Cherokee Phoenix


Published January, 5, 1833

Page 2 Column 2c



(This date should read Jan. 5, 1832)

Owing to the indisposition of our principal printer our paper has not been issued for three weeks. It is not here as it is in cities, where printers can be had any day or hour, here if a workman is unable to perform, we have to await his recovery to resume the work or ride hundreds of miles in search of another. Our subscribers are entitled to a volume of 52 numbers, all of which when printed will be regularly transmitted by mail, and the circumstance as above stated and unavoidable to us, will we hope apologize for this seeming neglect of forwarding our papers.


Extracts from the message of the President, to Congress, and from the reports of the Secretary of War on the Cherokee question will be found in our columns. We are gratified to find that the message has left out the bold assumption of state jurisdiction over the Indians, that his former messages had set up. The reference which the President makes to his message of Feb. 1831, as the continuation of his opinions on the Cherokee question, we presume, is the one which he submitted to Congress, on a call made upon him 'for his reasons of the non execution of the law of Mar. 30th, 1802 to regulate trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes.' Recurring to memory alone, and if it serves us correct, the President stated in this document, that the above law was prospective in its operation; its enforcement was a discretionary power vested in the executive. Since the communication of these views as he now terms them, the Supreme Court has decided that the laws and treaties of the United Sates are binding and that the Cherokees are under the protection of the United States. Will the President in his exalted station, in the contemplation of his great moving navies, glistening bayonets, sublime Congress, growing treasury, suffer his action for our relief, to continue suspended on this small and trivial thread? We hope not, and that his re-election to the Presidency by a people celebrated for their benevolence and learning will enable him to scorn the oppression by a state, of a people who have waded in aboriginal blood, to brighten the laurel which has placed him in the high station , where treaties should be sustained to be the supreme laws of the land.


The President of the United States has issued proclamation to South Carolina in anticipation of the nullification by that State, of the laws of the United States regulating duties on imports of foreign manufactures. The proclamation contains the most unqualified denial of the President to the right of a state, in any manner to impede the operation of the United States laws. He announces the principles by which he will be governed, in the event of her attempting to nullify said laws of which we make a few Extracts: 'Our Constitution does not contain the absurdity of giving power to make laws, and another power to resist them.

'The Constitution declares that the judicial powers of the United States extends to cases arising under the laws of the United States, and that such laws, the Constitution and treaties, shall be paramount to the state constitution and laws.'

'The states have surrendered the right to make treaties, to declare war and collect taxes, and exercise exclusive judicial and legislative powers.'

'But the dictates of a high duty obliges me solemnly to announce that you cannot succeed, I have no discretionary power, my duty is emphatically pronounced in the Constitution.'

From the above principles avowed by the President, of his determination to enforce the laws of the United States against South Carolina, a question necessarily arises, why are they not applicable, and directed likewise to Georgia? Georgia nullification and the one intended by Carolina are absolutely analogous--if there is any difference between the two cases, it consists only in the difference of the laws. What is Georgia nullification? It is resisting the authority of the Supreme Court in a question decided and arising out of 16 solemn treaties, held by the Constitution to be the Supreme law of the land, by which these treaties are rendered a nullity. These treaties are proclaimed by all the Presidents to be obligatory, and all the citizens of the United States are enjoined to conform and observe every clause and article thereof. These treaties the Government cannot rescind of its own pleasure on constitutional principle. The Carolina intended nullification makes void a purely municipal law of the General Government which the legislative department can at any time rescind. The Georgia resistance so called conflicts with the treaties, the Supreme law of two nations, the United States and the Cherokees; by which the virtual operation of these treaties are destroyed. Now we humbly conceive, if the exercise of nullification has ever been attempted, it is palpably, and we cannot be mistaken that it has been practically attained by Georgia. From the attitude in which Georgia is now placed, by the exercise of this power, and the opinions of the executive of the United States proclaimed in opposition, in a parallel case, we shall await with anxiety at a time the state is robbing us of our lands, secured by these treaties whether or not, the government will inhibit the exercise of this new but destructive principle.



