Cherokee Phoenix

From the New York Spectator

Published July, 21, 1832

Page 1 Column 3a

From the New York Spectator.

The Indian War.- The following letter comes from a source of the highest respectability. It is as we surmised. In this case, as in almost every other, the whites were the aggressors. Having squatted on the Indian lands, and cheated them out of their hunting fields, they next proceeded, in the wantonness of oppression, to rob them of their property and shoot them like game; and when they retaliate, we are called upon to shed tears for the poor innocent white men. But there is none to mourn for Logan- no, not one. We hope to hear more frequently from the writer.


Volume 1, ncennes, Ind. June 9th

When on a visit to your city, a year or two since, you made me a proposition, which I am fearful you will repent of making, which was that you would very cheerfully be taxed with postage, if I would occasionally give you notice of passing events in the far West. The reason why I have not earlier complied with my promise, may be found in the fact, that as we Western people pursue the even tenor of our course, half between the Eastern 'consolidation.' (I believe that is the word) and Southern 'nullification,' there is not much excitement among us; and, therefore, but little food for a newspaper. Just now, however, there are 'wars and rumors of wars,' more of the latter, I believe, than the former. Never since the days when Dick Johnson did not kill Tecumseh, has the military fever raged to the same extent as at the present. The fact is, our martial spirit has been bottled up so long, that now, when a little shaken, the corkscrew flying in all directions, and you would imagine the whole country was about to be laid waste,a nd depopulated by 'Black Hawk' who by the way is as yellow as any other gentleman Indian whom you ever had paraded at the expense of Government for the gratification of the good people of Gotham. That there have been some murders and destruction of property on the Eastern frontier is admitted by all hands. That the Illinois troops under Major Stillman, as General Jackson would say 'ingloriously fled' is granted; and it is supposed an equally admitted fact that on that occasion, the whites were the first to commit hostilities-they having killed two Indians and taken another prisoner, who was afterward shot before the Indians attacked the party at all. That there has been great mismanagement, and most culpable negligence, somewhere, all admit; and the Gen. of the 'Regulars' comes in for his full share of the blame. Instead of calling out the militia, had he immediately advanced on the Indians, it is generally believed they would never have been able to have made head at all. Delaying, however, to call out the militia, it gave the Indians time to collect and organize, and the defeat of Stillman's party giving them fresh confidence, led to the destruction of life which afterwards took place among the frontier inhabitants. That they will meet either the United States' troops or the militia, in a fair fight no one who knows anything of Indian character, habits, and mode of warfare, ever believed ' the result has shown this to be the case;-for, after a pursuit of some days, and not being able to overtake the Indians, the militia have returned home, and Atkinson, with the United States' troops, have returned to Rock Island. The necessary consequence must be, that, dividing into small parties the whole line of the frontier will, from this until fall, be exposed to savage incursions, which can only be remedied by putting the United States' troops on horseback, and employing them, where they ought ever since last summer to have been employed, as Rangers on the frontier-instead of passing their time in idleness at Jefferson Barracks. The present contest, without being predictive of any good, but of much evil, will cost the Government more than it would have done to have kept a regiment of mounted men on the frontier for a year. And had this been done after the disturbance last summer, we should have avoided all the unpleasant consequences which have since arisen. The state of Illinois will suffer severely. There was but a short crop last year. The cold of last winter injured what corn was raised; and there is great scarcity of seed this spring. Four thousand men in all have been called from their agricultural concerns, at a time when their services were most needed, and many have left their families in a very distressing situation. It is said that the Indians have suffered severely for the want of food-most of the game having also been destroyed by the severity of the winter. This, together with the probable aid derived from the agents of the British fur companies, who, from a spirit of avarice, dislike the continual advancement of American population upon the former hunting grounds of the Indians,are probably the principal cause of the 'Indian war.' The State of Indiana is removed from all danger from disturbances; and the consequence will probably be, that we shall the coming year get a large access to our population, which, under other circumstances would have gone to Illinois. Our march is onward-almost for a geometrical ratio. I see you boast, and justly too, of the number of railroad companies incorporated by your Legislature last winter-fourteen, I believe, in all--yet we, with one-fourth your population, at the last session, incorporated eight railroad companies aside from the act authorizing the completion of which our state is pledged. Ten years more, and the rank of states will be New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Indiana, or I am mistaken.


Yours truly,