Cherokee Phoenix

From the Political Register

Published July, 20, 1833

Page 2 Column 3b

From the Political Register


Most persons will find no little difficulty in rightly comprehending the nature of our President's principles.- They vary just as occasion suits. He has one set for South Carolina and the North, and another for Georgia. One set for his friends and the other for those he thinks his enemies. In North Carolina he will execute the laws and treaties, and act in conformity to the decision of the Supreme Court because the people wish it, in South Carolina he will do the same, because the people do not wish it; and, in Georgia he will not do it, because the people do not wish it, and he has an object in making friends in Georgia.

It would thus seem, that a law of Congress and a treaty with the Indians is a law and treaty in North Carolina, but it is none in Georgia. The Government is bound to execute them in North Carolina, but it is not bound to do in Georgia, because Georgia has nullified the law, and says that neither law nor treaty shall be executed.

When Georgia nullities both law and treaties, and says they shall not be executed, because they violate her right and sovereignty, we hear nothing from General Jackson of his imperative duty to execute the law. He is then a state rights man. Georgia has the right to decide upon the constitutionality of the laws, and she has decided the laws to be unconstitutional, he, the President, has no right to contravene her decision. But, when South Carolina does the same, how quick his blood is up! He is all for war and slaughter, and the imperative calls of duty cannot be resisted! Verily we have a most consistent President!

We are led to make these remarks by a perusal of a correspondence published in the journals, between Gov. Lumpkin and the War Department, published yesterday. It appears that the War Department, through the Commissioner of Indian affairs, writes to the Cherokees that 'a military force will be sent to keep off intruders' on the public Cherokee lands. The Department, probably having in its eye the proclamation and the bloody bill, takes for granted that the principles there avowed and embraced are the principles of the Administration, very naturally, and as a matter of course, sends the letter of the fourteenth of March, and, we presume, orders on the military to carry them into execution.

But, between the fourteenth of March and the second of May a great change takes place in the view of things. The President and the Administration become re-converted to nullification. The proclamation and bloody bill are laid on the shelf quo ad hoc for Governor Lumpkin writes to the President how 'indiscreet' and 'imprudent' it was to tell the Cherokees that the laws should be executed, and calls upon the President indirectly, to make the amende honorable to the sovereignty of Georgia, and recall or explain away the indiscreet' and 'imprudent' letter from the War Department. Well! No sooner said than done. The explanation is given;- and what is it? Why, forsooth, the War Department and Mr. Commissioner Herring meant precisely the contrary of what the words used by Mr. Herring usually mean. When the Department said they would send the military to 'remove the intruders' they meant that they would send them 'not' to remove the intruders! Why send them then? We presume the order to the District Attorney is 'prosecute those who return,' are explained in the same way-that he is not to prosecute! What a pity that Mr. Commissioner Herring forgot that little adverb, 'not!'. Strange what a difference these little insignificant letters can make in an affair between two sovereignties! Peace or war, or, what is of still more importance, the Presidency of the United States, may depend upon their presence or absence.

We are glad, however, to find, that the State of Georgia, recurring to her sovereignty, has made the old hero back out of his proclamation and bloody bill-and Gov. Lumpkin may crow over the chieftain, and appropriate all his military and diplomatic honors to himself. We presume the Governor will leave with the present incumbent all those he gained in the Cherokee negotiation. He, however, ought to have been content with his victory, and not have required that the retraction and explanation should pass 'through' him to the Cherokees. A little delicacy to the conquered party would not be unbecoming in the conqueror.

The Administration seems to have thought so too, and they would not take the Governor's hint. They made the explanation through the regular agents.

We suspect that the Cherokees will not be able to comprehend distinctly the nature of the protection which is to be granted to them, or how it should depend upon certain metes and bounds. They cannot, for example, comprehend why protection is offered against North Carolina, of whom they do not complain, and refused against Georgia, of whom they do. And still less will they be able to understand that, as soon as they have cause of complaint, against North Carolina, that at that moment the Government will recall its offer of protection, because then they will have no right to complain. In other words, as long as they have no cause of complaint they have a right to be protected; but as soon as they have cause, their right ceases!-Jackson-Van Buren moral and political metaphysics!

But it will be just as we said at first:-the bloody bill will sleep during the Cherokee controversy. Georgia will occupy the land, and extend her laws over the country, and the Cherokee Chiefs will get thrice the value of the land, and the United States will have to pay a few millions extra for the gratification of General Jackson's desire to crush South Carolina, and to get Georgia to vote for M. Van Buren.

We should like to see the letter to Col. Montgomery, of March 15, referred to by Commissioner Herring, in his letter to him of the first of May. How did the Colonel understand it? Did he construe it to mean what it did say or what it did not say? Was the little word

not put in or left out?

The accompanying remark of the Federal Union with the letters of Gov. Lumpkin, show conclusively that the whole manoeuvre is an electioneering one, for the benefit of the company.