Cherokee Phoenix


Published December, 24, 1831

Page 3 Column 1b


We look forward, with intense interest to the present session of Congress. This interest is attached both to the subjects which are probable to be brought up, and to the men what will discuss them. Some of the brightest of our political luminaries, that had attained or passed the meridian, are to renew their upward course in their full noon-tide power and splendor. How much better for them and for their country, than to act prematurely in the obscurity of a false and fading dignity! We consider this measure as far more honorable both to them and to the country, than that such men, in the full vigor of their faculties, should be supported by a charity fund, or become unemployed pensioners for services already once remunerated as well as rendered, or waste their fortunes, and bury their powers, in a dignified but unprofitable retirement. It requires, too, but a thought to determine which course is most consistent with the principles of genuine democracy. Rotation in office most still be kept up as far as it will answer for the best interest of the Republic; and there will be, at the same time, the ablest of leaders, to awe and drill and discipline the raw recruits.

The subjects which address themselves to the attention of this Congress, are many of them marked and prominent. Some of them require, in a high degree both wisdom in management and power in debate; and none of the more than that which relates to the Cherokee Nation. What can be done on this subject? What ought to be done? And how can it best be done? These are questions which we hope and trust some of our wise legislators will be able to answer. Blended as they are with the national honor and the national faith, the public interest and the public voice demand that an attempt should be made to answer them in a satisfactory manner. The great subject of inquiry, by Congress, is not in the present instance, which of two measures will be probably most beneficial to the Cherokee people; but whether the present notorious system of coercion shall be permitted to proceed, against the loud and unanimous complaints of the Cherokees themselves, contrary to the solemn engagements of national treaties, and yet aided and forwarded by the arm and funds of the national Government. The public voice, on this subject, is not perplexed with any ambiguity. It is decided and loud on the side of justice. Though we are not among the number of those who hold that the representative should be governed in all cases by the will of his constituents; yet, in cases like this, where both are equally capable of forming a right judgement, the public will, most certainly ought to prevail. We confidently predict that those members of Congress, who shall this winter make a powerful and well directed effort to redeem the national faith and the national honor and to rescue the Cherokees from a system of cruel, cold-hearted, and hypocritical oppression, will reap and abundant harvest of public esteem and public gratitude.