Cherokee Phoenix


Published December, 31, 1831

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(N.B. this is the date as it appears on the paper)

From the indisposition of one of our hands we were unable to issue our paper last week.


We learn from the Georgia papers the Bill for the survey, and occupancy of the Cherokee Territory has passed both houses of the Legislature; the survey is to commence on the first of April: It is made discretionary with the Governor when the Lottery and occupancy will commence. Each family may now expect, soon to be surrounded by Civilized neighbors-by whom they may be made acquainted with the hitherto unknown law which authorizes a man to take his poor and defenseless neighbor's property and convert it to his own use. This bill was no doubt passed in order to effect the 'speedy removal of the Cherokees' and to co-operate with the agents of the General Government who are now in the Nation; but we understand they have been greatly disappointed in their expectations in enrolling so far; we are informed there are not more than 300 emigrants of all descriptions; Indians, Whites, Blacks, and mulattoes; the President's message, where he informs Congress, that 'it is confidently believed, that one half, if not two thirds of that tribe (Cherokees) will follow the wise example of their more westerly brethren,' to the contrary notwithstanding. What will these men, who hold out that the full Cherokees are guided and influenced by the whites, and half-breeds, say, when they are informed that those who have enrolled their names as Arkansas emigrants are nearly all whites, and half-breeds who have not heard of more than one or two full Cherokees families who have enrolled. - It is now high time that the blame which is attributed, to whites in this country for the non compliance of the Cherokees to leave their country, should cease. If love of one's Country, and fearlessly asserting his right be a crime, the Cherokees are the aggressors, on them let the punishment fall, but let not the innocent suffer instead of the guilty.


The President in his message says the Cherokees who prefer remaining at their present homes, will 'cease to be the objects of peculiar care on the part of the General Government.' We would invoke the deliverance of the Lord, from such 'peculiar care,' and protection, as Gen. Jackson has extended to us since his elevation to the Presidency.


Henry Clay, of Kentucky has been unanimously nominated candidate for the Office of Presidency of the United States by the National Republican Convention, held in the City of Baltimore; and John Sergeant of Pennsylvania, for that of Vice-President.


The following is from the Mobile Register, November 7

Choctaw Emigration.--From a letter addressed by George S. Gaines Esq to a gentleman in this city, under date of 30th October, we learn that a portion of emigrants from three districts of the Choctaw Nation were on their march for the country assigned them by the General Government. Mr. Gaines had appointed the places of rendezvous in the Northeastern district, one for the adherents of Mushallantuabe,---and one for the friends of Col. Folsom. From this district it was supposed that rising two thousand emigrants would be ready to depart the present fall but Mr. Gaines thinks they will hardly reach that number.

From the Southeastern districts it was indicated that the number of emigrants this fall would be about thirty five hundred. About two thousand had already collected and it is expected that the whole number provided for would be on the way to Vicksburg on the Mississippi, in the course of three or four days.

In the Western district the prospect was not as favorable as was anticipated. As strong political excitement existed among the Indians, promoted mainly by aspirants for Chiefships, and in order to advance their views, the labors of the Agent had been strictly opposed, and in some measure counteracted. The government has made arrangements with the Chiefs for the removal of eight thousand emigrants the present autumn and although Mr. Gaines has met with some unforseen obstacles, he hopes yet to succeed in accomplishing the object.

'The feeling,' says Mr. Gaines, 'which many of them evince in separating, never to return again, from their own long cherished hills, poor as they are in this section of country is truly painful to witness; and would be more so to me, but for the conviction, that their removal is absolutely necessary for the preservation and future happiness.'

An accident of a distressing character occurred at the camp on the 29th of October. A severe storm of rain and wind had set in, and just after comfortable quarters had been secured, a large tree was blown down among the camps, and two women, mothers of large families, were crushed to instant death, one girl sadly mangled, and several children severely injured. The darkness of the night, the severity of the storm, the frightful howling of the poor sufferers, ' the noisy and extravagant demonstrations of grief in which the whole camp indulged, presented a scene of distress altogether surpassing description.

The dead were decently interred the succeeding day, and the wounded comfortably provided for.

It is probable that from seven to eight thousand of the emigrants are by this time assembled on the west bank of the Mississippi!

Who does not feel like weeping to see the breaking up of such a body of people, whose improvements, though in a state of infancy, had become decidedly progressive? 'The heart of that man must be hard indeed that would not be pained to witness feelings evinced by the poor Choctaw, on separating from their long cherished hills'* They too doubtless could say:

'There is not a spot in this wide peopled earth

So dear to the heart as the land of our birth:

This the home of our childhood! the beautiful spot

Which mem'ry retrains when all else is forgot,

And still although in vain might they add-

May the blessings of God

Ever hallow the sod

And its valleys and hills by our children be trod.'

