Cherokee Phoenix

From the National Intelligencer

Published March, 19, 1831

Page 2 Column 2b-3a

From the National Intelligencer.

To the Editors- I have read the petition of the citizens of Freeport, Maine, disapproving of the memorials in behalf of the Cherokees, in defiance of the laws of Georgia, and for asserting the right of the Indians 'to set up an Independent Government within the chartered limits of a Sovereign State, without such State's consent.' This Indian Government has been set up long before the white man from Georgia received the parchment of the charter so much talked of, from his royal master of England. At the treaty of peace of 1793, Great Britain surrendered all rights she ever asserted, by virtue of this charter; that is, not of subjugating the Indians by cruel laws, but the right of preemption, to the United States' Government, and not to the State of Georgia. The United States, thereafter, have repeatedly guarantied to the Cherokees the peaceable possession of their lands, and the protection of the United States, which as we Indians understand it, does not mean conquest and oppression. The right to make treaties was relinquished by Georgia and the other States comprising this Union, to the President and Senate of the U. States, who have established the treaties between us, and from which she, Georgia, holds titles and possession of all the lands in the State. These treaties are valid and constitutional when an Indian sells dirt; but when he calls for protection from the encroachment of the white men, these treaties are immediately held up to the world as blank paper-as unworthy of notice. The Freeport petition goes on to state-'We believe that the United States are under the most solemn obligation to the State of Georgia to extinguish the Indian title to lands within her chartered limits, as soon as convenient, without doing gross injustice to said Indians.' So, do we believe it; and also believe, from the compact of Georgia and the United States, that this must be effected 'on peaceable and reasonable conditions.' without 'any injustice.' Will the petitioners above mentioned believe this much? They also state that they believe that 'the present administration have dealt honorably and justly with respect to the Indians.' Let me pass by that, and tell what I believe the Cherokees did, and how justly they dealt in the late war, with General Jackson, by fighting bravely in defence of Georgia and the United States, under his command. The General, as a soldier, has admitted the valor of my honored father in that campaign. They did not withdraw their aid when it was wanted, by constitutional scruples, but freely shed their best blood in the cause of the United States, at the battle of the Horseshoe. Sirs, the Cherokees have loved General Jackson, and still love his memory, as they understood his character as their general, before he was installed in the Chief Magistracy of the United States. They have nothing to do with the party warfare that now rages in this country. They have only raised up their hands and voice for law, justice, and the fulfillment of treaties. Their appeals to the American people come from the heart. They hold your bond, in which you have promised them protection. Will the people of Freeport, and all whose minds are enlisted in favor of justice, believe that the United States are also under obligations to fulfil their treaties with the Cherokees? Yours, 'c.