Cherokee Phoenix

(both reels of microfilm show this as a two paged edition)

Published February, 4, 1832

Page 1 Column 4a

(both reels of microfilm show this as a two paged edition)


NEW ECHOTA, FEB. 4, 1832

The extracts of the treaty of May 1828 with the remarks was handed us by one of the enrolling agents, with a request, as he said from the writer; to have the same published in the Cherokee Phoenix; who is also an agent of the General Government, and we believe Superintendent of Indian emigration. From his remarks, it will be perceived,that he aims censure at our press and accuses us of publishing 'bare faced untruths' in our paper. But we can assure 'A friend of the Cherokee people,' that he is grossly mistaken, either in believing that we have 'resorted' to, and 'industriously circulated bare faced untruths,' or that Andrew M. Vann, has made any false statements in the letter alluded to, by the Hon. Gentleman, 'A friend to the Cherokee people.' Mr. Vann does not say, that the Cherokees who emigrated in 1829 were not received-he only requests his brother Charles H. Vann to inform his friends that there is not a sufficient quantity of good land for them to settle on: and if this be the case, if all, or nearly all the tillable lands are occupied which is a fact, strongly established from information of respectable men both by the citizens of this country, who are acquainted with the country west, and those of the Cherokees west of Mississippi- We say if this be the case, then of what value will the rights of emigrants be to them? They will find no good land to settle on for their support, consequently as Mr. A. Vann states, they must suffer; the evidence in this case cannot be questioned. Even the treaty itself, out of which the Hon Agent has made his quotations, is enough to convince any man to the belief that there is not good land enough for the support of the original settlers, together with emigrants from this nation. The 5th article of the treaty of 1828 is as follows: 'It is further agreed, that the United States, in consideration of inconvenience and trouble attending the removal, and on account of the reduced value of a great portion of the lands, herein ceded to the Cherokees, as compared, with that of those in Arkansas, which was made theirs,by the treaty of 1817 and Convention of 1819; will pay to the Cherokees immediately after their removal,which shall be within fourteen months of the day of this agreement, the sum of fifty thousand Dollars 'c,


Having seen an extract published in the Phoenix of a letter purporting to have been written by Andrew Vann of Arkansas to Charles M. Vann of this nation stating that the emigrants have no rights in Arkansas it is no more than an act of justice due to a deluded people that a few extracts should be published from a Treaty made and concluded between the President of the United States and the Head men of the Cherokee Nation West of the Mississippi May 6th 1828 which will show what rights are secured to emigrants, as well as the advantages to be derived by joining their Brethren in a country where they are secured against all the embarrassments to which they are subject whilst residing within the limits of the States.

Preamble, Whereas it being the anxious desire of the Government of the United States to secure to the Cherokee nation of Indians as well those now living within the limits of the Territory of Arkansas as of those of their friends and Brothers who reside in the States East of the Mississippi and who may wish to join their Brothers of the West a permanent home and which shall, under the most solemn guarantee of the United States be and remain theirs forever, a home that shall never in all future time be embarrassed by having extended around it the limits or placed over the Jurisdiction of a Territory or State nor be pressed upon by the extension in any way of any existing Territory or State 'c.

Article 1st. The western boundary of Arkansas shall be and the same is hereby defined viz: A line shall be run commencing on Red River at the point where the Eastern Choctaw line strikes said River and run due north with said line to the River Arkansas, thence in a direct line to the South West corner of Missouri.

Article 2nd. The United States agree to possess the Cherokees and to Guarantee it to them forever and that guarantee is hereby solemnly pledged of seven millions of acres of land to be bounded as follows viz: Commencing at the point on Arkansas River where the Eastern Choctaw Boundary line strikes said River and running thence with the Western line of Arkansas as defined in the foregoing article to the South West corner of Mississippi and thence with the Western boundary line of Missouri till it crosses the Water of Neasho generally called Grand River, thence due West to a point from which a due South course will strike the present northwest corner of Arkansas Territory thence continuing due South on and with the present Western Boundary line of the Territory to the man branch of Arkansas River, thence down river to its junction with the Canadian River and thence up and between the said Rivers Arkansas and Canadian to a point at which a line running north and South from River to River will give the aforesaid seven millions of acres. In addition to the seven millions of acres thus provided for and bounded the United States further Guarantee to the Cherokee nation a perpetual outlet West and a free and unmolested use of all the country lying west of the western boundary of the above described limits, and as far West as the sovereignty of the U.S. and their right of soil extends.

