Cherokee Phoenix


Published December, 24, 1831

Page 3 Column 2a


NEW ECHOTA DEC. 24, 1831



In the extract of a letter accompanying the resolution and preamble of the Union Presbytery in our last, for 'noise' read voice- and for were in Tennessee, read, even in Tennessee.


In another part of this paper, we publish a communication from Gov. Lumpkins(sic) to the House of Representatives in the legislature of Georgia, in compliance with the resolution of the house, requesting his excellency 'to communicate to that branch of the General Assembly, any information in his possession in relation to the Cherokee Nation 'c.' Immediate survey of the Cherokee territory is recommended by his excellency, as we understand him, to redeem the pledge, which was made to the people of that State, at his election; A pledge to drive the Cherokees from their gold mines and their peaceful abodes 'the public functionaries of the State' he says; stand pledged to their constituent, and the world to sustain the ground they have taken,' but we were not aware that the state of Georgia had pledged herself to the world to sustain the ground she had taken in taking possession of our lands, and in passing oppressive laws over us, in order to compel us to give up the inheritance of our fathers. 'It is our constitutional right and moral duty, forthwith to interpose, and save that part of our state, from compulsion, anarchy, and perhaps bloodshed.' Who are the authors of this 'confusion, anarchy, and bloodshed,'-surely it cannot be the Cherokees, for they have for a great number of years, lived in peace under the enjoyment of the 'inestimable blessings of civil government,' which his excellency, seems to think that the 'half civilized' (as he is pleased to call us) can never enjoy. But while we were in the midst of peace, enjoying comforts which surrounded us, under our own government, the foul destroyer came; confusion and anarchy were brought into our country by the extension of the laws of the State of Georgia, confusion and anarchy have been followed by bloodshed; but it has not been the blood of a white man, but an Indian;-it has been the blood of an Indian shed by his more civilized white neighbor. And to remedy all this evil which has been brought upon us; the Gov. recommends to survey and take possession of our territory,- 'It would be visionary to suppose, that the Indian claim can be allowed, to this extensive tract of Country'-says his excellency, and in going a little further he says; 'As a member of the Federal Union, we should duly consider the obligations of the United States to the Cherokee Indians.' One of the obligations of the United States to the Cherokees, is a solemn promise, to Guarantee to the Cherokee Nation, all their lands not ceded.


The following is an extract of a letter, from the Editor of this paper, who is now travelling through parts of the United States, on business connected with the nation-dated. Augusta Ga.

On the second day after we left New Echota, we passed a place, about half way between Taloney and Daniel's, where we were told one of the officers of the Georgia Guard intends to settle. He has already made a commencement towards erecting some buildings. By what authority he intends to settle in the nation, and what business he professes to follow for a livelihood are not known. There is no good land near. He cannot of course follow farming- Nor can he follow merchandising, for there are no settlements of Cherokees in the neighborhood. It is his intention,likely, to open a public house, the place I am speaking of being on the main road leading from Georgia to Tennessee. It is probable, also, he intends to take possession of certain medicinal springs which I am told are to be found about a quarter of a mile from where he is building. And as to the authority, it is as is practiced of late, encouraged by the State of Georgia, and countenanced by the General Government.

At Gainsville we saw Milledgeville papers containing the Message of Governor Lumpkin relating to the citation of Mr.Justice Baldwin on the case of Messrs. Worcester and Butler. We have heard very little said on the subject, and in fact on the general subject of Indian affairs. The people appear to be more indifferent than I expected to find them; and it is not at all improbable that, if it were not for the leading men, another demagogue who cannot obtain the votes of the people by promising the Indian land, the Cherokees would be permitted to remain peaceably on the soil of their fathers, and the authority of the Supreme Court of the United States would not be contemned. I am glad that it has so turned ont that Mr. Baldwin, who is supposed to be favorable to the Georgia policy, has signed the citation. You will recollect the Chief Justice was very harshly dealt with last year, on Tassell's case, by the legislature and by most editors in the State.--His conduct was viewed in the light of interference. Whether the legislature will think proper to notice Mr. Baldwin's citation as they did the Chief Justice, I do not know. I think it probable, however, they will. Some of the editors are out upon Mr. Baldwin already. They view his conduct as an 'outrage upon the dignity of the State.' It is surprising how some of them, at least, will attempt to mislead the people. They must know that for a Judge of the Supreme Court to sign a citation is not an outrage upon the dignity of a state-it is a matter of course. Whether the court will take jurisdiction is another question.

