Cherokee Phoenix

Note: This issue of the Phoenix is printed in only four columns

Published April, 16, 1831

Page 3 Column 3b-Column 4b

Note: This issue of the Phoenix is printed in only four columns.








Under this head we copied into our paper the views of intelligent editors and correspondents respecting the opinion of the Supreme Court on the Cherokee case. For our own part we think we understand the nature of the decision, and it is just as we supposed it would be if the notion for an injunction could not be sustained. But we perceive that an effort is making to mislead the public-to produce the impressions that the case has not only been dismissed, but the pretensions of Georgia ' the views of the Executive have been sustained by the Court. It is said by some that the case is 'settled,' forever put to rest, and a hope is entertained that nothing more will be said on the subject. Now we apprehend this is doing injustice to the Supreme Court. The case is not settled for the great question at issue between the State of Georgia and the Cherokees was not before that tribunal. The only question before it was, whether it had original jurisdiction-'whether the Cherokee Nation was a foreign state in the sense of the Constitution, ' the decision went no further than to say, as we understand it, that the Court had not original jurisdiction, and that the Cherokee Nation was not a foreign state in the sense of the Constitution.' How such a decision can be understood and construed as sustaining the pretensions of Georgia and the views of the President of the United States, we are not able to say. Every body knows what the pretensions of Georgia and the views of Gen Jackson are- Now let these be carefully compared with the views, expressed by the Court in their opinion-we may let them be diligently compared, and the public see if there is anything in the latter which supports the former. For our part, we can discover no similarity between them, but on the contrary a wide difference.

It is true the Court says that it cannot protect the Cherokees as a nation, but does it say that they are not entitled to the protection of the Gen Government? The opinion plainly intimates that it is the duty of the Executive and Congress of the United States to redress the wrongs, and to guard the rights of the Cherokees: if they are oppressed. The whole responsibility is thus thrown, by a judicial decision, upon those branches of the Government. The rights of the Cherokees are as plain, as sacred as they have been, and the duty of the Government to secure these rights is as binding as ever. What will the Cherokees do under such circumstances? What else can they do but remain peaceably where they are, and continue to call upon the people of the U. States to fulfil their engagements, their solemn promises which have been repeatedly made and which have always been regarded until the commencement of Mr. Eaton's 'new era?' We see nothing to alter their determination to remain and to maintain their rights by all suitable measures. The land is theirs-their right to it 'unquestionable,' and it cannot be taken away from them without great injustice to them and everlasting infamy to the United States. They stand upon a perfectly safe ground as regards themselves-if they suffer, they will suffer unrighteously-if their rights and their property are forcibly taken away from them the responsibility will not be upon them, but upon their treacherous 'guardians.'

We hope the fears of the Editor of the National Gazette will never be realized. The Cherokees are for peace-they have been in amity with the United States for the last forty years--they have been her faithful allies in time of war-they have buried the hatchet long since, and given their word that the blood of the white man shall not stain their hands.- Why should they now fly to rash and unavailable measures to vindicate their injured rights. They will not, at least we think they will not; and such is our advice. It is more blessed to suffer than to be the oppressors.- It is more blessed to lose, than to gain by unrighteous means. If the white man must oppress us--if he must have the land, and throw us penniless upon the wild world, and if our cries and expostulations will avail nothing at the door of those who have promised to be our guardians and protectors, let it be so. We are in the part of duty, and the Judge of all the earth will vindicate our cause in his own way and in his own good time.


We understand on Wednesday morning; Mr. John A. Bell of Coosewaytee was arrested by a detachment of the Georgia Guard. Mr. B. is a native and what the charge was we are unable to say; and in fact it is impossible to know, for these law officers go to work without a written precept.


Our printers being unable to issue a sheet of a usual size, we present our readers with a smaller sheet.