were prevailed upon to negotiate. Since the terms of this negotiation have been published in the nation, very great dissatisfaction has been manifested by the warriors. It is replied that the Indians are only clamorous in their opposition when they are intoxicated; but let the objector inform us what proportion of the nation has been uniformly sober since the treaty; and whether the following is not a fact- That Indians when dissatisfied are remarkable for their taciturnity, if sober, and when drunk, if they are not equally as remarkable for their frankness in expressing their real feelings?

It is true, that since I have known the Chickasaw Nation, there has not been a time which I can recollect, to be compared with the present for dissipation. Before their own laws were abrogated, and a Christian code given in their place, there was a heavy penalty for vending a drop of whiskey in the nation; and in consequence of this salutary law they were the most temperate people I have known. We have lived here many months together without seeing a single individual intoxicated. But now multitudes of men and women whenever they get a few dollars, are off with their kegs and pack-horses to the nearest village and return with their poison, to retail it at 75 cents and upwards per quart. I am informed that it is no rare occurrence to see a horse sold for a keg of whiskey. Unless, in the providence of God, this desolating tide is soon checked, it will sweep from the nation everything that is valuable. Oh that Christians would pray that God may interpose, and save this oppressed people from destruction.

A number of Indians have just returned from a neighboring county in the white settlements, where they were cited by the civil officers. One was prosecuted by a white man, and although the Indian gained the suit, yet his expenses necessarily incurred amounted to $200. This loss is attributed to the extension of Mississippi laws. The perplexity, into which they are thrown by these novel proceedings, I think will probably induce the nation to remove, although we repeat it they will go against their will. The delegation have started to view the country west of the Mississippi. If the nation are driven away, nearly all the civilized part of the population will take reservations, whilst the entire mass of the heathen party will be consigned to the dark forests of the west.