Cherokee Phoenix

From the American Spectator

Published October, 1, 1831

Page 2 Column 4b

From the American Spectator.

The Ten Persecutions Vindicated.- This is effectually done by many of the present ruling party. The Cherokee missionaries, they say, have been treated according to law. They knew the laws of Georgia. They knew, too, that the United States Government has left Georgia to make such laws as she pleases, and has ever encouraged her to do so. And yet the missionaries, though thus enlightened on the subject, refused to submit. Although Georgia commanded them, they would not, like hireling shepherds, abandon the lambs that had been committed to their care, to the voracious wolves that were about to devour them

secundum legem.- They would not take their oath that they would approve and aid the perpetration of this legal robbery and violence. So they themselves are threatened, seized, torn from their sick and dependent families, chained, abused, imprisoned, and menaced with repeated arrests, in connection with all this outrage upon humanity. Some have ventured to call this persecution.

The friends of the administration, upon whom it is certainly chargeable, answer triumphantly, that it is the execution of law. The missionaries are branded as criminals from the bench of the judiciary. They have broken the laws; and justice requires that they should suffer the penalty. Admirable doctrine! Let us carry it out. There is a primitive Christian on the rack:- The law pronounced the sentence. But allowedly he is at most only guilty of a harmless superstition;- no matter, it is law. Another impaled and covered with pitch, is blazing away to give light for heathen revellers; very well! he has disregarded the will of the Roman Emperor:- the blaze he makes is entirely legal. And here again is a company of worshippers, adoring a crucified man:- away with them. But they are a harmless virtuous people:- no matter:- put them all to the sword;--the law requires it.

If ever persecution, murder and capacity, became diabolical in the highest degree, it is when they are invested with the garb of legality.

We now subjoin an article that is going the rounds of the administration papers. Its own comments stand out.

Cherokee Missionaries.- If there is any one thing in this world more disgusting than another, it is to hear the Cherokee Missionaries who choose to reside among their red flocks in flat defiance and contempt of the laws of Georgia, compare themselves to martyrs, and endeavor to create a sympathy in their behalf, as if they were 'persecuted for righteousness sake.' For our part, we do not know what page of the 'good book' they profess to believe, and to make the guide of their thoughts and actions, they draw their authority for defying the laws of the land in which they reside; and we can no more discover, why they should not be punished for a breach of the statutes of Georgia, that forbids their residence on the Indian lands, with as much propriety as that a thief should be imprisoned for stealing. If they wish to escape instead of suffering punishment, let them do what all honest men should do--'render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's.' Martyrdom is out of the fashion in the 19th century. --- Swl. Mer.