Cherokee Phoenix

From the New York Advertiser

Published July, 27, 1833

Page 2 Column 4a

From the New York Advertiser


When Bonaparte was dethroned by the allied powers of Europe, after the battle of Waterloo, he was obliged to take refuge on board a British ship of war in the Channel, thus throwing himself upon the clemency of his most persevering and powerful enemy, the British government. Upon becoming possessed of the person of their most active, inveterate, and dangerous foe, it became a question of great importance, not only to Great British, but to the rest of Europe, in what manner he should be disposed of, with reference to the future peace and safety of that quarter of the globe. For the purpose of securing their object, the combined powers determined to remove him to a place so remote that he could never again disturb their peace, or endanger their safety. In pursuance of this determination, they transported him to a distant island in the ocean, far removed from every region where he could ever expect, even if at liberty, to do any mischief, ' particularly from the countries over which he had exercised despotic dominion for so many years, and on which he had inflicted the most unexampled distress. At the time of this memorable occurrence, the hardship and injustice of the case were exclaimed against by the friends of French republicanism in this country, and the allied sovereigns were execrated most cordially for their tyrannical conduct towards and enemy, of whom they were in great dread, and who had often reduced them to the necessity of accepting even their thrones from his generosity, after he had conquered them and humbled them at his foot-stool.

Last year, we had an Indian war in one of our remote and newly settled states. A tribe who had gradually lost a large part of their territory, and who probably thought the time was not far distant when they should be called upon to part with the remainder, and 'cross the Mississippi,' in a fit of desperation commenced hostilities, and for a while threatened the neighboring country with the horrors of a sanguinary war. And such was the excitement among the inhabitants, that the most prompt and decided measures for their security became necessary and troops were ordered over from the Atlantic coast to the remote borders of the Union, to check the progress of the vindictive enemy. The war, as was to be expected, was terminated by the conquest of the savages; and eventually their brave and patriotic chief, Black Hawk, became a prisoner in the hands of his white and more civilized enemies. After due deliberation, in order to prevent future mischief, and to guard the peace and safety of the inhabitants of that part of the country, it was determined to remove this uncivilized hero to a place of security, where he could be kept and guarded as a state prisoner, or in softer phrase, as a hostage, to ensure the tranquility of the inhabitants upon the distant borders of United States. Accordingly, the captive chief, with his companions in adversity, had at the last advices (sic) arrived at the seat of government, on the way to Fort Monroe, at old Point Comfort, the place of his confinement.

We do not recollect having seen the slightest remark of disapprobation from any quarter, of the manner in which this Indian Bonaparte has been treated by his conquerors. If Black Hawk was cruel, so was Bonaparte; if Black Hawk was treacherous and vindictive so was Bonaparte; if Black Hawk was ambitious, so was Bonaparte; if Black Hawk was disposed to disturb the peace, and shed the blood of those who stood in the way of his ambition, so was Bonaparte. In what then do the principles of the two cases essentially differ? Black Hawk doubtless considered himself as fighting for his own and his nation's rights, in defence of his own unquestionable dominions, and for the soil on which he was born and to which he was attached by the strongest affection of which his nature was susceptible. Bonaparte was not even a native of France-ambition was the motive to all his conduct, and his renown grew out of the most bloody wars, and the prosecution of the most extraordinary system of military oppression and tyranny, that the history of modern ages contains. We have no doubt that Black Hawk's moral principles, tried by the savage standard, were of a higher cast than Bonaparte's when estimated by the rules of civilization and Christianity.

We should like to hear the opinions of casuists on the relative merits of these two cases. That of Bonaparte must be acknowledged to have been of a more splendid and astounding character, than that of Black Hawk. But this is not the moral view of the cases. In what respect was it more reprehensible in the allied powers of Europe, who had been involved for a long course of years in the most destructive and desolating wars that modern history records, carried on by the exercise of the most remorseless tyranny that the civilized world had ever experienced, to place the author of all this misery, when they had him in their power, in a situation where he could never more disturb their tranquility, than for our government to remove this savage chief, who had made war upon one corner of their territory, to a region many hundred miles distant, for fear he might at some future day break the peace, and endanger the security of a small portion of the Union?