Cherokee Phoenix

From the New York Evangelist

Published July, 23, 1831

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From the New York Evangelist.


Under this head, the Cherokee Phoenix contains the subjoined articles. In presenting them to the Christian public, we are constrained to make a few remarks. We believe that the course pursued by the Government of Georgia towards the Indians, residing as sovereign tribes or nations, within the chartered limits of that State, is highly oppressive and sinful. That Georgia, aided by our General Government, should pursue a course so evidently calculated to oppose the progress of civilization and Christianity among the Indians, at a time when the fostering smiles of Heaven were decidedly resting upon benevolent and missionary efforts among them, we cannot but view as a sin peculiarly grievous and offensive to God!

When we see our nation beginning to desecrate the Sabbath; to plight her faith with those nations that might have crushed, while they kindly cradled her infancy; when we see any of the States, encouraged by the General Government, as we fully believe, oppressing the weak and defenseless, we tremble in view of a merited and fearful retribution! Such sins unrepented of, must be punished! We would therefore call on Christians of every name to pray fervently and unceasingly that justice may be done to the oppressed, and that impending wrath may be averted from our guilty land. Christians! this is no time to sleep! Depend upon it the wrath of Heaven, like some terrible earthquake, struggling under a mountain's weight, is now summoning its fearful energies; and soon, unless the intercessions of Zion prevail, will burst forth, and by its lasting desolation, tell to all the earth the dreadful wrath of Jehovah against that nation which has desecrated the Sabbath, plighted her faith, oppressed the defenseless, and condemned her God! We believe that the effectual fervent prayer of our Christian community, if offered, will prevent the curse! Christian! free thine own soul!


From the Journal of Humanity.

After the discharge of the missionaries among the Cherokees, sometime ago, by sentence of the Georgia Court, it was supposed that they would be permitted to prosecute their peaceful and philanthropic labors without further molestation.- But the spirit of their persecutors was not so easily satisfied. The law under which they were arrested was planned and enacted for the very purpose of driving them from their field of labor or miring them in prison. Accordingly, when the decision of the Court, setting them at liberty on the ground that they were Agents of the United States was known, the subject was immediately brought before the National Executive and the answer obtained on which the proceedings detailed below are founded. As Mr. Worcester was supposed by the Court to be protected by his office as Post Master, measures were taken to procure his removal.

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If a humane Christian people can endure this in silence and quiet, they can endure anything. Never before have these United States been disgraced by such intolerable legislation. A tyrannical and unconstitutional law is first enacted; and then imprisonment at hard labor in the Penitentiary is declared to be the punishment of anyone who will not swear to support it! Christian missionaries-men of talent and of cultivated minds, whose honesty and integrity the breath of slander itself cannot touch, and to whose philanthropic and self denying labors every generous heart accords a willing tribute of gratitude on behalf of suffering humanity-these agents of the Christian public in the work of bringing the Indian to partake of the light ' enjoyments of virtuous and civilized life, are tone from the bosom of their families, from the dear churches that they have gathered, the labors to which they had consecrated their lives and in the prosecution of which they had enjoyed in the smiles of Heaven, and IMPRISONED AT HARD LABOR, for what? We know Mr. Worcester well--one of the purest and best of men. What black crime has he in some mad hour been guilty of, that he can no longer be permitted to prosecute his translation of the Book of God--or speak the words of eternal life to the ignorant and erring,-or attend the sick-bed of the wife of his bosom--or even breathe the free air of heaven?- He will not be a partaker in the crime of violating the pledged faith or the laws of his country, for the purpose either of trampling the Cherokee in the dust or driving him from his fathers' graves. This is all! The Cherokees must be dragooned into submission. The free expression of opinion must not be allowed, a military force, like an armed Inquisition, must traverse the Nation to seize offenders, without civil process, or any intimation to them of the crime for which they are arrested.

Think of it, ye whom the true spirit of LIBERTY sill animates-think of it!


