DEPARTMENT OF WAR
April 17, 1832
MY FRIENDS,- Your great Father, the President of United States has recently been informed, that a change has probably taken place in the sentiments you have heretofore entertained, on the subject of a removal to the country west of the Mississippi, and that propositions from the Government having that object in view, would be favorably received by you. Satisfied as the President is, that this measure can alone secure to you permanent prosperity and lay the solid foundations of your future improvement and civilization, and prepared as he has ever been to make you offers, which shall be not only be just but liberal, he as instructed me to address you upon this subject, and to make known to you the stipulations he is willing to grant, so far as his authority extends. I have therefore to request, that you will take the matter into your serious consideration, and communicate to me your alternate decision.
The President is willing to enter into an arrangement, for your removal west of the Mississippi upon the following general principles.
1. That a country, sufficiently extensive and fertile, shall be distinctly marked out, west of the Territory of Arkansas, for you and your brethren, where they now are.
2. That this country shall be conveyed to you by patent, under the provisions of the act of May 28, 1830, and that it shall be forever without the boundaries of any state or Territory.
3. That you shall have the powers of self-government so far as may be compatible with that general supervisory authority, which it is necessary Congress should exercise over you.
4. That you shall have the privilege of appointing an agent, who shall reside at Washington, to communicate your claims and wishes to the Government, and who shall be paid by the United States.
5. That if Congress assent to the measure, you shall be allowed a delegate to that body, and shall also, when your improvement and other circumstances will permit, and when Congress think proper, be placed in the relation of a Territory.
6. That all white persons, unless specially authorized by laws of the United States shall be excluded from your country.
7. That you shall remove to your new country, at the expense of United States, in either of the following modes you prefer.
1. By a commutation to be allowed to individuals or families.
2. By persons, to be appointed and paid by the United States.
3. By an arrangement to be made among yourselves, by which some of those, who are competent to the undertaking, may remove all our people, at a rate to be fixed.
8. That subsistence shall be provided by the United States for the term of one year, after you reach your destination.
9. That an annuity, proportioned to the value of the cession you may make, be secured to you.
10. That all the improvements upon the ceded territory, which add real value to the land, be appraised and paid for.
11. That ample provision be made for the support of schools,and teachers, and of blacksmiths 'c.; for the supply of steel and iron, and for the erection of mills, school houses, churches, council houses, and houses for a few of your principal chiefs.
12. That a rifle and equipments be given to each male adult; that a quantity of blankets be allowed to your families, together with axes, ploughs, hoes,wheels, cards ' looms.
13. That your stock be valued, and paid for by the United States.
14. That the annuities, due to you by former treaties be paid to you, west of the Mississippi.
15. That provision be made for your orphan children.
16. That protection be guaranteed to you against the hostile efforts of any other Indians.
17. It is the wish of the President, that all our people should remove, and he is therefore unwilling that any reservations of land should be made in the territory. Still he would not make this an indispensable condition, but would agree, should it be found necessary that reservations should be made for a few of your people, insinuations and under circumstances rendering such a measure proper, and within the scope of his legal authority. But, our people must distinctly understand, that those who remain will become citizens of the state in which they may reside, and that all the relations between them and the United States, founded upon their previous circumstances as Indians must cease.
These are the general terms I have been directed by the President to offer to you. They form the outline of an arrangement, which can be filled up when you are prepared to enter into a negotiation the details, and any other stipulations you may ask; will more properly be discussed and determined, when your views of the matter are known, and the ultimate mode of proceeding adopted.
If you are prepared to assume these propositions as the basis of a negotiation, you can appoint your Agents to come on to this place, clothed with authority to act, or the President will appoint commissioners to meet you in council, and conclude the affair.
I cannot but hope, that you will see, in this frank and liberal offers full evidence of the desire of the President, that the difficulties of our present situation may be removed, and your future destinies placed beyond the reach of those causes, which have occasioned such misery to the Indian race.
Shut your ears I entreat you, to bad counsel if any such should be offered to you, whatever may be told you, it is impossible you can remain where you now are and prosper, and if you persist in the efforts,the time of regret will come, but will come I am afraid after the most serious injury to yourselves.
