Cherokee Phoenix


Published March, 24, 1832

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In a late number of our paper we gave the alarm of traitors, in order that our citizens might be better prepared for them ' beware of their seductions. We hope, however, that our readers abroad will bear in mind that their existence is no new thing under the sun.--History of all ages furnishes us with such examples, and notwithstanding the ignomy and disgrace which ever rests upon their characters, even the Traitor is not without his successor. We would however assure our readers that the number of such persons in this nation is small and that their conduct is viewed by the Cherokees as a people, with that contempt which it deserves.



A party of emigrants are now lying at the Agency waiting for a steam boat we are told, to convey them down the Tennessee River, it ' is very likely they will wait all season for a steam boat-and will not be much nearer starting than they are now. We understand, the number is about one hundred; and a greater part are whites, blacks, and mulattoes, so much for the Indian emigration. We believe this is all, or nearly all the reward for the Govt. in the great effort, which her agents made last winter to effect the entire removal of the Cherokees. They have succeeded in removing a few of the rubbish of this nation, who were of no use to the Cherokees whatever; we think in the end, the nation will find itself a gainer, rather than a loser-by the last emigration.- The first company who left the Agency did not exceed one hundred, of all description, and those that are now there together with the first company will not effect two hundred; besides a few who having enrolled while they were drunk have taken themselves into the woods, the thoughts of Arkansas being not agreeable to their minds in their sober hours. Others are riding about from one neighborhood to another in search of their wives, they having absconded from their husbands to avoid encountering the perilous journey to the west of the Mississippi.



The last mail brought us the most gratifying intelligence of the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States; in the case of Samuel A. Worcester ' E. Butler vs. the State of Georgia; it will be seen from the extract of a letter, and a copy of a judgement which follows, that the Court has sustained the right of the Cherokees to the utmost extent. They have declared the law of Georgia extending her jurisdiction over a portion of our territory unconstitutional. The question of Indian rights is now decided by the highest tribunal in the United States, and Georgia, as a member of the Union, will, we presume, yield to the mandate of the Supreme Court, notwithstanding the resolutions of her Legislature. In all events the duty of the Cherokee Nation is plain. We have been struggling only for our rights, and the fulfillment of the promises of the General Government to protect us in our rights as stipulated in our numerous treaties with her; it is now therefore between the State of Georgia and the Supreme Court. We hope soon to be able to lay the opinion of the Court as it was delivered, before our readers; at present, the following will suffice.


of a letter from Mr. Wm. S. Coodey to

Mr. John Ross

Washington City

4th March 1832

Esteemed Sir,- 'Allow me Sir, before I proceed any further, to inform you and to congratulate you and the Nation, upon the long expected decision of the Supreme Court on the Missionary case. Chief Justice Marshall delivered the opinion of the Court yesterday to the crowded audience of spectators. The Court has pronounced the laws of Georgia extending jurisdiction unconstitutional and void.

We have never contended for more than has been allowed us by the Court.

A wide view of the Indian question is taken, commencing with the discovery of America, and the true principles of the right by discovery to our lands defined. the history of our relation to the British Crown, and subsequently to the federal Government closely examined down to the present day. The Court has been governed by a sense of right and of justice, uninfluenced by raging of partizan warfare, threats of disunion or political expediency. We could have asked for nothing more-but it remains to be seen what the final issue will be. After the conclusion of Judge Marshall, Judge McLean stated that he concurred in the opinion which had just been read by the Chief Justice, but that he had drawn up an opinion of his own which he also would read-which he did-the same grounds were taken by him as in the other opinion and the same conclusions arrived at-though many new and weighty arguments were used, omitted in the other opinion which I though peculiarly appropriate to the times-Judge Baldwin gave notice that he dissented from the Court, but delivered no written opinion on the merits of the case; but read a few sketched from some sheets to show that a proper return of the case had not been made from the court below, so as to give this Court jurisdiction. But it was a feeble effort, and he stood alone. The Court has issued a writ directed to the Court where those two men were tried and sentenced to cause their liberation . Mr. Chester departed today with it for Lawrenceville and will arrive there during the session of the Court. If it is disregarded it will be returned to this Court for further action and new measures, but in what way I am not now prepared to say.


The following is a mandate directed to the Superior Court of Gwinnett County, Georgia, from the Supreme Court of the United States


The President of the United States of America

To the Ho. the Judge of the Superior Court for the County of Gwinnett in the State of Georgia before you in a case between the State of Georgia plaintiff and Elizur Butler, Defendant on an indictment for residing in the Cherokee Nation without License the indictment of the said Superior Court was in the following words viz: 'The defendant in this case shall be kept in close custody by the Sheriff of this County until he can be transported to the Penitentiary of the State and the keeper thereof is hereby directed to receive him into his Custody and keep him at hard labor in said penitentiary for and during the term of four years' as by this inspection of the transcript of the record of the said Superior Court, which was brought into the Supreme Court of the United States by virtue of a writ of Error agreeably to an act of Congress in such case made and provided fully and at large appears and whereas in the present term of January in the year of our Lord one thousand-eight hundred and thirty-two the said cause came on to be heard before the said Supreme Court on the said transcript of the record and was argued by Counsel on consideration whereof. It is the opinion of the Court that the act of the Legislature of the State of Georgia upon which the Indictment in this case is founded is contrary to the Constitution, Treaties and Laws of the United States, and that the special plea in bar pleaded by the said Elizur Butler in manner aforesaid and relying upon the Constitution, Treaties and Laws of the United States aforesaid is a good bar and defence to the said indictment by the said E. Butler, and as such, ought to have been allowed, and admitted by the said Superior Court for the County of Gwinnett in the State of Georgia before which the said indictment was pending and tried and that there was error in the said Superior Court of the State of Georgia,- in overruling the plea as pleaded as aforesaid. It is therefore ordered and adjudged that the judgment ordered in the premises by the said Superior Court of Georgia upon the verdict upon the plea of not guilty afterwards pleaded by the said Elizur Butler, whereby the said Elizur Butler is sentenced to hard labor in the penitentiary of the State of Georgia ought to be reversed and annulled. And this Court proceeding to render such judgment as the said Superior Court of the State of Georgia should have rendered it as further ordered and adjudged that the said judgment of said Superior Court be and thereby is awarded that the special plea in bar so as aforesaid pleaded is a good and sufficient plea in bar in law to the indictment aforesaid and that all proceedings on the said indictment be forever surcease and that the said Elizur Butler be and hereby is henceforth dismissed therefrom, ' that he go thereof quite without day and that a special mandate do go from this Court to the said Superior Court to carry this judgement into execution.

You therefore are hereby commanded that such further proceedings be had in said case in conformity with the judgment of said Supreme Court of the United States as according to right and justice and the Laws of the United States ought to be had, the said Writ of Error notwithstanding. Witness the Honorable John Marshall Chief Justice of said Supreme Court, the second Monday in January in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty two.

(Signed: WM. THO. CARROLL. Clerk of the Supreme Court of the United States.)