Article 8 The Cherokee nation West of the Mississippi having by this agreement freed themselves from the harassing and ruinous effects consequent upon a location among the white population and secured to themselves and their posterity under the solemn sanction of the guarantee of the United States as contained in this agreement a large extent of unembarrassed country, and that their Brothers yet remaining in the States maya be induced to join them and enjoy the repose and blessings of such a State in the future, it is further agreed on the part of the United States that to each head of a Cherokee family now residing within the chartered limits of the State of Georgia or of either of the States East of the Mississippi who may desire to remove West, shall be given on enrolling himself for emigration a Good Rifle, a Blanket, and Kettle and five lbs. Tobacco (and if each member of his family one Blanket) also a just compensation for the property he may abandon to be assessed by persons to be appointed by the President of the United States. The cost of the emigration of all such shall also be borne by the United States and good and suitable ways opened and provisions procured for their comfort accommodation and support by the way, and provisions for twelve months after their arrival at the agency; and to each person or head of a family if he take along with him four persons shall be paid immediately on his arriving at the agency and reporting himself and family or followers as emigrants and permanent settlers in addition to the above provided he and they shall have emigrated from within the chartered limits of the State of Georgia the sum of Fifty Dollars and this sum in proportion to any greater or less number that may accompany him from within the aforesaid chartered limits of Georgia.

Article 11th. This Treaty to be binding on the contracting parties so soon as it is ratified by the President of the United States by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.


Chiefs of the Delegation








counsellor of Delegation




approved in pursuance of the advice and consent of the senate may 28 AD 1828 by the President


secretary of State


The publication of the forgoing articles of the Treaty of May 1828 would have been considered unnecessary but that meetings have been procured and persons employed to read the letter said to have been written by Andrew Vann for no other purpose than to mislead a well meaning class of Cherokee people. In order to discredit every assertion made in that letter the Cherokee people have only to remember that Andrew and Joseph Vann are emigrants under the provisions of the above Treaty. If emigrants have no rights in that country, how does it happen that this same Andrew Vann an emigrant Presided over the deliberations of the national committee or that Joseph Vann and emigrant is President of said committee one of the most exalted Officers of the Cherokee Nation in Arkansas when such barefaced untruths are resorted to and circulated so industriously both by runners and through the medium of the Phoenix it is time for every Cherokee who wishes to promote his own happiness and that of his countrymen to begin to think and act without the restraint imposed on them heretofore by powerless by designing Chiefs.




To the Editor of the Cherokee Phoenix

Dear Sir.

I have just read in the Phoenix of the 14th inst. the Report of the Secretary of War. From that document may be learned some of the Hon. Secretary's views respecting the condition, contemplated removal, and future location of the Indians beyond the Mississippi. He professes to have no other object in view in discussing the subject of Indian rights, and in carrying forward the plan for their removal, than their ultimate improvement and happiness. Not a word is said, as to the advantages accruing to the whites by such an event, not a word, as to its appeasing the wrath of Georgia or gratifying the cupidity of other States; but the ostensible end to be attained is the final prosperity of the Indians.

It is not my province to question the uprightness of the Hon Secretary's Intentions; yet,it is worthy of remark that he is truly successful in discovering and presenting to the public the considerations which militate against the continued residence of the Indians on the lands of their fathers.

We are told, therefore, that 'in some of the States they have been brought within the ordinary municipal laws, and their own regulations abrogated by legislative enactments;-that this has rendered most of the provisions of the various acts of Congress inoperative;-that the Executive has on full consideration decided that there is no power in that Department to interpose any obstacles to the assumption of this authority;-that it is difficult to conceive how the various acts regulating intercourse with the Indians can be enforced after the President has determined that they have been abrogated by a state of things inconsistent with their obligations.'