To the Cherokee East of the Mississippi.
The undersigned, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, East of the Mississippi,presents, his respects to the Honorable Secretary of War, and informs him of his arrival together with the Delegation of said Nation, composed of Messrs. Richard Taylor, John F. Baldridge, and Joseph Vann. And who with himself, would be happy to pay their respects to the President of the United States, and likewise to the Honorable Secretary of War, whenever it shall be convenient to receive them.
Very Respectfully, I am, 'c. 'c.
'The Indian Queen Hotel,' Washington City, Jan. 8th, 1833.'
DEPARTMENT OF WAR,
January 9, 1833.
Sir:- In answer to your letter of the 8th instant, I have to observe that if you will be here tomorrow at half past 11 o'clock together, with the Cherokee delegation, I will accompany you to the President's at twelve.
Mr. John Ross, Washington.
BROWN'S HOTEL, WASHINGTON CITY,
January 28th, 1833.
The Hon. Lewis Cass, Sec'ry War,
Sir:_ Having exhibited before you the authority under which we have been delegated by the Cherokee Nation to visit the seat of Government. We will now take occasion to lay before you, for the consideration of the President, a brief view of the existing state of things in relation to our national affairs; and also to make known the feeling of the Cherokee people; in doing so, it is not deemed necessary to go into a detailed narrative of the numerous circumstances attending the facts, nor are we disposed to enter into a prolix discussion of the justice and merits of those rights for which we have so earnestly sought for the interposition of the protecting arm of the General Government. It is sufficient to state, that it has been the lot of our nation to differ in opinion with the constituted authorities of this Government in regard to that system of policy having for its object the general removal of all the Indian tribes west of the river Mississippi, ' that it has been our misfortune to find the President of the United States entertaining views adverse to ours upon the question of those rights, which our nation claims and heretofore have peaceably enjoyed from time immemorial, and which have been solemnly recognized by the Treaties now existing with the U. States. In the course of these events, the State of Georgia assumed to herself the right to extend and exercise jurisdiction over all that portion of our Territory called 'the chartered limits of Georgia'; the nature and effects of the laws adopted by her Legislature to operate upon our people, are well known. Our nation being strenuously opposed to a change of location, and the officers of the Government having withheld the enforcement of the intercourse act of Congress and the treaties, for our protection-our nation was driven to the necessity of employing Counsellors at law for alerting our legal right before the courts of the United States; and we have had the consolation amidst our difficulties to see that we have not been deceived in the opinion entertained of those rights, when the Supreme Judicial tribunal of the country decided that the laws of Georgia extending jurisdiction over our Territory are repugnant to the laws, Treaties,and Constitution of the United States, and were null and void. Yet with deep regret have we witnessed and felt the illegal proceedings of Georgia with increasing severity, at the same time the protecting arm of the Federal Government withdrawn, and the annuity stipend due to our nation by treaties withheld-and from the mere claim of the right to exercise jurisdiction, the right of surveying, disposing of and occupying our lands by force have since been asserted by Georgia, and measures are now in train for the consummation of the unjust deed. In this peculiar state of affairs, our nation in the summer of last year, received through your Department certain propositions from the President containing the basis upon which the Government was willing to negotiate a treaty for our Territory east of the Mississippi; and in reply thereto, the General Council of the Nation informed the President that the sentiments of the Cherokee people on that subject remained the same as has before been expressed, and that the basis of his propositions was objectionable and that owing to the peculiar state of things, the Nation was in duress; but, let him remove all the difficulties complained of and to afford that necessary protection which had been solemnly guaranteed in our treaties, and then, the exercise of that privilege which is so essential to freedom would place the nation in a condition to reflect, speak and act freely 'c. 'c. Some time thereafter a letter directed to 'the Cherokees East of the Mississippi,' from Mr. Robb the chief clerk of your department was received through the Agent acknowledging the receipt of this letter and who stated that you was (sic) then at that time on a tour of Lake Erie and to which place the letter had been forwarded and that no doubt that you would reply to it, but no further communication from you has since been received. Mr. Chester however, under instruction from the Department attended our General Council in October last, and urged a reconsideration of the same propositions which had before been submitted and replied to; and who, as you have been apprised, was given to understand that a delegation would be appointed to attend to the business of the Nation before the Government of the United States on all subjects relating to its interests.