Since we came to this place I have seen Federal Union which states that the House of Representatives of Georgia Legislature passed, a few days since, a bill authorizing the immediate survey and occupancy of the Cherokee country. The Senate had not yet acted upon it. Be their course as it may it cannot effect the determination of the Cherokees. They have taken their stand, and are contending for vital principles--They have counted the cost, and if the long protracted controversy between them and Georgia must end in the loss of their beloved country it must be so. They must trust themselves to superintending providence, and to the guarantees and promises of good faith which the people of the United States have made. To take our lands by force is a serious matter--it is fraught with considerations, full of interest to the people of Georgia themselves and to the whole Union.- A respectable portion of Georgia view it in that light. It would be robbery to all intent and purposes. And would the General Government look on with indifference and see its solemn pledges trampled in the dust? 'There is a Lion in the way' whether the Government of the United States interferes or not.-The integrity of the Union is at stake. As respects the Cherokees, their duty is plain.- They cannot err. They reside on the land which God gave them-they are surrounded with guarantees which this Republic has voluntarily made for their protection and which once formed a sufficient security against oppression. If those guaranties must now be violated with impunity for purposes altogether selfish, the sin will not be at our door, but at the door of our oppressor and our faithless Guardian.



10th Dec. 1831.


Sir, - We arrived here last night, having taken the stage at Athens, and sent back our horses. Since we have entered this State, nothing worthy of interest have occurred, and our intercourse with the citizens is of course limited, and all we can gather of their news and their intentions, are derived from the papers, and as the Georgians are in electioneering people, they say many things they ought not to have said. However in this matter, their habits are amending, from the fact that the Georgia policy will not bear discussion abroad, and public sentiment is increasingly arrayed in favor of the Cherokee Nation.- The writ of error and citation in the case of Worcester and Butler vs. Georgia, has been served upon Governor Lumpkin, who has made it a subject of communication to the Legislature, but no voice of defiance to the authority of the S. Court, has reechoed from the Georgia State House. Perhaps, what was said on Tassel's case last winter will be deemed sufficient until a mandate for the release of the prisoners shall arrive; when we may expect to hear the notes of preparation for the pomp and circumstance of the war against the United States, if indeed they design to support the state criminal code so far. In that case I am willing, though not the son of a prophet, to prophesy that the siege of the Penitentiary will not last as long as that of Troy. But to be serious, the Georgians flatter themselves with the hope that General Jackson will not sustain the court. But in that event what becomes of the Union? And of him who is the flattered champion of Georgia, how will his laurels flourish, under the blasting influence of an impeachment by the House of Representatives of the United States? That the State of Georgia is running wild in the practical masses of nullification, and as she runs denounces the doctrine there is no doubt, and she will fly off from the orbit, if now in time, she does not blow off a considerable portion of the steam of her boiler. Her office hunters have promised too much to the multitude, who are now sick with the expectation of Indian land and gold. Their votes must get bought with a promise, and no candidate can succeed to any respectable appointment in their gift without it. This class is numerous, and are ignorant--they do not know anything about writs of error, Constitution of the United States, 'c. They know that they are poor and wish to be rich, and they believe, that they if they have luck, will draw a gold mine, and most every one expects to have his luck in the lottery. This class, I will not call half civilized as Lumpkin is pleased to denominate our people. Feelings of unkindness I have not in my breast against them.--They are honest if let alone, aside of the Indian question and have been led astray, in the first place by their hotspur politicians. They do not know the consequences of resisting the authority of the United States because they never thought of it.-'Fight the United States?' what for? 'No! we love our lives and our children and the United States, and we only want to frighten the Indians to get their land,' will be their answer if seriously addressed on the subject.

