Cherokee Phoenix


Published May, 14, 1831

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The following is said to be taken from the Repertory, a religious paper published in Macon, Georgia. We cannot but express our astonishment that a minister of the Gospel should thus publicly countenance that law of Georgia which must, whatever the Rev. Mr. Capers may say to the contrary, forever fix a stain on the `civilized code' of the state. Perhaps Mr. Capers was not aware that many of those whom he would most charitably denounce as the authors of the 'Savage Code,' the conductors of 'mock trials' and the encouragers of 'crimes at which humanity must blush,' are member in good standing of the Society (Methodist) the organ of which, in Georgia, he claims to be. But such a slander on the Cherokees cannot, we think, be relished by his brethren. The main point on which he builds his remarks appears to be the reply of Christ to the Pharisees- `Render unto Caesar 'c.' But how will this Rev. Gentlemen dispose of the consciences of those who believe that Georgia is not the Caesar? The language of a writer may well be applied to this editor, who would, in his capacity of an expounder of the oracles of God, decide for others, upon mere assumption, where their allegiance is due- 'O the power of prejudice!'


The Missionaries Arrested.- Under this article some remarks have been offered to the public, apparently as much to question the humanity of our laws, as to increase the unfriendly feeling of our Indian neighbors.- Much is said and much more will doubtless be said on a subject which seems to have elicited many painful feelings; but the unrighteous features of `the Act' for violation of which the 'arrest' was made is yet to be exhibited. The constituted authorities of the State have certainly the right, and are bound by moral obligations to enact and enforce such laws within the chartered limits of her jurisdiction, as should effectually secure our citizens from the `mock trials' and inhuman brutal treatment which some of them have received at the hands of the Cherokees--and if Christianity will justify a preference for the 'Savage Code' and its boasted declaration of Independence, it cannot sustain the propriety of a voluntarily subjection of its votaries, to the penalties of a law, which regards as its chief object, the suppression of crimes at which humanity must blush. The `conscientious scruples' which the `Oath' is said to have imposed upon its subjects, may be ascertained by a reference to its letter, viz:- `I, A. B. `do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be,) that I will support and defend the Constitution and Laws of the State of Georgia, and uprightly demean myself as a citizen thereof.'

`Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things which are God's is a precept which ALL MEN are required to obey.

[`Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor,' is another precept which ALL MEN are equally required to obey.]


A gentleman recently from Washington, has informed the editor of the Rural Cabinet, that the Cherokee Delegation waited on the President, soon after the decision of the Supreme Court, and wished to know if he was angry with them. The President replied no- he was sorry for them- that they had been deluded by their pretended friends. The Delegation than asked the President if the Cherokees should be disposed to treat on what terms would the President meet them. The President informed them that he was willing to treat on the same terms as those stipulated with the Choctaws, and no other. It is further stated that the Indian Agencies within the Creeks and Cherokees are immediately to be discontinued, and that hereafter special agents will be appointed to distribute annuities.- Savannah Georgian.

It appears that another attempt is to be made to create an impression that the Cherokees are willing to treat. For the refutation of the principal statements contained above we might content ourselves by simply referring our readers to what we have said under our editorial head since the return of the Delegation. We have said, or at least we have intimated that the Cherokees were not disposed to treat, and would not treat under present circumstances. We have given their views and feelings- in this we think we cannot be mistaken. It is useless to talk of treaties when their validity is denied and their provisions superseded by executive will.-- We want no more mock promises, no solemn stipulations to be disregarded and violated the first opportunity. We are contending for liberty--we are contending for the validity of treaties-for the binding nature of the promises of the Government, and while the Executive denies these, we cannot compromise our principles by capitulating at discretion. We cannot, without doing violence to our rights and opinions, consent to treat with General Jackson. If the Cherokees are ever compelled to treat, it will be with an administration that will do them justice, by acknowledging the validity of treaties, and executing their provisions--an administration that will be sincere, not hypocritical. So we feel, and so we have reason to believe, the mass of the Cherokees feel. Perhaps we shall be told by our great father-'If you persevere in this determination, you will lose your land without receiving a cent, for Georgia is ready to seize it.' We answer, be it so if thus it must be, and if the head of this great republic can thus conveniently redeem his pledge 'to protect possessors rights of the Cherokees.' Such an occurrence would be but another strong reason to decline to negotiate.

Now as to the conversation said to have taken place between the President and the Cherokee Delegation, we are prepared to say that no such questions as are stated above were proposed by the Delegation. We have been told what the nature of the conversation was, but we will not relate it here, for our authority will hardly be sufficient to discredit the 'Gentleman recently from Washington.' We leave it to the Delegation to furnish us with a true account of the interview.


