Cherokee Phoenix


Published May, 28, 1831

Page 2 Column 1a-1b


From the Saturday Evening Post.

The Cherokees.--The National Gazette of this city, having expressed an apprehension that the unsuccessful appeal of the Cherokees to the Supreme Court of the United States might lead them to commit some violence, the subject has been adverted to by the editor of the Cherokee Phoenix, who in concluding a long article on the oppressions which the Indians are suffering under, says:- '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--it he must have the land, and throw us penniless upon the wide 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 path of duty, and the Judge of all the earth will vindicate our cause in his own way, and in his own good time.'

These remarks are dictated by sound sense.--Were the Cherokees to resist the oppressions of Georgia, the melancholy struggle would be brief and fruitless. It is better for them to leave the result to an overruling Providence, for he looks upon his red children with an eye of compassion, and will no more tolerate injustice in the 'pale faces' than he will cruelty from their hands. History furnishes many examples of the just retribution of Heaven overtaking and punishing a nation for its iniquities, and it is useless to imagine that we shall be an exception. Crime and injustice will certainly receive their reward in due season, no matter whose hand it is that is raised against his neighbor, or whose ear that is deaf to the calls of suffering innocence.

Injustice and oppression come with an ill grace from this confederation. We know what it is to bear with the despotism of the oppressor--we have felt the galling chain of tyranny--been encumbered with grievance until death was preferable to sustaining the load and we struggled to cast it off. Our cause was a righteous one, and we succeeded. The standard of LIBERTY was upreared and our country was offered as an asylum for the oppressed of all nations. But now, prosperity has made us proud-we have forgotten the writhing of slavery, for the wounds are long since healed; and we impose on those whose lands we now occupy, with equally as much injustice and tyranny, as was put upon our fathers by the unrighteous taskmasters of Great Britain. Verily, the day of retribution will come.

No man feeling, can look upon the gradual extermination of the once numerous Aborigines of this country, without pain and regret. In the language of the National Gazette, the Indians experience a fate like that of Neobe's children-they seem destined to perish by inevitable cause, visible or invisible. From one course or other, fatal shafts are constantly sped by which they are immediately destroyed, or driven into some field of gradual extermination. They can no longer escape the withering contact or ruthless cupidity of what is called civilization:- this tide, as it is also styled, follows them as the waters of the deluge rose upon the fugitives to the mountains.