Cherokees.- We find in the columns of the Cincinnati American, a warm opponent of the present administration, a letter from a gentleman, whose name is not given, but of whom the editor says, that his 'public character and services would claim the implicit confidence of the reader,' which contains a very vivid account of the sufferings and endurance of the Cherokees in Georgia. We would hope that allowances ought to be made for the prejudices and feelings of the writer, but fear that there is too much truth in the statements. There can be no doubt that the Cherokees have been unwarranted dealt with, by many of those who have flocked to their limits in search of gold. Georgia, certainly having made a law which excludes Cherokees from giving evidence against a white man, should be careful to guard them with a vigilant eye, for the purpose of protection against the frauds and depredations to which it is possible that law may have opened the door.
We give an extract from the article alluded to, which contains an account of the wrongs said to exist. We think that the author ought to have put his name to the article--if it contain nothing but facts, the writer need not be ashamed of it and it ought to have the advantage of the weight of a responsible name--if any part of it be not true, the refutation ought to carry with it disgrace to the author.-National Banner.
'The extent of the wrongs done this people has never half been laid before the American public. Their bill, filed in the Supreme Court, loaded with technicalities and forms, contained but an outline. I am confident no one man recount them-nay was the whole told, the facts have so far outraged decency and propriety, that the story would scarcely gain credence with a people who believe that christianity, morality, and law, ought all to have binding influence with the white population.
The difficulties brought upon the Indians, arise from the circumstance that every Georgian has been taught by the political demagogues of that state, to feel a direct interest in the Indian land.
The states in times past established the principle of making divisions of her vacant territory by lotteries in small tracts--each citizen has a chance for a prize.
Each aspirant for the legislature, when he mounts the stump, seizes the cupidity of his audience and proposes a bargain-elect me and I will vote a ticket for a lot in the Gold Region in the Indian country. The temptation takes, and they vote for such as can violate Constitution and treaty to effect the end designed. As they are all blinded by interest, integrity is out of the question. Hence the passage of those laws which the Supreme Court of the United States are compelled to declare void for their conflict with the Federal Constitution.
Indulged in this course as Georgia has been the Indian country was literally overrun by intruders. The Indian agent is a Georgian and has her feelings. He affords no protection, so that the office is useless. Their lands have been surveyed. The Indian farms and dwellings have been numbered and scrutinized. If the Indian is absent, he is reported as removed, his rented by an agent, and when the renter arrives to take possession, if the Indian be then in his house he is thrown out; if he resist he is beaten and thrust way. If one is charged with an offence, he is taken, tied, and conveyed forty and fifty miles from home, out of his country, has a mock trial, is discharged with but enquiry after receiving a volley of curses by way of lecture. They dare not enforce their own laws against their own people. If they dig gold on their own land, or sit as a magistrate under their own laws, they are subject to punishment in the penitentiary of the State.
The commander of a company of Rangers, who traverse the country, is a person of bad morals. He is reported to be a bankrupt in property and tyrant in temper. His cruelties may not have extended to taking life itself, but short of that almost every other crime is laid to his charge. I should blush to name facts concerning females and acts committed in the face of worshiping Christian Indian Congregations.
As everything like wrong and outrage toward an Indian were tolerated, marauders have stolen half the horses in the nation. Their cattle on pretended executions and forgeries have been driven away. Forged deeds, bonds, and receipts-in this department an extensive business has been carried on with perfect impunity; for the plea is that an Indian cannot be sworn as a witness against a white man, therefore the thief and forger are safe, and the address as they would call it, laughed at and approbated.
Whiskey and spirits are brought in from every point trading of every kind and by every character who chooses, without license from the agent, is going forward. The Indian is made drunk, cheated, beaten, and dismissed. Human invention has been exhausted in devising the means of theft, fraud, and barbarous oppression on an unoffending people.'
After indulging in a strain calculated to cast censure on the President of the United States, and saying that -'all other Presidents have removed intruders and preserved treaties'- the writer thus concludes.
When I set out upon my journey, I did not suppose that my feelings could be roused, so as to impress it as a duty to commit to paper any notes touching this misrule. But now I feel that it would be a crime to remain silent. I am not of the order of philanthropists who think it important on all occasions to dwell upon the past scenes of wrongs towards Indians.- These people, the Cherokees, are no longer barbarians. They are well informed-possessing the use of letters of their own invention-farmers, and herdsmen. Four years ago they were happy. The religion of Jesus Christ was taking a deep hold amongst them. The accidental discovery of gold in their country has been a light to all their prospects. Unless the strong arm of Government is interposed their ruin will follow--as certain as antipathy follows from injuries felt. Believing seriously that these people might have been reclaimed, nay were so in effect--shall they, while unoffending, surrounded by the solemn treaties, receive less protection than the wild red man of the remote western forest--be compelled in the face of the guarantees made them, to remove ' with these relapse into barbarity or be cut off by more powerful nations?