Cherokee Phoenix


Published May, 12, 1832

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A report is currently circulated in some parts of the Nation, that a treaty has been lately concluded at Washington City between the Secretary of War ' two of the Cherokees, namely; John Walker, Jr. and James Starr, wherein these two men are represented as having ceded all the lands lying within the limits of Tennessee and North Carolina in exchange for land west of the Mississippi. However unreasonable this report may appear to be, yet it is believed by a great many of our people. And fools are not wanting to circulate this report extensively in order to raise discontent among the people as much as possible. For the information of those, who have been made to believe this unwarranted report, we can only say; that Walker and Starr, went to Washington with the Arkansas Cherokee Delegation.- Having no authority from any quarter whatever, they were not only powerless to enter into a treaty, had they been so disposed to do.


From the Augusta Chronicle.


The information contained in the following letter from our worthy representative in Congress, General Newnan, will afford much pleasure to our readers, yielding as it does, strong hopes, that our long existing and perplexing difficult relation to our Indian population will soon be removed, by a Treaty provided for emigration to the west of the Mississippi.

'City of Washington

14th April, 1832.

Dear Sir:- The Cherokee delegation of this place, have at last presented to recommend to their people to make a treaty with the government upon the general basis, that they shall require a patent for lands over the Mississippi, and, at a proper time, be allowed a delegate in Congress. The delegation will either obtain power from home, to make a treaty at this place, or retire and make arrangements to treat at New Echota. I hope no extravagant demands on the part of the Cherokees will prevent this long agitated question from being speedily brought to such a termination, as will produce to the best interest of Georgia and the General Union.

Yours respectfully,


The following communication from Skah-tle-loh-skee to the Editors of the National Intelligencer, will speak for itself. It is dated the 14th April the same as with the above letter of Gen. Newnan.

WASHINGTON, 14th April, 1832.

Messrs. Gales ' Seaton: to your paper, I have discovered in several cases extracts of reports in relation to the favorable disposition of the CHEROKEES to emigrate, and in this morning's paper you state that you have heard from Georgia, that a considerable number of the Cherokees have agreed to go beyond the Mississippi, and that indications rather from the belief that the body of Nation will, upon certain conditions, voluntarily emigrate. You say, also, it has always been your opinion, that it would be for their interest to do so. The Cherokee Nation has maintained its rights through the evil reports of its enemies, and by the blessing of the Great Master of Breath our cause is now elevated on the highest eminence of explained law and justice. Their rights are no longer debated. It is not, or at least it ought not to be the habit of Americans to take what is expedient to be done but in justice should be done to this ancient and high-minded Nation. For the information of the friends of the Cherokees, and not to any of opposite feelings, I have taken the liberty to ask of you the privilege of publishing the following extracts of letters addressed to the Cherokee Delegation in this City.


March 24th, 1832

'We received the gratifying intelligence by the last mail, that the missionary case in the Supreme Court resulted in the nullification of the laws of Georgia over the Cherokee Nation. The arrival of this decision has been to the Cherokees like a shower of rain on the thirsty vegetation upon the earth. All are easy, content, and merry; yet aware that immediate relief does not follow as a consequence. Immemorable celebration of this decision, by feasts and dances, are taking place. Every Indian now knows that he stands upon a solid foundation.

I remain, with sentiments of high consideration,




30th March, 1832.

Our adversaries are generally down in the mouth--there are rejoicings throughout the Nation on the decision of the Supreme Court upon the Cherokee case. Traitors and internal enemies are seeking places where to hide their heads.


Knowing, as I do, that your columns are burthened with the proceedings of Congress, I will not trespass upon you by saying more upon this subject.



[The above note contains a sentence which may be interpreted to charge us with disparaging 'the cause' of the Cherokees. If so, we peremptorily repel it. There is not the least ground for any such suggestion.- Eds. National Int.


