NEW ECHOTA, Oct. 6, 1832
We refer our readers to an act of Congress published in this paper, authorizing the appointment of a Commissioner over the Indian Department, for the administration of the various affairs growing out of their relations with the Indian Tribes, ' for other purposes. The 4th section prohibits the introduction of ardent spirits into the Indian country, under any pretence whatever. If this section of the law was intended to operate in all the Indian countries, why is not this provision executed in this nation? This is the very country, and the proper time, if Congress intended to benefit the Indians by it, for the enforcement of this law. This part of the Cherokee country ever since the extension of Georgia jurisdiction over it-that portion bordering on the Tennessee State, as also that of Alabama, continues to be supplied, in traffic with the Indians, by the white persons permitted by the President to occupy and intrude on the Indian lands, in great quantities of this consuming fire. The Cherokees have at different times, called on the President for the enforcement of a law (Mar. 20th 1802) containing provision more ample for the suppression of this pernicious but he has as often refused. This law provides heavy penalties against the whites for dealing in spirituous liquors with the Indians, but it has been regarded as a law unfit for the execution of the President. A new section has now appeared from Congress, containing four lines prohibitory of this traffic, but without a penalty for its infringement. A law in this condition we had always viewed, as a matter of Counsel and not of law, the pleasure of the subject superseding its supremacy, and altogether inefficient to govern the object for which it was obtained. If Congress were candid in the passage of this section, and this part of the Indian country was intended to be embraced, it would be nothing more than an act of simple justice, to which we had at least a just claim; the enforcement would be salutary, and might go far in white washing the act of the President for refusing to execute the provisions of a much better law.
An act to provide for the appointment of a Commissioner of Indian affairs and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled. That the President shall appoint by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, a Commissioner of Indian Affairs, who shall under the direction of the Secretary of War, and agreeably to such regulation as the President may from time to time prescribe, have the direction and management of all Indian Affairs, and of matters arising out of Indian relations,and shall receive a salary of _______ per annum.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the Secretary of War shall arrange or appoint to the said office the number of clerks necessary therefore, so as not to increase the number now employed; and such sum as is necessary to pay the salary of said Commissioner of the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty-two, shall be, and the same hereby is appropriated out of any money in the treasury.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That all accounts and vouchers for claims and disbursements connected with Indian Affairs, shall be transmitted to the said Commissioner for administrative examination, and by him passed to the proper accounting officer of the Treasury Department for settlement; and all letters and packages to and from the said Commissioner, touching the business of his office, shall be free of postage.
Sec. 4. And be it further enacted. That the Secretary of War shall, under the direction of the President, cause to be discontinued, the services of such sub-agents, interpreters, and mechanics, as may, from time to time, become unnecessary, in consequence of the emigration of the Indians, or other causes.
Approved: July 9, 1832.
The following communication is from a respectable person, the truth of whose statement there can be no doubt. The decision of Judge Clayton in which he refers, was also nullified by Governors Gilmer and Lumpkins, but the still 'small voice of justice' was still recorded in the books of the Superior Court which the Honorable Judge has thought proper to banish and deprive the Indians of that justice which they are certainly entitled to from him, in regard to the gold mines.
Mr. EDITOR:- On Monday in September last, I had session to attend the Superior Court of Cherokee County, so called. I arrived there on Monday morning in time to hear Judge Daugherty deliver his charge to the Grand Jury. The court house being small and so much crowded I of course had to take a station on the outside, therefore, I could not hear all that the Judge had to say. But this much, I well recollect, in giving his charge, he stated to them, that the same Justice should be meted out to the red man as the white man. On the same evening I learnt (sic) that the next day (Tuesday) three Cherokees were to be brought before the Court for the crime of digging for gold on their own soil, I felt a deep interest, and waited to see the trial. On Tuesday, about 10 o'clock they were brought to the court house and seated on a log in front of the court house door. I went up to them, and took each of them by the hand; on doing this it recurred to my mind, where are the Treaties and laws of the United States, and has the executive arm become too short that it cannot protect the Indians in their own rights and privileges? I then inquired who they were, and from what part of the nation. I found that one of them was a nephew of the venerable Maj. Ridge;- and the other two were connections of our worthy Representative Walking Stick. They stated that after they were arrested, they were taken before some of the justices of the peace and committed to jail in Dekalb county, Georgia, and were brought to that place for trial. They were coupled one to the other as they sat on the log by the ankles, with a common trace chain, ' a padlock suspended to each ankle. About 11 o'clock they were brought before the court and the counsel, adverted to the decision of Judge Clay, viz:- the State of Georgia vs. Cunnetoo, which decision is well known to your readers; but the Judge over ruled the plea, and stated he had nothing to do with the acts of the legislature, but to enforce them; if the State had a right to restrain her white population from digging gold, she had the same right to restrain her Indian population from doing the same. The prisoners gave bond and security for their appearance at the next term of the Court which will be on the 4th Monday in March next so that the opinion of Judge Clayton of the unconstitutionality of the law, is declared by Judge Daugherty, as constitutional. What a contradiction! One other Cherokee case and I shall have done. A certain white man by the name of Bogan had a claim on the estate of Jesse Vann deceased, and commenced an action, Peacock, uncle of the deceased, and recovered a judgement against the Peacock on an open account of fourteen years standing, or upwards, and what is more strange, the magistrate had allowed the accounts to draw interest; which case was taken up to the Superior Court, and brought for trial, and let it be said to the Honor of the Court, the case was thrown out with cost of suit on Bogan.
Oct. 3d 1832
The Christian Soldier, a highly respectable paper published in Boston, and devoted primarily to religion, makes the following remarks on the letter of resignation by the late editor of this paper.
Mr. Elias Boudinot has resigned his situation as editor of this paper, and recommends that it be discontinued, on account of the pecuniary embarrassments of the Cherokee Nation. Mr. Ross, the principal Chief, in communicating the resignation to the Committee and Counsel says:
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We sincerely hope the paper will not be discontinued; and we cannot refrain from expressing our surprise at the recommendation of Mr. Boudinot. 'Knowledge is power,'- and the publication s of a weekly paper among the Cherokees in which the subject of their rights shall be freely discussed, and containing such other articles as shall be calculated to instruct and reform the people,and afford them necessary information of passing events, will be of incalculable benefit. We say to them, 'Don't give up the ship;' maintain the paper, if possible; it may be that God will yet send you deliverance.