Cherokee Phoenix


Published April, 14, 1832

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The statement below given by Mr. Hicks we believe to be substantially correct, nor do we think it a solitary instance of the kind. We are credibly informed of instances in other parts of the nation where a similar course has been, and is still pursued, to swell the list of emigrants.


Mr. Editor:- It is well known to the public that the President at the earnest solicitation of the Gov. of Georgia, had announced in his message to Congress, that the emigration of the Cherokees in Georgia to the west of the Mississippi had been opened to those who might of their voluntary consent chose to emigrate; and that it was confidently expected that more than one half of the Cherokees would avail themselves of the humane policy of the govt. Pursuant these measures it is also well known that the President appointed more agents, as the Georgians say, 'than you can shake a stick at,' to traverse the Cherokee country in search of emigrants. This system has but partially succeeded with the classes known by the name of half-breeds, white men and negroes; the latter, will compose nearly one half of the aggregate, to be colonized west of the Miss. at the expense of the anti-tariff states. About a dozen of the tawny sons of Skiyakuskee Koowescowee is supposed to have enrolled, but induced to do so by these man hunters, during their intoxication. Among these bacchanolian volunteers was Skontahhee of Shoemake, on his restoration to reason he became the subject of contrition. The Plains of the Rocky Mountains were only an object of supercilious contempt. In the meantime, he was called on by a Mr Curry (you know this gentleman signed himself a friend to the Cherokees in a communication, published in your paper:) one of the agents of the President from Tennessee in company with the United States interpreter, Miller, and ordered to march on ahead to the place of embarkation. To this, he demurred. Mr. Curry drew a pistol, cocked it, and ordered the poor Indian to march; Skontahhee also had a rifle, which he presented to Curry, and as the Indian did not understand English, this was a physical answer that could not be misunderstood by Mr. Curry;- he turned his horse ' left the Indian in a declaration of independence. Time will not admit to further particulars, but truth is my only object. The circumstance happened since the decision of the Supreme Court against Georgia.



For the Cherokee Phoenix.


The history of the Cherokees is passing to a time, shortly remote, when will be consigned our aged sires to the undisturbed regions of tranquility, to relate no more occurrences, and changes of our interesting and political history. However defective a history given by the memory on these sages may be received; it must be borne in mind that the recollection of an Indian is one unbroken chain from the early dawn of reason to the dissolution of nature. The national pride of these relics of antiquity consists like that of individuals of all other nations, in the relations of the acts of their great warriors; the victories achieved, and their orators who delivered eloquent speeches on memorable occasions. Among the many Cherokee warriors who flourished at different periods, that of Ocunstotee appears to have been the most conspicuous. About the year of 1740 to 60 he exercised not only the functions of a Chief, but in the strictest sense of the word was emperor of all the Cherokees. The emperor reigned at his palace, and celebrated city of refuge, known by the name of Chota on the Tennessee River, now in the State of Ten. The laws of his emperor prohibited the shedding of man's blood in this metropolis on any occasion whatever. Many incidental man slaughterers are known to have sought refuge in this City ' received the effectual protection of his authority. This emperor waged wars, and made peace at different times with the Continental British authorities, and being desirous to see the King of whose subjects he had had so many raptures, sailed to England; stepped into White Halls, and heard the royal gratification of his visit expressed by John Bull, and rode home to America a seventy five gun-ship. Among the acts of this emperor which command our admiration, is one that occurred in taking some ten or twelve prisoners in some of the battles fought against the kings American subjects. They were carried to Chota as prisoners of war to the great delight of the Cherokee braves, the only trophy of war that could redound to their honor. But on their arrival at the beloved City, the great man Ocunstotee treated these prisoners as his loving subjects rather than as enemies, for this was holy ground, no violence here against mankind could be tolerated.* The warriors in the adjacent towns had become dissatisfied at the humane treatment of the prisoners by their emperor. His benevolence was construed with a desire to favor their enemies, by which some advantages might be obtained over them, and finally concur the Country. A secret Council of war was convened at the nearest town to take into consideration the conduct of Ocunstotee, which resulted in a resolution to massacre the prisoners. The number of warriors marched for this purpose I do not recollect, but the force was inconsiderable. The sullen tomahawk was now fitted on, the Indians painted red; the rifle shouldered and marched to Chota. The great warrior had now received information by express, from those who were opposed to this intended and crimsoned tragedy; but one word and one minute as it were paraded all his braves under arms to protect the lives of the prisoners and prevent the violation of his holy laws in that City. The invading foes appeared commanded by the Bone Cracker, when a charge was made against the prisoners, but came in conflict with a charge that was also made by the emperor's warriors against the Bone Cracker, and drove him at the point of the gun out of the City, and saved the lives of the Prisoners.



*Gov. Gilmer of Georgia, chained his Indian prisoners and missionaries to wagons but they were taken in time of peace. O spirit of Washington speak to this people.