To the Phoenix 18th Feb. 1832
To the Editor:
Sir:- In the Phoenix of the 4th inst.,I had the pleasure of reading a few remarks accompanied by extracts from the treaty of May 1828, under the signature of 'the Friend to the Cherokee People.' I owe that my own expectations were greatly raised when my eyes first fell upon this signature; for it must be confessed that it is an imposing one, and such a one as is calculated to arrest the attention of every Cherokee. But my expectations were much lowered, when I came to look over those remarks; I though of a stranger wandering on the banks of the Egyptian Nile, whose attention is suddenly arrested by something like the voice of a fellow being; he rushing on eagerly ' before he is aware, finds himself in the presence of a weeping crocodile. This friend speaks of a 'deluded people' but does not tell in what way they are deluded, or by whom, whether they are emigrants, or those opposed to emigration. It would have been a little more friendly in 'a friend' to have been more explicit on this point.
It is true he makes some mention of 'a letter' said to have been written by Andrew Vann for no other purpose then to mislead a well meaning 'class of the Cherokee people.' But whether this 'class of the Cherokee people' be the same people to which he alludes when he uses the word 'deluded;' is what I cannot for my life determine. I will however conclude that they are the same, and that they are emigrants. In coming to this conclusion, it is far from my intention to defend these 'people' from the charge of being 'deluded' or mislead. The gentleman may call as many such epithets as he pleases, ' lay them on by scores, and they shall be welcome to them because I think they deserve them. But let 'a friend, take care lest it be made to appear that his own conduct savors more of the character of a deluder and misleader, than does that of andrew Vann, or any other person to whom he makes allusion.- Why this anxiety in 'a friend' to have the 'people' believe that Andrew Vann's statement is false, and intended 'for no other purpose than to mislead?' It is because he knows full well that if Mr. Vann is believed, 'a friend' will be disbelieved and 'a well meaning' as well as every other 'class' of the Cherokee people, will be apt to suppose that, he in the statements he has made, was guilty of the very sin which he accuses A. Vann. Has 'a friend' been to Arkansas? Does he know how much good land there is in that country, how much good water and timber? Did he have it from the lips of the 'Old settlers' of that Country that they are willing to receive more emigrants there? If the gentleman cannot answer all these in the affirmative, how does he dispute what Mr. Vann has said since he has had every opportunity of knowing what he writes to be true? Will 'a friend' dispute what Edward Adair and Early Cordery have said? Both have declared that there is not a sufficiency of good land in Arkansas for the accommodation of the Cherokees here. Does 'a friend' say that Andrew Vann never wrote the letter in question? Let him then prove it to be a forgery, or he will not be believed. Has not 'a friend' told every person he has enrolled for emigration that they would receive immediately upon their arrival at their new homes, the amount of money here promised them? And does the gentleman know that this will be the case? If he does not (and I think he cannot) how can he say that he is not a deluded?
I have understood from a respectable quarter, that Col. Montgomery thinks it doubtful whether the Cherokees emigrating now, will get their money before three years. It is possible that I may have mistaken the intention of 'a friend' by supposing that he had any allusion to the emigrant Cherokees, when he used the word 'deluded.' He may for aught I know have intended to apply it too well to barter them for delusion dreams and spacious promises. If this was his intention how will he make it appear that they are deluded, and by whom does he suppose this delusion is practice? He cannot certainly mean to say that it is done by their Chiefs, for he calls them 'powerless.' He knows, they have never been so far deluded by him, as to enrol their names for emigration. But they certainly have not been kept from this by any 'restraint imposed' on them by their Chiefs; for it is impossible for 'powerless Chiefs' to impose restraint. It is all a riddle to me.- I should like to have it cleared up.,
ONE OF THE CHEROKEE PEOPLE