Before this reaches you, the communication of Governor Lumpkin to the House of Representatives of the Georgia Legislature, dated 1st December, will be read in the Nation. The call of this branch of the Legislature was for information 'in relation to the Cherokee Nation, and which might have an influence on the policy of the measures of the immediate survey and occupancy of the Cherokee lands, which has not heretofore been communicated, together with any views of the Executive, upon the subject, which that department may think proper to make known.' If the Governor has given a correct quotation of the Resolution, it is one of ambiguity and hard to understand, and his reply also bears the same character. What is that 'which may have an influence on the policy of the measures of the immediate survey and occupancy of the Cherokee lands, which has not heretofore been communicated?' Is it the secret correspondence of the President with the Executive of Georgia? Are two things, much dreaded in the way of dispossessing the Indians of their lands? If it is done, will the President interfere? If he does not and abandons the Indian rights altogether, will he not loose the vote of Pennsylvania, ' if he does, will not the Georgians lose their President? The confidential letters which I believe pass between the Georgians and the resident President of the United States would, if published, explain that influence on the survey and occupancy of the Cherokee lands. 'The State cannot consent to be resisted in the exercise of her constitutional rights,' says Mr. Lumpkin. No one desires any such thing. She is entitled to act freely and fully within her constitutional rights, but when she ranges into the rights of others, when she attacks the Indians, under the protection of the United States, then she at once plunges into the 'present perplexed and extraordinary condition,' of which he complains. The Gov. says, 'It is now too late for us to theorize on this subject; we are called upon to act--it is our constitutional right, and moral duty forthwith to interpose and save that part of our State from confusion, anarchy, and perhaps from bloodshed.' Here again he is wrong, because the Cherokee Nation is not a part of his State, and because the State has already interposed and caused the confusion and anarchy and bloodshed, and it has been the blood of an Indian found on the gold mines of his own country. This kind of logic may pass current where the Indian question is not known, but in these United States, where the Cherokees are now assaulted, dragged about in chains, for living on the land of their forefathers, where they now return good for evil, will meet with a contradiction. Gov. Lumpkin, says, 'the question of the right of the state to jurisdiction seemed for a time to have been settled'-where was it settled? The Cherokees denied it, lands were sustained in that opinion by the Supreme Court of the United States, ' a host of the ablest Jurists on the Continent. 'But new and unexpected difficulties are arising' he says, 'out of the imbecility of our own measures and the selfishness of some of our citizens. It has been thought that some of our most distinguished citizens have thrown almost inseparable obstacles in the way of a speedy termination of our difficulties.' Who are the distinguished citizens alluded to in this paragraph, who have been kind enough to pour the oil of consolation into our bleeding sores, inflected by the Georgia Guard and have stood between the effects of 'the laws heretofore enacted, for the maintenance of the jurisdiction of the state over that portion of our territory and for the Government of all persons therein,' which ___ the Governor tells us, he is willing to admit, 'have failed to accomplish all that was desired and expected by the friends of these measures.' Sir, not one respectable Indian has bowed before the idol which Nebuchednezzer has set up. Our people have acted for principle, and have stood on the grand pyramid of justice and of truth, where they will stand so long as the bayonet is withheld from their palpitating hearts. One scene has shifted to another, calculated by the friends of these measures to run the Cherokees from their abodes, like sheep before the ravenous wolf; but they have stood. And the last act of the tragedy must be finished to obtain their lands, and when the curtain falls, may the historian withhold his pen, and the tongue of the poet cleave to the roof of his mouth. Let dark ages and forgetfulness rest over our bleaching bones, as the ploughshare of the descendant of the fortunate drawer, of the Indian land Lottery, shall turn them up.

Your friend,