Cherokee Phoenix


Published November, 24, 1832

Page 2 Column 1b


NEW ECHOTA. NOV. 24, 1832.

The message of Governor Lumpkin to the Georgia Legislature will be found in our columns. His Excellency congratulates his fellow citizens of the undiminished state of their attachment to the system of governments under which they live, therefore encourages an increased zeal, for the preservation of their happy institutions. He then makes known the conflicts of that State with federal usurpations, in the case of Worcester and Butler, as a cause of distrust and dissatisfaction, and his readiness to have resisted any branch of the Federal Government, in the enforcement of the decision of the Supreme Court. The reversal of the criminal jurisdiction of Georgia by the Supreme Court, his Excellency, like all his cruel and selfish predecessors, takes the ground, that the Court has attempted to prostrate the right of jurisdiction, within the limits of Georgia proper. The assumption of this ground will not be sustained by acts. The question of jurisdiction involved in the case of Worcester and Butler, as decided by the Supreme Court, had only a reference to the right of Georgia exercising that power in the Cherokee Nation, which the court decided by an elaborate opinion, and supported by detailed authorities of the Constitution, Treaties and Laws of the United States, to belong to the Cherokees, and consequently the nullity of the Georgia laws over the same. The fallacy which Governor Lumpkin has discovered in the decision of the court-its tendency to consolidate the states into one mass-the infirmaries of the judges, as the cause of this decision, are allegations, it seems to us, better calculated to represent the angry passions of the human mind, and the cause of injustice, rather than of truth and calm reason.

His Excellency's early communication which he says he made to the President, on the subject of surveying and occupying the Cherokee lands, we do think are proceedings at which humanity must at least shudder. Has piety ceased to mourn over this dark iniquity? Yes, Gov. Lumpkin the Christian Governor of a civilized state, has communicated to the President, the necessity of taking possession of his fellow creature's and his neighbor's lands. He then represents the solicitude of the President with Georgia for the amicable adjustment of their territorial embarrassments, and that the President had proposed to the Cherokees, liberal terms to induce them to remove-to fulfil the objects of his solicitude, and benefit that deluded race. By whom have the Cherokees been deluded? If his Excellency means that the General Government had deceived or cheated the Cherokees in promising them protection ' the sanction of their sovereignty, it is to be observed that the state of Georgia of which Mr. Lumpkins (sic) is the head, has been chiefly instrumental and it has been at the instance of that very State, that the principal part of the treaties have been made, which have secured to the Cherokee the rights affirmed to them by the Supreme Court.

His Excellency then states that the enemies of the President and of Georgia succeeded in preventing a treaty being made with the Cherokees, and the arrogant reply of the Cherokees to the propositions.--We feel no hesitation to say to this statement, that the enemies of the President and of Georgia, have had no influence with the Cherokees, in their rejections of a treaty, this grave subject have been from time immemorial exclusively under the control of the Cherokee councilors and the people.

Again, His Excellency states that the reply of the Cherokees to the propositions 'evinces a most arrogant and uncompromising spirit.' The reply which the Governor has reference to is that given to the Secretary of War at the July Council and already published by us. We must here take the liberty of correcting in a few words, the view which the Governor has taken of our reply. The council after rejecting the propositions, called the attention of the President to their former decisions on that question--great intrusions on these lands by the whites,--to have them removed according to their treaties with the government-the Cherokees indures by the Georgia military--but to remove this encroachment, and then, they would be placed in a situation to enjoy freedom ' liberty, which would enable us to speak ' act on the subject of our national interests.- This is the substance of our reply. If there is any pride of haughty disposition evinced in this reply, as his Excellency has taken it, let the impartial reader decide.

