Cherokee Phoenix


Published February, 9, 1833

Page 2 Column 5b



(Note this is the date printed, it should be Feb. 9.1833)

The following communication in relation to the Governor of Georgia and the Missionaries we willingly admit to our columns. The references which the writer makes to the Proclamation of the President that the decisions of the Supreme Court are to be sustained as the law of the land, ' we cannot see it _______on the President and Georgia at the time when the Court has pronounced her measures void, than it will be on South Carolina on the happening of that contingency.

We may here remark that the Gov. of Georgia would make it appear, that the extension of his clemency was solely at the instance of the missionaries. But the facts are not so, they exist on the other hand. He, the Governor, gave authority to Senator Forsyth to interpose who found his way to the office of Mr. Wirt in Baltimore and entreated him withdrawing the case from the Supreme Court. The policy of Georgia charging in this case Messrs Worcester and Butler at all other times, were ready, and adopted an unconditional restoration to their liberties of which they had been so unjustly deprived.

The Israelites trembled at the mighty thunderings on Mount Sinai, so the disobedient leaders of Georgia wished to hear no more of the Supreme Court.


Cher. Nation Jan 27th 1833

Editor of the Cherokee Phoenix.

Sir:_ In reading the Proclamation of the Governor of Georgia for the release of the Missionaries from the Penitentiary dated the 11th inst. I am much surprised to find so may mistakes made (as I think there are) by a person so elevated in office.

He states the manner in which the Missionaries were tried, and sentenced to four years imprisonment in the Penitentiary for 'illegal residence in the Territory of this state' which a man not professing to know so much nor holding any office, would call legal residence in the Cherokee Nation; which has been sufficiently proven to be the call to the satisfaction of any unprejudiced man who can read, from the high station of the Governor down to the beggar, by the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, that the State of Georgia claiming jurisdiction within the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation as defined by Treaties of between the United States and them, was unconstitutional null and void are also the President's Proclamation to the State of South Carolina, say that the Laws of Congress, the Constitution of the United States and treaties made under it are the supreme law of the land.

Now it seem curious to me that the Governor, must have read the Proclamation; and yet will say that 'President Jackson is the known defender of the state throughout this controversy.' Will the Governor of Georgia try to make the world believe that his friend who he intimates has defended the state in robbing the Cherokees of their lands and gold, after the President himself has published to the world his sentiments that 'did not speak with a forked tongue' 'nor never told a red brother a lie 'c.'

After permitting the state to do these things and even so far suffer her as I say to rob, murder and plunder the Cherokees at will for years, then survey their lands prevent them with an armed force from digging their own gold, make a lottery, have it all drawn and settled and all this without the consent of the Cherokees and also without any equivalent whatever. I say after all this the Governor will try to make the world believe his friend will yet speak with a forked tongue with one fork to South Carolina and the other to Georgia.

Shame! Shame! All this shows the magnanimity of the State, the Christian and patriotic spirit of her leading men and legislators who all must of course know the decision of the Supreme Court and read the President's proclamation all know their acts as respects the Cherokee Nation were pronounced null and void yet they have passed laws for the government of the Cherokee country and divided into counties 'c. and this as the Gov. says as sound policy dictated to them. The Cherokees could no better than this although termed a savage people he says 'the Territory of the state was then inhabited exclusively by Cherokees and others unfriendly to the rights and interests of the State.'

If Robbery and possession afterwards, is the right and interests of the State who would be friendly to it? The Gov. says the President is the known defender of the State in it, can any man of common sense believe this after reading the Proclamation? We hope for better times. The President may have winked at these things, heretofore from the hope the Cherokee lands would be given up by the Indians and all agree to remove west of the Mississippi- But no, he has proclaimed his sentiments to the world, he cannot, constently and we hope will not now talk with a forked tongue as the Governor wants him to do.

The Governor says he is well as____-ed that the state is free from the _________ of any pretended power whatever to infringe upon her rights or control her will in relation to this subject. The Governor certainly would seem to have forgotten that the state of Georgia was a party in creating the Supreme Court of the United States and is bound to respect and obey its decisions whenever it comes in the way, as long as she is one of the United States-this is the true cause why the Missionaries were released, (that is the fear of the Supreme Court, whom she had placed over herself, would manage and control her will on the subject. Can any men of any firmness suppose that the President of the United States in his high and responsible station, the highest which the people of the United States can confer on any man, will degrade himself so far as to suffer Georgia to go on ' trample under foot solemn Treaties, Laws of Congress and the high acts of the Supreme Court of the United States, after telling South Carolina and the world knows his views and sentiments on these subjects? No. The President of the United States cannot be the man the Governor represents himself to be, else the people of the United States would not have placed him in the executive chair a second time, or would they choose a man who would talk with a forked tongue, in preference to one who would not? I suppose not.

So, I presume the fear of another power of menacing and controlling the will of the state on the subject caused the Governor to release the missionaries. The power I speak of is President Jackson, although the Governor says, 'he (Jackson) is the known defender of the state throughout this controversy.'

The Governor says he hereby 'remits the further execution of the sentence of the court against the said S. A. Worcester and Elizur Butler.' Very kind magnanimous State of Georgia. To condescend so far as to remit an unconstitutional sentence declared so by the Supreme Court of the United States long since. But if it is so as the Governor would have it be then indeed we Cherokees are in a desperate situation; we are in darkness, the promises and acts even of the highest authorities of this much 'Talked of Union is nothing more than wind,' and a rope of sand.