Now, in the discharge of the duties entrusted to us, we ask leave to say, that notwithstanding the various perplexities which the Cherokee people have experienced under the course of policy pursued towards our nation, they are unshaken in their objections to a removal west of the river Mississippi; and on the question of our rights and the justice of our cause, their minds are equally unchangeable. However, we are fully sensible that justice and weakness cannot control the array of oppressive power; and when we anticipate the calamitous effects of such power, we do not fail to see the equal clearness that a removal under existing circumstances, beyond that 'Fa-of (sic) Rivers in the west, would but produce consequences no less fatal.
Therefore we can never consent to be the instrument of a suicidal act to our Nation's welfare and happiness.- The dilemma of this momentous problem then, must devolve upon the justice, the magnanimity and the honor of the great republic to decide the ultimate issue. At our interview the President as well as yourself took occasion to express deep solicitude on the part of the Government to adjust the difficulties which so much disturb the peace and tranquility of our Nation-here, you will please to allow us to repeat the expression of a corresponding desire on the part of our nation-and at the same time to take the liberty of suggesting for the consideration of the President, whether, it would not be practicable for the Government to satisfy the claims of Georgia through the individuals of that state who may have drawn lots of lands in our Territory, in the lotteries of that state, by granting the mother lands of the United States lying within the limits of the territories and states of the union, or in some other way. We would respectfully ask you further to state fully the views and disposition of the President, how far and in what manner is he disposed to put a final end to the difficulties created by Georgia with our nation? And also if the annuity due to our nation will not now be directed to be paid over to us as heretofore, likewise please to inform us, what disposition has been made of the lands reserved under the treaty of 1819 for the purpose of raising a school fund for our nation, and if sold, to state the amount of the proceeds and also the application made of the same.
With considerations of respect, we have the Honor to be,
Sir, your Ob't Serv'ts
Signed Jno Ross
Jno. F. Baldridge
DEPARTMENT OF WAR,
February 2d, 1833
GENTLEMEN:- Your letter of the 28th ult. was received to-day, and has been submitted to the President. His views I shall proceed to communicate to you.
I have already said to you in conversation, and I now repeat in writing, that the President looks with great anxiety and solicitation to your situation. Without entering into any historical summary of events which have led to the existing state of things, it is enough for our present purposes to know that your position is an embarrassing one, and that a change is called for by every consideration of present convenience, and of future security. And I have no hesitation in saying that the Government is very desirous of entering into a satisfactory arrangement, by which all your difficulties will be terminated, and the prosperity of your people fixed upon a permanent basis. I am well convinced however these objects can only be attained by a cession of our possessory rights in Georgia, and by your removal to the country west of the Mississippi, nor can I foresee any cause of apprehension as you do, that such removal will be injurious either in its immediate or remote consequences. A mild climate, a fertile soil, an inviting and extensive country,a Government of your own, adequate protection against other Indians and against our own citizens, pecuniary means amply sufficient for your removal, subsistence and comfortable establishment, and for such purposes of general concern as may appear necessary. all these, within the limits of a reasonable expectation are freely offered to you, and I cannot therefore see that the subject presents itself in the melancholy light in which you view it. Immense numbers of our own citizens if similarly situated, would be happy to accept these offers. I trust you will on reflection come to the conclusion that the course now indicated, is not only the best for our people under the circumstances in which they are placed, but that under much more prosperous circumstances it would not be an unfortunate one.
The President's message to the Senate, of Feb'ry 22, 1831, has been already communicated to you. That message entered so freely into the subject of the existing relations between the Indian tribes and the States in which they reside, that any further answer did not seem necessary to your letter, declining to accept the proposition made to you last season. The whole views of the Government had been previously made known to you, and nothing would have been gained by continuing the correspondence after your positive refusal to accept as the basis the offers which had been made to you. Mr. Chester, as you correctly state, was authorized to attend your Council and to communicate the wishes of the Department. He did so but the result was fruitless.