From the message, it can be no longer doubted, that the occupancy of the vacant lands of the Cherokees, by the state of Georgia will now soon be attempted we deem it; therefore necessary to say a word to the effects of this forcible occupation of our lands, in the event of the non-interference of the federal government. His Excellency has called the attention of the legislature to the serious deliberations of the condition of the Cherokees. Special and appropriated legislation he deems necessary to secure to them their rights of property. If each Indian has five hundred bushels of corn, and the Governor was to take by force four hundred of it, would it not be a mockery of justice to deliberate seriously at the same time, to secure that which was left? Such an act we have no doubt would be pronounced outrageous and atrocious. But the hardships arising out of the land case are much greater; in this place and elsewhere, two to five families reside and cultivates in one enclosure, and by the laws of Georgia, it is embraced generally by lot of one hundred and sixty acres.- This is the only lot granted to these families by the laws of Georgia and their right of occupancy to any more are debarred forever. Where is (sic) the children of these families ' the others not similarly situated, when they arrive at maturity to seek for lands on which to settle? Where will these families procure their supplies of wood when their vacant lands are taken? Shall we go to Arkansas? But it is said, there, no wood is to be found.- Shall we go to Milledgeville? It is said, there justice ' precepts have parted. The grave deliberations of the legislature recommended by his Excellency will be productive of enormous injustice to the Cherokees, and their endless sufferings. To this confiscation of our property, we will not submit, we would choose to be placed in the silent regions of death, and be gathered to our fathers, than to remain depressed by Georgia oppression.

The Guard of Governor Lumpkin at the Sixes gold mine has again spilt Cherokee blood, A Cherokee by the name of Nicojaek was discovered digging for gold, when one of the guard fired, and severely wounded the Indian in the arm and leg.- He has nearly recovered.


From the Federal Union.



Milledgeville, 16th Nov. 1832.

FELLOW CITIZENS-- When we take a survey of the events of the closing year, it produces mingled emotions of pleasure and pain. Our actual condition and enjoyments as a people, arising from climate, soil, and good government, when compared with other portions of the world, admonish us to admire and adore the Divine Author of our multiplied blessings. Nothing has transpired to lessen our attachment, or diminish our confidence in the good systems of government under which we live; we should therefore cherish an increased zeal, and an abiding hope for the perpetuation of our free and happy institutions. The truths of history do not authorize the belief, that we are to enjoy the inestimable blessings of liberty and free government, founded on principles of equal rights, without vigilance and constant exertion on the part of the people, who are the only legitimate source of governmental power.

Our conflicts with Federal usurpation are not yet an end; the events of the past year have afforded as new cause for distrust and dissatisfaction. Contrary to the enlightened opinions, and just expectations of the people of this, and every other state in the Union, a majority of the Judges of the Supreme Court of the United States, have not only assumed jurisdiction in the cases of Worcester and Butler, but have by their decision, attempted to overthrow that essential jurisdiction of the State, in criminal cases, which has been vested by our Constitution in the Superior Courts of our own State. In conformity with their decision a mandate was issued, directed to our conduct concerning a reversal of the decree under which those persons are imprisoned, thereby attempting and intending to prostrate the sovereignty of this State in the exercise of its constitutional, criminal jurisdiction.- These extraordinary proceedings of the Supreme Court, have not been submitted to me officially, nor have they been brought before me in any manner, which called for my official action. I have however been prepared to meet this usurpation of Federal power, with the most prompt and determined resistance in whatever form its enforcement might have been attempted by any branch of the Federal Government. It has afforded me great satisfaction to find that our whole people, as with the voice of one man, have manifested a calm, but firm and determined resolution to sustain the authorities and sovereignty of their State against this unjust and unconstitutional encroachment of the Federal Judiciary. The ingenuity of man might be challenged to show a single sentence in the Constitution of the United States giving power, either direct or implied, to the General Government, or any of its Departments, to nullify the laws of a state, enacted for the government of its own population, or coerce obedience by force, to the mandates of the Judiciary of the Union; On the contrary, the Journals and proceedings of the Conventions that framed the Federal Constitution abundantly evince that various attempts were made to effect that object, all of which were rejected. This proves that the States of this Union, never did and never will permit their political rights to be suspended upon the breath of the Agents of Trustees to whom they have delegated limited powers, to perform certain acts. I however deem it unnecessary for me at this time to animadvert on this decision of the Supreme Court. Its fallacy, its inconsistency with former decisions, and its obvious tendency to intermeddle with the political rights of the States, and to change our Federal System into one consolidated mass, has been so often exposed by the most able jurists, and statesmen, that a large majority of the people of this union are confirmed in the conviction of the fallibility, infirmaries and errors of this supreme tribunal.--This branch of the General Government must henceforth stand, where it always ought to have stood, in public estimation as being liable to all the frailties and weaknesses of erring man.