I am happy to inform you, that the wise and humane policy of transferring from the eastern to the western side of the Mississippi, the remnants of our aboriginal tribe, with their own consent and upon just terms, has been steadily pursued, is approaching, I trust, its consummation. By reference to the report of the Secretary of War, and to the documents submitted with it, you will see the progress which has been made since your last session, in the arrangement of the various matters connected with our Indian relations. With one exception, every subject involving any question of conflicting jurisdictions, or of peculiar difficulty, has been happily disposed of and the conviction evidently gains ground among the Indians that their removal to the country assigned by the United States for their permanent residence, furnishes the only hope of their ultimate prosperity.

With that portion of the Cherokees, however, living within the State of Georgia, it has been found impracticable, as yet, to make a satisfactory adjustment. Such was my anxiety to remove all the grounds of complaint, and to bring to a termination the difficulties in which they are involved, that I directed the very liberal propositions to be made to them which accompany the documents herewith submitted. They cannot but have seen in these offers the evidence of the strongest disposition on the part of the Government, to deal justly and liberally with them. An ample indemnity was offered for their present possessions, a liberal provision for their future support and improvement, and full security for their private and political rights. Whatever difference of opinion may have prevailed respecting the just claims of these people, there will probably be none respecting the liberality of the propositions, and very little respecting the expediency of their immediate acceptance. They were however rejected, and thus, the position of these Indians remained unchanged as do the views communicated in my Message to the Senate of February, 1831.



In my report of November 21, 1831, I stated it 'had been suggested that a considerable portion of the Cherokees were desirous of availing themselves of the provisions of the treaty of May 6, 1828, for their removal.' And that, 'with a view to ascertain this fact, and to afford them the aid offered by that treaty, if they were inclined to adopt it, a system of operations had been adopted, and persons appointed to carry into effect.' But that 'sufficient time to form a judgment of the result of this measure had not then elapsed.'

Under this system, about seven hundred Cherokees have claimed the benefit of the treaty of 1828 and have been removed, in conformity with its stipulations, to the country west of the Mississippi. But the operations have for the present been suspended. And until recently there was reason to hope that their resumption would have been rendered unnecessary by an arrangement for the cession of the whole Cherokee title East of the Mississippi, and for the emigration of that tribe to the country offered for their permanent residence. With this view, the liberal propositions authorized by you were made to them a copy of which is annexed to this report. It will be seen, by reference to it, that the offers were conceived in spirit of kindness and liberality, which justified the expectation of their prompt acceptance. They contained ample security for the permanent establishment of the Cherokees, and for the perpetual occupation of the country allotted to them. They provided the means for their moral, social, ' political improvement; and they offered all the pecuniary aid necessary to their present ' future subsistence and support. Their acceptance would have determined the difficulties, in which the Cherokees are involved, would have united the dispersed portions of the tribe, and would have laid the foundation of their permanent improvement and prosperity. But it will be seen, by the answer which is submitted to you, that this effort has been unavailing, and that, unless there is a change in their councils, no favorable change in their condition can be expected.

It will thus be seen that with the Creeks, the Choctaws, the Chickasaws, and the principal Appalachichola bands, certainly,and with the Seminoles, probably, such arrangements have been made as will prevent the occurrence of any difficulties resulting from the assertion of jurisdiction by the state or Territorial Governments, on the one hand, and the unfounded claims of exemption from their authority by the Indians, on the other. These tribes embrace all the aboriginal population now remaining the country east of the Mississippi, and south of the Ohio, with the exception of a few individuals, too unimportant for recapitulation; and with the exception, also of the Cherokees. Of these latter Indians, it is computed that about thirty five hundred reside west of the Mississippi, and about eleven thousand within the chartered limits of Georgia, and the States of Alabama, Tennessee, and North Carolina. All the embarrassments arising out of the anomalous situation of the Indians, which have engaged the public attention, and occasioned much anxiety to the government, are confined, in their operation, to that portion of this small band living within the state of Georgia. Could they be induced to pursue the only course which promises them stability and prosperity, and to remove to, and re-establish in the West, their political and social systems, with such modifications as experience and the change of events have rendered necessary, the country might soon look forward to an entire removal of the whole Indian race east of the Mississippi, and to a termination of all those perplexing difficulties which inevitably result from the existing relations established between them.