NEW ECHOTA,Sept. 22, 1832
The letter of resignation by the late editor of this paper, and published by him, setting forth his indisposition to sustain the cause of the Cherokees, we perceive has taken a wide range in the prints of the United States. It has been eagerly and conspicuously held up by the southern papers who are immediately interested in the acquisition of Indian lands, as a breach in the patriotic ranks of the Cherokees, by which a treaty of cession may be accomplished. Of the contents of this letter, we hoped, had passed us forever, like some fleeting wind, to be heard of no more. But the avidity with which the people of the interested states have received this letter with which to revive their despondency of legally acquiring the Cherokee country, constrains us to submit a few remarks on the merits of this letter together with his subsequent comments on the message of the Principal Chief. The right of the late editor to change his opinions, on questions involving the dearest rights of the Cherokees-questions of expedience, or on any other whatsoever, we feel ourselves bound not to question. The change of sentiment of the editor which this letter would seem to indicate, as departing of a redress of our wrongs, from the present administration, is no doubt the result of the continued oppression of the Cherokees, and an honest conviction, that the Cherokees would be safer, could they be removed from the cruel government of the Georgians. However valuable the services of this once devoted patriot to our cause might have been, we must bear the loss, with the consideration that the safety of any cause are not exempt from the dangers of human nature ' the change of opinions. The revolutions of nations ' change of opinions are occurrences of every day and every year. The change of the present one is quite immaterial to us, the loss is but a drop from the bucket, it cannot move the Cherokees from the stand they have taken; the body politic, and the great body of the Cherokees remains united, ' a treaty, let who will favor it, will find it as certainly premature, as it is revolting to the feelings of the Cherokees. Therefore, the Columbus Enquirer may substitute 'no treaty' to that inscribed under his banner, and not until then will the Enquirer render justice to his readers.- The joint letter of the members of Congress to the Principal Chief, are also referred to in this letter, to prove the hopelessness of redressing the wrongs of the Cherokees under the present administration. While we would feel grateful for the services of these highly enlightened and benevolent men in advocating the rights of the Cherokees and their relief, we must be permitted to point out the reasons, why the friends of the Cherokees in Congress deemed it necessary to advise the Chief, of the difficulties existing, as calculated to defeat any exertion on their part, of obtaining from Congress relief for the Cherokees.- The decision of the Supreme Court in the Missionary case preceded the letter from the members of Congress to the Principal Chief; this decision embraced all the rights which the Cherokees claimed under their treaties, ' is by the Constitution of the U. S. binding on the President, members of Congress, and the United States. The President is sworn to have the laws faithfully executed, so are the members of Congress to support the Constitution. This decision is made by virtue of this Constitution ' consequently is the supreme law of the land. It appears that the President claims to be the Judge of that decision and will refuse to be bound by it. The refusal of the President to execute this decision is under the Constitution an impeachable offence, these members then as men of integrity and virtue are bound at the next Congress to know the cause of the non-execution of this decision. If the President continues to refuse to be bound by it, the alternative of impeachment is presented, and what a spectacle will this be to the world! Congress arrayed against its President for the violation of the laws of the land. A different course of the members would not be in accordance with their oath, knowing as they do the infringement of their Constitution would seem to us to amount to perjury; and in order to avert this calamitous state of things we must believe was the object of our friends in Congress in addressing the Principal Chief, and if possible to induce the Cherokees to change their situation, ' restore that tranquility ' harmony that are so essentially necessary at this time, to secure the happiness of all parties.- If we are correct in the motives; that gave rise to his letter by the members of Congress, they never intended to convey the opinion that the rights of the Cherokees were irrecoverably lost.
The letter of the Judge of the S. Court to the Principal Chief we understand also only enumerates the difficulties that are existing in the way of our relief, ' believes it to be the safer course for the Cherokees to remove west of the Mississippi.
The subjoined extract from the address of the National Republicans of Vermont to their party in that State, alleges against President Jackson, as their objections to his reelection, the violation of government pledges for the protection of the Indians-his opposition to the decision of the Supreme Court, for the release of the imprisoned missionaries in the penitentiary of Georgia, and abetting that State in the practical nullification of that decision. If the assertion of facts were ever founded in truth, they are of such a character as if the defendant had admitted them in open court. The Cherokees have suffered much, and it is only by the election of another president that they can expect to receive rest.
'The vindictive and persecuting spirit manifested by the present administration towards the Aborigines of our country, demands a strong expression of universal reprehension.- Without discussing the question of the political expediency of the removal of the Indians, it is enough to know that the United States more than thirty years ago in solemn treaty as well as in treaties since made, recognized their exclusive right to their lands, and their own mode of government; that they pledged the sacred faith of the nation to protect them in the unmolested enjoyment of these rights, to defend them from the encroachments of the surrounding whites, and from subjection to the state authorities; and in fulfillment of these purposes armed troops had been stationed upon their borders. Justice and humanity must pronounce upon this administration the charge of a flagrant violation of the pledged fidelity of the nation, in the withdrawal of these forces; in permitting the whites to invade the Indian territory, and to pillage their gold and flocks ' herds; in permitting them even to burn their dwellings upon their heads and to subject them to the most cruel and unconstitutional enactments of state legislation. Even the messengers of religion who had gone among them with their approbation, and by the authority and encouragement of the National Executive, to impart to them the blessings of civil and Christian life, were cast into prison, the associates of common felons, for no higher offence than for not leaving the country at the unauthorized bidding of the State of Georgia. And when they had applied for relief to the Supreme Judicial tribunal of the land, and when that tribunal had pronounced these proceedings unconstitutional and void, and directed the release of the prisoners, is it not true that the President, wholly disregarding this decision, arrayed himself on the side of Georgia against the Federal Judiciary? Is it not true that his friends in Congress, under his countenance and sanction, made the bold attempt to strike from the National Statute Book, the entire section from which the Supreme Court of the United States derives its jurisdiction, and thus at one fell blow to demolish this strong bulwark of our National safety? While he has specisomly (sic) disclaimed the theoretical nullification of one state, has he not thus only abated the more treasonable practical nullification of another?