The Hon, Secretary doubts, moreover, whether the Indians have a right to claim the exemption from the operation of state laws;- whether it would be beneficial to them could they maintain this claim;- whether it is recognized by the Constitution of the United States;--or, whether it is founded on the principle of natural right-or, in conventional engagements.' - After reverting to the melancholy history of the Indians, and showing his opinion that efforts heretofore made to improve them have, almost without exception proved abortive; and after accounting for the mistakes of persons who have been engaged in the work, and who 'have in their estimate of success' placed 'too high a value upon appearances;' the question is gravely asked-' Shall they [the Indians] be advised to remain or remove?' 'If the former, their fate is written in the annals of their race, if the latter, we may yet hope to see them renovated in character and condition.'

All these difficult points so puzzling to the Hon. Secretary must be settled, the obstacles removed, and mistakes corrected, before prosperity will attend the Indian on the East of the Mississippi; but only let him go to the West of the great River, and it would seem that under the fostering care of government he will ere long be conducted to a state of improvement and happiness satisfying and enduring!

Upon the whole, the Hon. Secretary doubts whether 'the condition and institutions of this rude people do not give to the civilized communities around whom they live the right of guardianship over them.' Those citizens of this nation, who have been the season past thrown into chains and prisons know full well how to appreciate the worth of this 'guardianship.'

Since such is the President's view of the subject, it is not to be regretted that he has openly declared, that acts of Congress touching the rights of the Indians 'are abrogated.'

We shall know what to expect from him in future when it shall best suit his convenience to abrogate other acts militating against his designs. If there be a 'state of things now inconsistent with the obligation of these 'acts of Congress.' Who, I ask, has been to a great degree, instrumental in its production ?

The Hon. Secretary treats the subject as if there were no alternative for the Indians and their friends; but to bow in submission to the abrogations of Congressional acts by a single stroke of the pen; acts under which they have been shielded for years from intruders and outrages whose influence now threatens to crush them.

The obstacles to the prosperity of the Indians in their present residence, thus created by this new method of disposing of acts of Congress are in the view of the Hon. Secretary almost insurmountable. They will indeed be formidable, and if the President obstinately refuse to retract, and the people of the United States fail to s how their abhorrence of such a course, and do not express a unanimous wish that he may again retire to his Hermitage, should this be the event then it may truly be said that the :'fate of the Indian is written in the annals of their race.'

The Hon Secretary believes that the great mass of the Cherokees, 'subject to the influence of their principal men, are submitting to a state of things with which they are dissatisfied and which offers them no rational prospect of stability and improvement.' To admit the correctness of this statement, would be to discredit the evidence of my senses for years. For one, I can bear them testimony that they have generally been well satisfied with the doings of their 'principal men.' If they were not, they could as soon and as easily remove them from office as the people of the United States can the present incumbent of the Presidential chair. Freedom in the choice of rulers exist here to as great an extent as in the city of Washington. If dissatisfaction were felt, it would soon be manifested by removing from public stations the guilty causes. If the bond of friendship which has so long united the Cherokees, shall ever be severed; I doubt not that it will be owing chiefly to efforts vigorous and persevering of men interested in the disorganization of their government, and in their removal to the West. And if alienation of feelings from their chiefs be discoverable in the cases of certain individuals, be it remembered, that these persons are generally among the new emigrants May not their dissatisfaction be ascribed then to foreign and recent origin ?

The Hon. Secretary concludes by giving the out-lines of his plan for the removal of the Indians.

As a prerequisite to their prosperity and of course a fundamental step in this plan, 'they must in the first he informs us, be placed beyond the reach of our settlements.'

Where then is the place appointed that retired spot, secluded from the view, and destined hereafter to be untrodden by the foot of the white man? It must be beyond the reach of our settlements.' The reply is, this country lies west of the Arkansas territory, and is perhaps 150 miles long and 100 miles broad, and it is said that government will guaranty it as a perpetual abode of the Indians. Here are to be congregated the last remnants of numerous tribes. The land is to be divided as Congress shall direct, while Agents of the United States are to watch over them with unwonted solicitude. The Government will pay the expense of removal and remunerate them liberally for their present country. Ardent spirits are not to show their haggard head in this new residence of the Indians. Adequate checks upon the disposition of the Indians to hostility will be laid. In due time., implements of agriculture and mechanical arts and other means of civilization will be furnished them.

The question now arises, whether this tract of country is 'beyond the reach of our settlements'?

If it be not, then according to the opinion of the Hon. Secretary the grand object cannot be accomplished.