Georgia Surveyors- For the last two months the Georgia Surveyors have been overrunning the Cherokee territory. We have seen two or three companies, and we have heard of several others. They are surveying the country into districts of nine miles square.


A detachment of the Georgia Guard headed by Brooks, we understand, arrested Doct. Butler, Missionary, the other day. They took him only as far as Head of Coosa ' there dismissed him, provided he would go to their head quarters when he had leisure. This reminds us of an instance somewhat similar. The last company who visited this place took one Jack Ward, but released him because he was an old man-and they would not take another because he was an invalid. These are fine examples of the Majesty of the law, which is not a respecter of criminals.



The following unexpected news from Washington will be interesting to some of our readers.

from the Globe of April, 20

It will appear, by the publication in our columns of today, that the Secretary of State has tendered his resignation to the President, who has excepted it. The grounds upon which distinctly stated in the correspondence, that comment on our part is unnecessary. On the 7th the Secretary of War tendered his resignation to the President: and yesterday the Secretary of the Treasury and Secretary of the Navy handed in theirs; all of which have been accepted. From this it is inferred that a new organization of the Cabinet is to take place.


The following resolutions were adopted by a large meeting which had convened to sign a protest against the distribution of the annuity among individuals. They convey the views entertained by the Cherokee people, and fully sustain what we have already said. We are pleased with their spirit.

Whereas it is the duty we owe to ourselves, our children, and to our friends abroad in the United States, to express our views and our feelings in regard to the controversy imposed upon us by our neighbors the Georgians, and the means exercised by them to effect their contemplated object, the expulsion of the Cherokee people from their native land, it is therefore unanimously Resolved by this meeting-

1st. That agreeably to the stipulations of numerous treaties subsisting between the United States and the Cherokee Nation, and which are in force, and sanctioned by every President except the present incumbent, and the laws of the United States exacted to carry the same into effect, we are entitled to protection, and that the following language of the Supreme Court, we respectfully believe, should awaken the American people to exert their influence upon their Chief Magistrate to carry the said laws and treaties into effect, to wit: 'So much of the argument as was intended to prove the character of the Cherokees as a State, as a distinct political society, separated from others, capable of managing its own affairs and governing itself, has, in the opinion of a majority of the Judges, been completely successful. They have been uniformly treated as a State from the settlement of our country. The numerous treaties made with them by the United States recognize them as a people capable of maintaining the relations of peace and war, of being responsible in their political character for any violation of their engagements, or for any aggression committed on the citizens of the United States, by any individuals of their community. Laws have been made in the spirit of these treaties. The acts of our government plainly recognize the Cherokee Nation as a State, ' the courts are bound by those acts.'

2d. Consequently the laws of Georgia, which have established an armed soldiery at our Gold mines and have taken the same in possession, and which soldiery in detachments patrol, over our country in armed bands and, without warrants even from their own State, are continually arresting our citizens, thereby reducing our people to endure not only civil but martial law, the way of which is in the breast of the petty Georgian officers, and establishing their poney club on places abandoned by Arkansas Emigrants, under a treaty made not with our Nation and its consent, and who are thus deeply seated within our limits, to steal from our people--' in sending numerous companies of Surveyors who are now engaged in running parallel lines of 27 miles distance from each line with the design of running cross lines to accomplish the object of dividing our country into nine miles Sections; are all repugnant to the Constitution, laws, and treaties of the United States, and as President Jackson is well advised of these measures and has withdrawn his protection, the people of the Union ought to know it, that they may be induced to award to our Nation, through an act of Congress, peace according to equity and good conscience.

3d. We congratulate the friends of our Nation in the able manner they have been sustained in their views of our rights, by the opinion of the Supreme Court, and ourselves, to know that every disinterested tribunal and honest individual have sustained us in every right which we have asserted and claim, except that of being a foreign Nation in a Constitutional and political sense; and that we are not ashamed, under proper Guardians, to be 'In a state of pupilage' to the United States.

4th. The State of Georgia, being a component part of the United States, with whom our Nation has the relations of perpetual peace and friendship, we highly approve of the forbearance and prudence of our National authority, in the trials and insults they experience from that state, and of their determination to see our Nation righted by the vigor and energy and virtue of the American people.


Resolved, That we entertain the highest respect for the firmness ' patriotism of our principal Chiefs; and also take this occasion to express our great satisfaction for the industry, ability, and zeal evinced in our behalf, by our Delegation, who have last winter attended the Congress of the United States, at Washington City.


Resolved, that the proceedings of this meeting be signed by the President and vice Presidents, attested by the Secretaries, and sent to the Editor of the Cherokee Phoenix for publication.













Vice Presidents.

ANDREW ADAIR } Secretaries


Runningwaters, Coosawattee District, Cherokee Nation, 10th May, 1831