Cherokee Phoenix


Published July, 20, 1833

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We again have to apologize for the absence of our paper for nearly two months, owing to the reasons which we have heretofore assigned, and we presume known to many, of the difficulties of obtaining printers at this place, whenever there is a deficiency in our office. We are enabled now to assure our readers that in all probability, that this is the last of the kind that will be heard from us, and that our paper in future, will appear regularly. We have now obtained a competent printer who will in future present an improved typography of our sheet, of which the present number is a specimen. We would now solicit from the candid public from whom we hope to be sustained in our labors an increased number of subscribers to the Cherokee Phoenix. The columns of this paper are measurably political, devoted in this branch of the paper to support Cherokee rights as recognized by the laws of the United States. It will detail the measures of the Government and Georgia towards the Cherokees. The controversy with the Cherokees have reached a crisis in our serious opinion that is big with consequences, and will be to the friends of good order and fair dealing, a case full of interest. It is in this light that we are induced to present our wants before the American people for patronage, and it is one we hesitate not to say, this paper will prove highly valuable and satisfactory to subscribers.



Captain Gardner of the United States Army, of whom some notice had been given in a former number, have been and are now stationed in the nation near the Tennessee line with two companies of troops. In the latter part of April and early in May, this officer with a company of soldiers, made an excursion on the Tennessee line to remove intruders from Cherokee land. But few families were found on this line, perhaps 40 or 50. Some of these families fled over the Georgia and Alabama lines, of the Cherokees lands for refuge; to take the benefit of the nullification doctrine. The effect of this process is making bad worse, removing intruders from Tennessee to Georgia to intrude on the Cherokees there, already too much oppressed and made unhappy by such people. The remainder of these scums of society penetrated the mammoth cave at Necoojack, and have since made it their habitations.

Capt. Gardner applied the torch to their houses and wigwams, amounting to about 180, and then returned to their encampment at the gold mines on Croker Creek.


We call the attention of our readers to the correspondence between the Secretary of War with Gov. Lumpkin, Col. Montgomery, B. F. Curry and John Ridge, on the subject of removing intruders from the lands of the Cherokee Nation. We have had these documents under close inspection since the first of June, and but for the temporary suspension of the operations of our press, our views would have been given sooner. It is with deep regret that we are compelled to avow our convictions, that the difficulties which have arisen in the removal of intruders from within the limits of the Nation, have been created by John Ridge and a few others, who, we take it for granted, and proven abundantly, to our humble opinion, by the documents themselves; an interference of the most unjustifiable nature, to the accomplishment of an interesting object to the Cherokees, have arisen from this quarter.

We have heretofore published the letter of Secretary Cass, to the Cherokee Chief (Ross)* and others, a delegation of the Nation from the limits of Georgia (so called). We have tho't proper again to republish it, in order to present to the impartial reader an opportunity to form his own opinion.

We have likewise obtained from the Indian Agent, Col. Montgomery, a copy of the Secretary's order to him on the same subject, of March 15, marked C. which the Col. informed the writer of this article amounted to a general order, had it not been superseded by subsequent explanations.

On the return of the delegation from Washington, the Commissioner of the Indian Bureau, addressed a letter to them marked B. in which Mr. Herring states in substance; that a military force would be sent to the assailed parts of the Cherokee lands and the intruders would be removed, and that in future the Secretary would endeavor to promote the interests of the Nation. This document was so understood because officially addressed to a delegation of the Nation, and this construction we presume is fully warranted by the Secretary's order to Col. Montgomery.

Gov. Lumpkin on information of this letter, addresses a supercilious one to Mr. Cass, and demands from him an explanation, to be made through him to the Cherokees, to counteract the mischievous influence of his reprehensible, and indiscreet letter.

In the meantime he of the curtain and others as appears from the tenor of the letter G.(sic) Ridge 'c. had addressed a letter to Mr. Cass, referring to the previous opinions of the President, in the communications of 2nd ' 20th of Feb.; and hence the irresistible inference from the face of this document, that Mr. Ridge had communicated to the honorable Secretary their desire to have him change his order for the expulsion of the intruders, or something of this character. If such was not the fact, would the Secretary withhold this letter from the public? The Secretary upon this communication, and after having failed two or three times a year to effect a treaty with the Cherokees, was induced in our opinion to suspend the execution of the order to Montgomery; and by cherishing this rising spec in the bright political sky of the Cherokees, deferred for the present carrying into effect the order already given,and was encouraged to await a favorable change in the public opinions of the Cherokees.

The Secretary then changes the whole aspect of things, by addressing letters to Gov. Lumpkin, Col. Montgomery, Ben. Curry, and John Ridge, and that the order for the removal of intruders was intended by the Department to operate on lands, only where the States have not extended their laws.

Ben. Curry is entrusted with a letter to Jno. Ridge ' Col. Montgomery, all of which were placed by the Secretary in the hands of Gov. Lumpkin, according to his demand as before stated. His excellency then on the eve of the Council at Red Hill, employed a courier with these letter, who set out to this Council, a distance of 220 miles, and as is well known here, the express failed in this vicinity, but a substitute succeeded in delivering the letters marked E. F. G. and appears to have been written at the same time, and for the same mail, excepting the letter D. which is one day later*. John Ridge and Col. received these letters during the session of the Council, and in concert with Curry made some movements to counteract the mischiefs which the War Minister had created, but finding it detrimental to his reputation abandoned the project at that time.

Again, last year on the return of the delegation from Washington, of which he was the most conspicuous member, a letter was written by Judge M'Lane, to the Cherokee chief (Ross) giving his views of the prospects of the Cherokees, and whether it was advisable for the Cherokees to maintain their ground. This high office of State, advised the Chief of the indisposition of the President to execute the treaties with the Cherokees and the welfare of the Cherokees would promote by a removal west of the Mississippi. The letter we are informed was written at the earnest solicitation of Mr. Ridge, while at the City on a special mission of the Cherokee Chief, to press on the government for the fulfillment in good faith the treaties with the Cherokees. In whatever light this act may be viewed, it is at least exceptionable to us, and placed aside of his subsequent co-operation with Curry and Gov. Lumpkin, the very men who is at this moment robbing our children of their inheritance, and from the face of the documents themselves we are constrained, after maintaining all the affections for him, to enable us to do him justice and consistently with the interests of the Nation and our cause to pronounce his proceedings one of the most consummate acts of treachery towards his country, that the annals of any nation affords. We expose this affair with much pain, after mature and careful consultation and sustained as we think we are by the irrefragable evidence of these documents, of which we think we are not mistaken, and having exposed similar acts of our people heretofore from this press, we have thought it our duty, as sentinels of the watch tower, to apprize the Cherokees of this small, but dark spot in our national virtue.

In conclusion, we have been unable to resist the chain of corroborating circumstances to which we have adverted, without suspicion; as having interposed obstacles to our relief from the arm of the United States. If the acts of the subject of these remarks could have presented a different view of the subject, we would ever been found on the side of its advocates.

In taking leave forever of this subject, those persons of our home readers who may think us mistaken in the views we have taken of this affair will find the columns of this paper open for communication.


* The Secretary states to Gov. Lumpkin that these explanatory letters had been despatched to those persons, but is also to be observed that these same letters were brought by the Governor's express man.