' Twenty five years hence there will, in all probability, be 4,000,000 of our population west of the Mississippi, and fifty years hence not less than 15,000,000.' 'By that time the pressure upon the Indians will be much greater from the boundless prairies, which must ultimately be subdued and inhabited, that it would ever have been from the borders of the present Cherokee country.'

'Twenty years hence, Texas whether it shall belong to the United States or not, will have been settled by Anglo Americans.' 'The State of Missouri will be populous.' 'The emigrant Indians will be denationalized.' 'There will then be no common bond of union.' 'There will be great roads through the new Indian country, and caravans will be passing and repassing in many directions.'- The Indians in these circumstances will be as truly within the reach of the whites as they are now. To me the event is morally certain. Nor will it be possible to prevent intrusions then if it be not now. Again; Gov. Cass recommends that, 'a solemn declaration similar to that already inserted in some of the treaties, be made, that the country assigned to the Indians shall be theirs as long as they or their descendants may occupy it, and a corresponding determination that our settlements shall not overspread it.' But who is this las t clause inserted? Is Gov. Cass apprehensive that our settlements' will 'overspread' this new Indian country? Does he deem it necessary to guard this point' 'Our settlements' surely cannot 'overspread' it before they reach it; and 'to accomplish'f his object the Indians 'must first be placed beyond the 'reach' of our settlements.'

Besides, he would have another solemn declaration made to the Indians, at the moments when existing treaties with them are declared unconstitutional and therefore not binding; at the very moment, when intruders in violation of those treaties are thronging the Cherokee country; because President Jackson professes to have no power to remove them, or, in other words, 'to interpose any obstacles to the assumption of the authority' under which they are here. will not this same farce be acted over again should the Indians remove?

'It is now pretended that President Washington and the Senate of 1790 had no power to guaranty to the Indians the lands on which they were born, and for which they were then able to contend vigorously at the muzzle of our guns.'

'Who can pledge himself that it will be contended ten years hence that President Jackson and the Senate of 1832 had no constitutional power to set a part a territory for the permanent residence of the Indians?

Will it not then be asked, Where is the clause in the constitution which authorized the establishment of a new anomalous Government in the heart of North America? The constitution looked forward to the admission of new States into the union, but does it say anything about Indian States?

Will the men of 1840 or 1850 be more tender of the reputation of President Jackson than the men of the present day are of the reputation of President Washington? will they not say, that the pretended treaty of 1832 (if a treaty should now be made) was an act of their usurpation that it was known to be such at the time, and was never intended to be kept? that every man of sense considered the removal of 1832 to be one of those few steps necessary to the utter extermination of the Indians; that the Indians were avowedly considered, as children, and the word treaty was used as a plaything to amuse them, and to pacify grown up children among the whites?'

But if it be said that the design is not to be accomplished by a treaty, but by an act of Congress the answer is at hand; the President has on full consideration decided that existing acts of Congress have been 'abrogated' But it may be said that this new Indian community will receive a guaranty and will have an establishment anterior to the state of things supposed. It will make no difference; the Cherokees received a guaranty to their present country about thirty years before the state of Alabama had an existence and yet the sovereignty of that state is now asserted over the Cherokees intruders upon their lands let in upon them without restraint. I would close by saying, 'that if the Indians are removed, let it be said, in an open and manly tone that they are removed because we have the power to remove them, and there is apolitical reason for doing it; and that they will be removed again whenever the whites demand their removal; let it be said I repeat in a style sufficiently clamorous and imperative to make trouble' for the advocates of a measure so unrighteous and oppressive.




Of a letter from the Choctaw nation.

You are apprized that many of the Choctaws are on their way to find a home in the western wilderness where they may set under their own view and fig tree having no whit man to molest them or make them afraid; but I fear they will not find such a home, though in that distant and undesirable country. Their sufferings have been great as far as we have heard from them--The account of the conduct of the Christian party on their way we have heard was exemplary. One circumstance I will mention. a number of the Choctaws were hired by the Sub-Agent to go on forward and clear the road for the wagons to pass. When the Sabbath came, they stopped laboring; the Sub-Agent told them if they did not work on that day he would not pay them anything. There was but one professor in the company but the others were influenced by him, and said they could do without the pay, but they could not work, for it was the Lord's day. From this we may hope they will continue to reverence the Sabbath.