The Cherokees and Georgia.- We mentioned, a day or two since, the removal of the Rev. S. A. Worcester, from the Post Office at New Echota, in the Cherokee country. It will appear by the following article and correspondence, which is copied from the Cherokee Phoenix of June 4th, that this was but the prelude to more outrageous proceedings against the defenseless Indians. While Mr. Worcester was an officer of the United States, Georgia could not enforce against him her unconstitutional and oppressive acts. His removal was necessary to leave him at her full mercy, and the President did not hesitate to do it, and give the last sanction of the government to the odious, illegal, and iniquitous proceedings of the state of Georgia.

The unvarnished statement of the Phoenix needs no comment. It appeals to the people of the United States, in a voice that must be heard and will be obeyed, to take the national honor and the national faith into their own hands, and crush, with overwhelming indignation, and administration, which has shown its contempt of both. It is time for the people to say that treaties shall be kept, and that the Cherokees shall be protected.--Troy Sentinel.


From the Newark Sentinel.

It will be seen by the official documents published in the preceding page, that the General Government is most cordially co-operating with the oppressive acts of the State of Georgia in driving the Cherokees from the peaceful land of their fathers, alike regardless of the unalienable rights of the Indians, and the Mission establishments planted amongst them by the disinterested benevolence of the Christian public. It will be recollected that it is but a short time since, that we published an account of the arrest of the Rev. Mr. Worcester, and after being dragged before a Georgia tribunal discharged on the ground that he was an United States officer. Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon, that in order to further the views of the State of Georgia, the man now at the head of the nation, has yielded his assent to the dismission of the Rev. Mr. Worcester as Post-master at New Echota, and thus paved the way for the order of the Governor for his arrest and that of his fellow laborers, unless they flee the country in the short space of ten days. Spirits of Washington and Jefferson, who once cherished Indian rights and civilization with more than maternal affection, what think ye of measures more barbarous than the Hebrew bondage in Egypt!-acts in a land of freedom which must make every American republican to blush and hang his head for the degradation that clusters on the land!


From the Dutches Intelligencer.

Oppression.- We refer the reader to a long, but most interesting and important article in another part of this paper, giving a detailed account of the unjust proceedings of the authorities of Georgia under the countenance and aid of the General Government, in forcibly removing the Missionaries residing in the Cherokee Nation. They reside there under the patronage and direction of the American Missionary Society, were of different denominations, and occupied their stations by the consent and approbation of the Indians, under the authority of a provision contained in the treaties, which stipulates that the government shall use all proper means to instruct and improve the condition of the Indians. Last year while Georgia and her friends were representing the Indians as being most miserable and wretched, and a great majority of them anxious to remove, the Indians protected against the false statements and appealed to the Missionaries to defend them from the slanders of their enemies. They accordingly came out boldly and stated the whole truth. No sooner had they done this than they were marked out as objects of vengeance, and vengeance has come upon them. The affair is a disgrace to the nation, and is accompanied by such a wanton breach of public faith that it fixes an indelible stain upon its character. No more respect is paid to the treaties or laws of the United States for protecting the Indians than if they were not in existence. The ministers among them are forcible removed by military force, without the slightest accusation of crime. Their churches are closed, and their meetings and schools broken up by violence, as they were under the charge of the minister.


From the Religious Intelligencer.

We have read with wonder and pity of some eastern despots who will not allow the Gospel to be introduced among their subjects. And we have read with equal wonder and pity the laws enacted by some of the enlightened Christian Legislatures of this land of Liberty, forbidding on pain and penalties that any person of color shall be taught to read, even in the Bible, which is able to make them wise unto salvation. But Georgia, aided by the General Government, has now completed the climax.

The missionaries of the Cross, sent by our charities, under the direction of the American Board, to civilize and christianize the heathen in our own land, are persecuted, arrested, and banished; or they will be fined and imprisoned. Oh, tell it not in Burma, publish it not in Hindostan or the Islands of the Sea.

It was states in a late number of the Cherokee Phoenix that the Rev. Mr. Worcester, one of the missionaries of the American Board, was arrested and carried a prisoner some distance under the laws of Georgia, and finally discharged because he held the office of Post Master under the General Government. He has since been reformed out that he may have nothing to protect him.