But the painful feelings of Mr. Gaines seem to be counterbalanced by the conviction, that the removal of the Choctaws is absolutely necessary for their preservation and improvement. Similar reasons have been urged in favor of the removal of all Indians residing east of the Mississippi-but we feel not so-and we are convinced that we speak the feelings of the Cherokees as a people, when we say that we deem it not an essential requisite for our 'future happiness,' that we abandon our comfortable dwellings and improvements for a far distant and gloomy wilderness. We would not leave beautiful and cultivated fields in exchange for a desolate home, where no sound of the axe has ever been heard-no farrow of the plough has ever been seen. Well do we know that if we cannot be preserved here, neither can we be elsewhere the hand of oppression is upon us-now we must sink-for where can be _____ language stronger, or treaties more ______ than are now in existence ____ ____ ____ ___inent of the ____ ____ ___ and the Cherokees? We ____ ____ the subjects of power, but ____ ____ to us. We know the ____ _____ asserted- They will be as ____ ____ the administration of strict ____ ____ _ we must hope.



Of a letter from the Editor, dated Richmond Va. Dec. 17, 1831.

[Among the people of Georgia are to be found some of the most substantial friends of the Indians. In passing through the state I had the pleasure of forming an acquaintance with a few of them. My intercourse with them,_____ _____ considered to be of the ___ ___ ___ -- I felt a ____ friendship for them a friendship which ___ circumstances under which the Cherokees are laboring are calculated to excite. These worthy people feel a great interest in the ____ of the Cherokees- they believe that they have justice on their side and that the state is _____ _____ act of the most oppressive kind. As citizens of that state they ____ ____ ____ ____ by her ____ ____.

There is ____ ____ of citizens who are friends of justice ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ speak and advocate the claims of the poor. They have not sufficient independence to take a stand, and with the spirit of the Christian and the patriot to oppose the parent of oppression. It is unsounder (sic) to speak in favor of the Cherokees and to denounce the proceedings of Georgia-hence those who do not wish to displease the sovereign people will remain in silence, and if they are compelled by circumstances to speak out, it is generally to extenuate the acts of their Government. I am sorry to say this is the case with a large portion of the Christian people of Georgia. I was even informed that, not long since, at a Presbytery held in Macon, an attempt was made to pass a vote censuring the conduct of the Missionaries who are now in the Penitentiary. A resolution for that purpose was introduced by a layman and supported by a clergyman of high rank. A motion for an indefinite postponement, however, prevailed. What conduct they intended to censure, whether that charged by his Excellency G. R. Gilmer against Messrs. Worcester and Butler, or, for merely permitting themselves to be arrested and dragged to prison, I was not told. You will perceive how ready these good men were to censure the acts of our Missionaries, ' yet will not reprove some of the members of their church who have lately voted- for a bill authorizing the immediate survey and occupancy of the Cherokee Country! Taking for granted that the state of Messrs. Worcester and Butler was injudicious, as many of the good people of Georgia will have it, ' that it is necessary for their brethren in the Gospel to express their disapprobation, how much more necessary is it that a vote to rob a nation of its lands should meet with the reception it deserves. Is not such a bill as has been passed by the House of Representatives of the Georgia legislature, a stigma on religion ' on its professors? And does it not become all true Christians to speak out and to clear their skirts of the great iniquity?]



of a letter from Mr. Andrew M. Vann from Arkansas to his Brother Mr. Charles H. Vann dated Oct. 4th 1831

'Dear Brother,

I received your letter about the last of Sept. which gave me great satisfaction to hear of the welfare of my relatives in that Country, also to learn that your chiefs are yet firm- I just returned from our Council when your letter came to hand, the session continued three weeks, I presided over the National Committee as President, and we got along very well with business---our Nation intends sending a delegation to Washington City this fall. I have understood that emigration is about to be urged again. I wish you to tell your people that if any of them intend to emigrate to this country, they will not be received here in this Nation, as there is no land for them here to settle on, and the old settlers will not receive them on that account; for this reason we have to go on to Washington City, to see if Congress will do something for us late emigrants. Should there be any of your people who intend coming to this country, they had better have their lands laid off for them, before they come, if they do not, they will be apt to suffer.

I am your affectionate Brother.

(signed) A M Vann.

Mr. Charles H. Vann.

Head of Coosa Cherokee Nation East of the Mississippi.