Cherokee Phoenix

From the Observer and Telegraph

Published December, 17, 1831

Page 1 Column 3a

From the Observer and Telegraph


Mr. ISHAM,--

The opening of the next session of Congress is now at hand, and I fear little is doing for the oppressed Indians. It is not my present object to dwell on the unheard of, and abominable tyranny and oppression practiced by the State of Georgia, with the full knowledge and connivance of President Jackson towards the unoffending and helpless Indians. The sad tale of their wrongs is known to every intelligent man in the nation, and has already been sounded through many of the despotic countries in Europe as a sample of republican principles, equality and justice. And whoever in future times may wish to find one of the strongest examples of perfidious breach of treaties, and disregard of solemn oaths, and of every principle of justice, honor and honestly, need not, and will not, go to despotic governments; for I defy the annals of history to produce a more impudent and barefaced instance of tyranny than what has recently been witnessed in the conduct of the United States and Georgia towards the Indians. I know not how any good man can read the accounts, which every gale wafts to our ears from the Cherokee country, without feeling the blood boil in his veins,and almost involuntarily lifting up his voice and heart to the God of justice in behalf of the oppressed, and resolving to do his utmost for the speedy relief of the poor children of the forest. When, in defiance of the most solemn treaties and the plighted faith of the nation, the poor Indian is driven by the merciless hand of the oppressor, without the shadow of a crime being alleged against him, from his country, his home, the graves of his fathers, and all on earth that is dear to his heart; when to crown the climax of iniquity, the peaceful missionary of the cross is seized by a reckless band of soldiers, torn from his pious labors, his family, and every earthly comfort, chained as a felon, dragged and immured with drunkards, thieves and adulterers in the state penitentiary, for no other crime than remaining with the oppressed Indians in their hour of trial to console them in their sufferings by preaching to them the gospel of Christ, and sustaining their sinking hearts with the hopes of immortality; when such is the state of facts, it is time to speak out in earnest, and inundate the halls of Congress with firm and spirited petitions from every nook and corner of our widely extended country. No intelligent and honest man, unless wretchedly blinded by party spirit, can feel indifferent. The spirit of the nation is already raised to a noble pitch of feeling, and if rightly directed, I have no fear for the result. The grand object before us is to give proper vent to the indignation that lies smothered in the bosom of every American patriot. The only ground of fear is, that one will wait for another to go forward till their proper time for action have passed. It is high time already that notices were circulated in the papers, meetings called in every country throughout the nation, petitions prepared and measures adopted to obtain an expression of the feelings of every individual in the country. On many accounts it would be better that petitions should be sent from whole counties than from individual townships or villages. Meetings should be called in every country on the Western Reserve without delay, and a petition prepared for the county, and committees appointed to circulate copies of it in every township in the county, and return them all to a general committee, who should attach all the names to one petition, and forward it to Congress. Let this course be pursued in the nation, and it would speak such a note of remonstrance as would make the oppressors of the Indians tremble, and bow to the public opinion of an indignant nation. It is the solemn duty of every good citizen to engage in this important work, and to do it speedily.-If we suffer the work or oppression and death to go unheeded, when it is in our power to prevent it, the blood of the poor Indians will be required at our hands. Would it not be well to notify another meeting at the same time, and adopt a similar course of measures in reference to the transportation of the mail on the Sabbath? The subject is no less important, nor the duty less impressive, than that in reference to the Indians. Let no one be discouraged by the past, but remember the story of the unjust judge, who at length yielded to the importunities of the poor widow.

S. I. B.