Cherokee Phoenix


Published June, 25, 1831

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We mentioned sometime since a report, to which we gave some credit, that the President with his Secretary of War intended to visit this nation in the course of the Summer. As we understood it, the report originated from the Agent, who, as was stated, had received letters from the War Department advising him of the intended visit. This was the rumor, and we were inclined to believe it, because we thought the President would again visit the Hermitage this year, from the impression we were under that he had accepted an invitation to a dinner in Charleston, and knowing that the Cherokee Nation would be in his route to Nashville. But we have heard nothing of it since, ' therefore we may now set it down as a unfounded rumor.


A certain white man from Georgia it appears, has been in the nation, and has published the result of less than a week's excursion, in a communication addressed to the editor of the Macon Telegraph. Among the many good things he says of the Cherokees we select a few.

I had heard much said about the advancement of the Cherokees in civilization; and it is perhaps true that in travelling along the road, the country has rather an imposing appearance; for you occasionally come to some well improved country. But you will find it to be only where white men have settled and made fortunes out of the poor degraded natives, by marrying among them and cheating them out of all they are worth.

Speaking again of those white men he says-

Among those men, you will find some of the greatest outlaws from moral worth and common honesty that perhaps the world affords.

What signifies that if true-are not such among all people, even in Georgia?

The half-breeds, quarteroons, 'c. are generally dexterous in their low contemptible way and in that alone while the full blooded natives are as ignorant as it appears possible for them to be, living in wretched hovels, and many of them, both male and female, almost quite naked and perhaps as nearly starved.

Yet this same truth-teller says of Ross, Lowrey and Ridge-'That all appear to be quite intelligent and very gentleman like in their deportment.' What he says of the condition of the` full blooded' is a matter of no great surprise, for it is but a repetition of old slanders which have been endorsed by a committee in Congress and by our good friend Dr. Ely. He says further-

I was told by an intelligent gentleman living in New Echota that he knew several families that had subsisted for the last three weeks entirely on sap and roots.

Sap and roots! mark that. If this intelligent gentleman can inform the public what sap it is, and what roots, which have the virtue of preserving life three weeks, the world will be indebted to him for the discovery. Civilized Ireland, where we are told many persons die of hunger may be induced to erect a monument to his memory. He, could not mean esculent roots we presume. The only roots we have heard of some families digging are the pink and snake roots, but we have not heard of their subsisting on them.- But to be serious. This indeed is a time of great scarcity for provisions, as we understand is likewise in the adjoining counties of the states. On account of the drought last summer very little corn was raised, ' many are in fact suffering. But to say that some have subsisted three weeks entirely on sap and roots is ridiculous-it is positively false.

After the fable comes the moral which has been repeated over and over again.

It would certainly be a humane policy that would remove them to a country where they could enjoy unmolested their wandering habits of life, as it appears to be impossible to reclaim them.

This is the stopping place of all those who undertake to describe the wretched condition of the Cherokees. It is the conclusion of the whole matter. The writer certainly deserves credit for learning a great deal in so short a time. He says he was in the nation a greater part of one week, in which time he 'mixed freely with the Indians' and obtained the important knowledge he has communicated to the public. It would, we apprehend; require any other man the greater part of a week merely to pass through the nation in a direct line, without giving himself the least time to learn the condition of the Indians.


NEW ECHOTA, June 16, 1831

MR. BOUDINOTT,- A report has lately come to my knowledge, that I have been censured for some expressions in a communication published in the Cherokee Phoenix which was attributed to me. I do not know what communication was referred to, but am certain it was not any of which I was the author. I have never written for the Phoenix, on any subject connected with the political concerns of the Cherokees, or relating to the contest between them and the state of Georgia, or to the conduct of the state, or its officers, or of the rulers of the United States, or relating to the removal of the Indians a single sentence, which has not had annexed to it my own proper name, S. A. Worcester, in print, at full length.

I take this opportunity to notice a report which I know to be in extensive circulation, that I am the real editor of the Cherokee Phoenix. You will bear me witness, that I have never written of the matter published as editorial in your paper, anything except now and then a notice of your absence, when that circumstance has occurred, a single notice of a report of news that came to this place in your absence, and a single marginal note; the whole not amounting, I am confident, if all printed together, to a column four inches in length.

While I am writing, permit me to allude to a remark which you made in a late number, respecting the state of my family; viz. that I could not on that account have possibly removed at any time since the law requiring my removal was enacted. The remark was perfectly correct; yet I ought, perhaps in justice to Col. Nelson, to state that I did not mention to him, when I was arrested, the state of my family, and that I afterwards heard of his saying in conversation with a neighbor of mine that he would not have taken me if I had presented that plea.


We have been informed the communication referred to is the one published without a signature in the thirty-eighth number of the last volume, and dated May 13, 1831. A careful perusal of the article will convince any reader that it is from a female hand. It may, also, be proper to state that the writer is not a resident of the nation.

As to the other report, we need hardly say a word. We have already given our testimony. The statement of Mr. Worcester is therefore only a confirmation of what we have already said on this subject on more than one occasion.

When we made the remark, alluded to by Mr. Worcester, respecting the state of his family, it was by no means intended to cast a censure on Col. Nelson. It was only to state an important fact. Of this fact we knew Col. Nelson was unadvised when he arrested Mr. Worcester.

Perhaps it may be proper here to say a few words for ourselves. Notwithstanding Mr. Worcester has been reported to be the real editor of the Phoenix yet we have had our full proportion of the blame and ill will which almost always, as far as we are acquainted, attend conductors of newspapers. We have been charged with making false statements, and publishing libellous and abusive communications, and for these, we have been threatened with personal violence. Even the Post Office has been made the medium for communicating such a threat. Now we take occasion to say, that it is far from being our wish to injure any man or any set of men, by publishing false statements under our editorial head, or by admitting into our columns pieces which we know to be libellous and abusive. We wish to do what is right-we wish at all times to tell the truth. This, however, is not a sufficient guaranty against error. Like the rest of the world we are frail, and are as liable to be led astray as others, perhaps more so, considering our peculiar situation. We, therefore, may have made statements which are not strictly correct. If so, the independence of the press does not require of us to adhere to error, but to make a speedy reparation when we are convinced that we have committed an injury. We hold ourselves ready to do justice to all on this score. As to our correspondents, we make it a point never to publish a communication unless it is accompanied with a responsible name.


We stop the press to inform our readers that the Rev. John Thompson, missionary of the American Board, stationed at Hightower, has been arrested by a detachment of the Georgia Guard.