We insert in our columns today a long article from the Journal of Commerce; a paper zealously devoted in advocating our rights. From the announcement of our difficulty with the state of GA. the editors of the Journal of Commerce have never been found wanting in discussing the question in a most able manner, in defence of the rights of the Cherokees. They have travelled with us through good as well as evil report- but no word of advise fell from their talented pen during the whole controversy; their whole aim was to make known to the world that justice ought to be maintained, that a great, ' powerful nation ought to fulfill all promises made to a small and weak Nation, however insignificant it may be.- But now, they see with much gratification their opinion sustained by the highest tribunal of the United States, and having seen that justice would be awarded at least by one branch of the General Government they have thrown out a word of advise to the Cherokees. The advise not given, as is usually done by interested and enemies to the true interest of the Cherokee people. It is not that they believe we have no right to remain on the land which we now occupy, that they give this advise; but, to use their own language, they advise us to remove on the same principle, that they would advise a lamb (if capable of intelligence) to remove from his own green pasture, when invaded by a ravenous wolf. The advise coming from the source that it does, and believing it entitled to great respect, we earnestly, recommend it to a candid consideration of our people. When we recommend it to them, we do it with a confident hope that they will not seek their own selfish interest, but the interest of the whole Nation. We know we have but a very small influence over the minds of our people; whatever our opinion may be on the subject, we cannot turn them either in the right or to the left,-it is not the Cherokee Phoenix alone, that has maintained a resolute tone in opposing the removal of the Cherokees, neither are the 'designing Chiefs,' all who are opposed to a removal; but it is the almost unanimous voice of the Nation. Should those, into whose wise hands the affairs of the Nation are placed, agree to a removal, and should it indeed be the 'nick of time to drive a favorable bargain with the United States'-we would be the last to oppose it, provided, it be not against the will of the people. But here is a question which, we confess greatly puzzles us; and that is,-would the present Administration respect a 17th Treaty, after trampling sixteen preceding ones under foot. A doubt arises within the mind of every Cherokee respecting the course which would be taken by the administration in case a new treaty should be made. What proof is there to convince any man that it would lift a finger towards the fulfillment of its pledge? Has not the present Administration declared to the world, that Treaties made with Indians are not binding? In an administration who would acknowledge our rights, and who would not consent to the violation of Treaties, the case would be quite different.

We are induced to make these remarks because we have understood, that a proposition of a Treaty will be sent out to the Principal Chief in a few days from the War Department. How far he may be influenced from the advice of our friends abroad, we will not pretend to say. But of one thing we are confident; that nothing on earth will induce him to work against what he believes the good and interest of his country. He is doubtless aware, that a suitable country cannot be found over the west of the Mississippi.- Hundreds of our citizens have traversed that country, and what report do they bring? They all agree, to a man, that it is not a good country-extensive prairies-timber and water scarce. Shall we leave our beautiful and healthy country, and exchange it for an unproductive wilderness, and that too at the very moment when our treaties are disregarded?


From the N.York Journal of Commerce.

The ground assumed by Georgia, we need not say, is highly gratifying to the nullifiers of South Carolina. They now feel, and say, that Georgia are walking hand in hand, engaged in the same 'ennobling cause.' It is true that the Georgians do not admit the affinity. They profess to be great enemies of nullification, but at the same time are pursuing stronger measures in opposition to the general government, or at least to one branch of it than the nullifiers themselves. The question then is, what will be the issue of this unhappy collision. Is the Supreme Court to be trodden under foot, or is Georgia to yield to its decision? It is fortunate perhaps for all parties except the missionaries, that the final issue of the question is unavoidably deferred till next winter. This results from the fact, that the Messenger who proceeded to Washington from Georgia, on behalf of the missionaries, to prosecute an order for the execution of Judgment, (after the refusal of Judge Daugherty to regard the decision) did not arrive till after the court had adjourned. The court does not meet again until January next. In the meantime, whatever of passion exits on either hand will have opportunity to subside, and it is very possible that overtures may be made with the Cherokees, which will materially affect the relations of the parties. If these people could be induced to remove the conflict otherwise inevitable between the powers of the Supreme Court and the State of Georgia, would be avoided, and so far as this irritating question is concerned, harmony would be restored to the Union. We do not despair of such a result,--not withstanding the resolute tone in opposition to removal, which is still maintained by the Cherokee Phoenix. It is not to be denied that hitherto the efforts of the Government to effect this object, have been almost totally unsuccessful. They will still continue to be unsuccessful, unless aided by the counsels of those on the sincerity of whose friendship the Cherokees rely. To those friends, then, we put the question whether under existing circumstances it is not expedient to encourage the removal of the Cherokees, provided a suitable territory can be obtained for them in the West, and advantageous Treaty in other respects secured. That such lands can be found, we are induced to believe from a report recently submitted to Congress by Mr. M'Coy, a Baptist missionary of unquestionable integrity, after traversing the new country for several months, with a view to obtain information bearing upon this very point. And that Congress and the Nation are prepared to grant advantageous terms in other respects, even beyond what would be thought of in different circumstances, we can hardly doubt, after we see and hear of a disposition to avoid the crisis which seems now to be impending. Indeed the present appears to be the 'nick of time' for the Cherokees to drive a favorable bargain with the United States. If they wait till the object to be gained by their removal, in respect to the peace of the nation, are defeated, the value of their territory to the nation will be greatly diminished.-- We ask then again, whether a regard to the Cherokees themselves, as to the peace of the country and the claims of Georgia, (which are valid as soon as their territory can be obtained 'peaceably and on reasonable terms,') should not induce the philanthropists of this nation, otherwise called the 'Northern fanatics,' to consider attentively the alternative we have proposed.