Shortly after the adjournment of the Legislature of December last, I communicated directly to the President of the United States, the views of this State as manifested by her legislation on the subject of our unoccupied lands lying in Cherokee County, and at the same time frankly communicated to him my views, especially as to the necessity and importance of an immediate survey, and perhaps the occupancy of these lands. The President has manifested equal solicitude with ourselves, to affect as amicable and satisfactory adjustment of our territorial embarrassments. We proposed to the Cherokee people, terms of the most liberal character, with a view to induce them to emigrate to the West, and thereby to enable him to effect like great object of his solicitude, in permanently benefiting that unfortunate and deluded race, and at the same time to fulfil the long delayed obligations of the United States' government to Georgia, entered into by the compact of 1802.

Notwithstanding the extraordinary liberality of the propositions submitted to the Cherokees, and the kind spirit in which they were presented, the enemies of the President and of Georgia, have so far succeeded as to prevent any satisfactory arrangement or treaty with them; and their reply to those liberal propositions evince a most arrogant and uncompromising spirit.

Every day's experience has afforded new evidence of the utter impracticality and impolicy of attempting any longer to maintain our laws and government over the Cherokee part of Georgia, without an increased and better population. Every effort has been made by the Executive, to maintain the inviolability of the laws of the State in Cherokee country, but these efforts have not been attended with the desired success. Our laws have been repeatedly violated, and for the want of the moral force, which pervades counties inhabited by a more dense enlightened and virtuous population, the transgressors have sometimes escaped merited punishment. Our scattered population of good character who now inhabit this country have often found themselves destitute of security from the depredations of dishonest men; and when they have sought protection from the laws of the land, they have often found those laws evaded and perverted by combinations of such characters aided by the advice and council of those whose enlarged acquirements should have directed their influence in aid of the cause of justice, and the supremacy of the laws. Legal and pettifogging subtleties, in this country, seem measurably to have triumphed over equity and a fair administration of the law.

Not only the Supreme Court of the United States, but the Superior, and even the Inferior Courts of our own State, have so far aided in overturning our laws and the policy of our State government, as to declare them unconstitutional and order the discharge of prisoners arrested and confined under their provisions. Nevertheless, amidst all these irregularities, strifes and disorders, there is much cause of sincere gratification that the events of the year have produced nothing more seriously injurious to the interests and character of the State.

The Survey of the county of Cherokee in conformity with, and under the provisions of the several acts of the Legislature has been completed without any serious obstacles or difficulty; and in the exercise of that discretion confided to me by law, I have not hesitated to move forward in that direct line, which I deemed best calculated to ensure a speedy settlement of the unoccupied lands in Cherokee county. Accordingly, in due time, the Justices of the Inferior courts of the several counties were notified and required to execute the duties devolving on them, in regard to receiving and returning the names of persons entitled to draw in the lotteries; which having been done according to law, and the tickets having been prepared, the Lottery Commissioners were convened and commenced the preparatory arrangements for the drawing; which was commenced on the 23d October last, and is now in progress, under their superintendence.

I deem it unnecessary at this time to enter upon an enlarged vindication of the policy which has been pursued by the authorities of Georgia on this subject. Suffice it to say, that I have daily increased evidence that our policy has been founded in wisdom justice and true benevolence, and will ere long, terminate in the preservation of a remnant of those unfortunate Indians; and our State will be relieved from the libels and embarrassments of a thirty years' controversy.

It now becomes my duty to call the serious and deliberate attention of the Legislature to the subject of the present condition of the Cherokees who remain within our State. By our existing laws their homes and improvements are secured to them as long as they may choose to remain thereon; but these laws are by no means adapted to the security of their persons and property. Therefore special and appropriate Legislation is most earnestly recommended, whereby these objects will be secured to them, and their rights be as effectually shielded from violation as those of the white man. It is due to the character of the State, that this dependent people should be protected by laws as liberal as may be consistent with their moral and intellectual condition. To afford them such protection, and to extend to them suitable privileges, without endangering the rights of our own citizens, will require the most careful deliberation and prudent forecast.

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The territory embraced in Cherokee County, should be divided into counties of suitable size and form to promote the convenience that portion of our population who may inhabit that section of the State; and the organization of such counties should be provided for without unnecessary delay.