Cherokee Phoenix


Published June, 2, 1832

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We are sorry to see attempts made by some who ought to know better, to divert public attention from the question of right decided by the Supreme Court in the Case of Worcester vs. the State of Georgia, by giving prominence to certain considerations of alleged expediency in favor of the removal of the Indians. It will be time to discuss the matter of expediency when we shall have come at it in a legitimate way. It will be time to think of a treaty between the United States and the Cherokees when both parties shall find themselves in proper circumstances for entering into one. At present, neither is in such circumstances.

The rights of the Cherokees, although sustained by our highest judicial tribunal, are in fact wrested from them. Their country is invaded by civil and military officers; their government declared to be a nullity; the exercise of their rights and duties as a free and independent people, construed and punished as a crime; they are daily exposed, in a word, to insult and oppression, with the prospect that such evils will press upon them more and more heavily till they shall either abandon their country or obtain that protection which they justly claim, but which those from whom they claim it seem determined to withhold. As a just ' magnanimous nation we ought not to ask them to treat while under such constraint. They should be placed in the actual undisputed possession of all their rights, before a word is said to them about abandoning the country where they now suffer so much injustice. Nor should they listen to any proposal for a new treaty, till assured of the practical validity of the old ones.

The Government of the United States is also under constraint. Indeed it is urged that the Cherokees should be advised to treat now, because government is in such peculiar circumstances that they would doubtless to drive a good bargain. But government has no right to yield to the influence of such circumstances, and is under no sort of necessity to do it. The national funds cannot, without gross injustice and breach of trust, be given for the purpose of avoiding the enforcement of the 'supreme law of the land.'

We do hope and trust that the Cherokees, the missionaries, and all engaged in the support of Indian rights and the national faith, will PERSEVERE. It is imperiously demanded of them, it seems to us, by every principle of justice, honor, and patriotism.-Boston Recorder.



Ought it to be quietly hushed up, in contempt of the late decision?

The two missionaries are as a drop in the sea. The decision is, that Cherokee territory, property, and persons, are all

inviolable by our sacred laws and treaties. But we know that they are all trampled on. How then can it be said that there would be an end of the case, if the keeper of the penitentiary should thrust out those apostles privily?

I hold that the executive of the United States in neglecting to execute the law of the Union, which prohibits all unlicensed

persons from entering the Cherokee lands, has been guilty of a high crime, for which, in any same state of the public mind, he would have been impeached and convicted long ago. But whatever doubt he or anybody else may have had as to his duty in that respect heretofore, he can have none now.

The Intercourse Law of 1802, viz the law by which the people of the United States have prohibited all persons from setting foot on Cherokee lands and taking and using or carrying away anything under penalties of 3 to 12 months imprisonment and $100 to $1000 fine, is still in force, unrepealed by Congress as much as the revenue laws, the laws establishing the Judiciary or any other law of the land. It was always executed by the Presidents who have been in office since it was enacted, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, and J. Q. Adams. Even Gen. Jackson, during the first summer that he was in office, sent an extraordinary force into the Cherokee Nation to drive off the gold-diggers. If the Intercourse Law be not in force, by what authority did the President send those troops to the nation, and by what authority did they drive about and imprison citizens of Georgia and others? Thus judging the President upon his own acts and out of his own mouth, one of two things is true, either the Intercourse Law is in force, and he ought upon every principle to be impeached for not executing it for the two years, and especially since the late decision sustaining its validity; or it is not in force, and he ought to be impeached for the high-handed acts, which he directed to be done by the military in the summer and autumns of 1829! There is no getting away from this. There is no escape from it. Yes, there is one. What is that? It is a repeal of a law of the land by the President alone, or by the state of Georgia, or by both of them in concert and conspiracy, which I suppose to be precisely the case.

For one, I wish to see the judgement of the Supreme Court take a clear course, come what may. I wish to see no compromise, no shuffling, and no half-way work. I wish to have it settled, and to know whether we have a Government and a Union or not; and it does seem to me of vital importance that all the people should view it in this light.--Boston Centinel.