We are aware that this view of the subject is different from what we have been accustomed to urge. But although different it is by no means contradictory. We have never opposed the removal of the Cherokees, provided it could be done with their own free will and consent. We are opposed to their removal now, unless it can be effected on these terms. We are opposed to it, come what will. We will never consent to the violation of Treaties, plain as the light of heaven, to avoid the consequences which may follow from fulfilling them. But at the same it may be true, that what was expedient six years ago, is not expedient now. Circumstances have changed; and for these we are not responsible. We have done what we could to save the Cherokees from the unmerciful treatment of Georgia, and can wash our hands from the guilt. But we take them as we now find them:-with the laws of Georgia extended over them, their usages and institutions abolished,--a Georgia Guard traversing their territory, and committing various outrages upon their persons and property,--the ministers of religion banished from their precincts,--and no prospect of an ameliorating of their condition, while remaining in their present country.- We charge upon Georgia the whole blame of bringing these into their present distress; and we advise them to remove on the same principle that we would advise a Lamb (if capable of intelligence) to remove from his own green pasture, when invaded by a ravening wolf. If Georgia covets their lands on this principle, she can have them; and all the waters of the Savannah and Altamana cannot wash out the disgrace which will accompany the possession. We say she can have them,--for it has long since been apparent that no obstacle would be thrown in her way by the present administration. The Cherokees had a right to remain in their lands as long as they pleased. The nation had 'solemnly guaranteed' to them the maintenance of this right and had promised to Georgia nothing inconsistent with it, the obligation extending only to the purchase of the land as soon as it could be done 'peaceable and on reasonable terms'. The time has never been when they could be so purchased. Therefore, so far as this matter is concerned, the nation has fulfilled its obligation s to Georgia. And has it in like manner, fulfilled it obligations to the Cherokees? Has it redeemed its solemn pledge, guaranteeing to them 'all their remaining lands not yet ceded?' Has the present Administration lifted a finger toward the fulfillment of its pledge? Has it not looked on in silence while almost every right appertaining to the soil has been taken away; and the soil itself parcelled out into lots, except what is actually occupied by the Cherokees, preparatory to being distributed to the Georgians. Or if such a parcelling out has not yet been actually made, has it not been distinctly declared by Georgia that it was about to be made; and has not an Act been passed by the Legislature, regulating prospectively the drawing of the same?

We have made these remarks because we wish it distinctly understood that in advising the Cherokees to remove we are influenced by a feeling of approbation for the conduct of Georgia. Neither are we influenced by any fear of her menaces. Though a powerful State, she is not omnipotent. And though she may bid defiance of the Union, as she has to the Supreme Court, she cannot 'blow it into ten thousand atoms.' If she were sunk to the bottom of the ocean, the nation would be a nation still, and a great nation. But we have not wished to reciprocate threats. Such was not the feeling with which we commenced this article, and it shall not be the feeling with which we finish it. We are lovers of peace and of union. We will make great sacrifices to preserve them and it is on this ground, in part, that we advise the Cherokees to remove. Another reason, equally powerful, is, that under present circumstances, we are persuaded it is the best they can do for their own interests. But supposing they cannot be persuaded to remove-what then? Time will decide.