I do not see that any practicable plan could be adopted by which the revisionary rights held under the State of Georgia could be purchased upon such terms as would satisfy the Government in entering into a stipulation to that effect, nor would it at all remove the difficulties and embarrassments of your condition. You would still be subject to the laws of Georgia, surrounded by our settlements and exposed to all those evils which have always attended the Indian race which placed in immediate contact with the white population. It is only by removing from these that you can expect to avoid the fate which has swept away so many Indian tribes. Certainly some sacrifices may well be encountered in effecting this object, but I trust and believe they will be slight and temporary. The greatest sacrifices will be made by those of your people who are the most intelligent and have made the most comfortable provision for themselves in their present residence. To the great body of your tribe, I am convinced the change would be immediately beneficial. Our accounts from the Cherokees west of the Mississippi, are most encouraging. A report from the Commissioner now in that country states that the Cherokees will have twenty-five thousand bushels of corn to dispose of after reserving enough for their own consumption, and that their condition and prospects are truly fortunate. I presume that each of the individuals composing this delegation is among the small portion of the tribe which is comfortably established in Georgia. I may appeal to their better feelings whether a transfer of their residence essential as it is to the existence of their people,ought not to be cheerfully made, under existing circumstances. Whether the inducement now held out both of a pecuniary and of a political character, are not sufficient to justify every one of your people in entering into the arrangements which have been proposed. Certain it is, that with a year's subsistence, provided after their arrival West of the Mississippi, and with the other aid which has been promised, there is not a Cherokee of mature age, and in a state of health who could not provide comfortably for his support.
You request me to inform you what are the views and disposition of the President relating to your affairs; I do not know that I can answer you this question, more fully than by referring you to the propositions already submitted to your tribe. The President is anxious to close all the difficulties with you, to provide for your removal and establishment in the West, and to stipulate for such pecuniary considerations as may appear to be just. All this has been fully indicated to you, and I am instructed to say that I am prepared to enter into a negotiation with you, and to conduct it in a spirit of liberal justice, and with a strong desire that it may terminate successfully.
With respect to your annuities, I would observe that there are none withheld from you. The Government has engaged to pay certain annuities to the Cherokees. Whether these shall be paid to persons representing the tribe, or the individuals composing it, as the treaties do not provide, the government is at liberty to determine. It has long been the practice in other quarters of the country,to pay the annuities to all persons who attend to receive them. Looking to the fund as a joint one to be divided in equal proportions by the Agents of the Government, who can thus see that there is a just distribution, and that individuals are protected in their rights, who could not protect themselves. This practice has been recently extended to all the tribes, and the President sees no reason why it should be departed from. In the treaty concluded with the Creeks, in this place in March last, a stipulation was inserted at their request that their annuities should be paid in such manner as the tribe might direct. They have since directed that the annuities should be paid to the Chiefs, and they have so been paid. Such a provision,if you wish it, might be inserted in any arrangement entered into with you.
Your enquiry concerning the school fund under the treaty of 1819, will be answered by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, as soon as the necessary information can be collected.
In conclusion, permit me to remark, that should you be disposed to accept as a basis the propositions which have been made to you, and to enter into an arrangement accordingly, I must request that the necessary details maybe arranged in personal interviews and not by a written correspondence. My time is so occupied that I cannot adopt the latter mode. To expedite business, I am willing to meet you any evening and to discuss the subject, and to devote every evening to it until the matter is finished.
I am Gentlemen
Your ob't serv't
Messrs. John Ross, R. Taylor, John F. Baldridge, Joseph Vann.
DEPARTMENT OF WAR,
Office, Indian Affairs
February 14th, 1833
GENTLEMEN:- In answer to that part of your communication of the 28th ulte, addressed to the Secretary of War and by him referred to this office. I have the honor to state, that of the Cherokee land reserved by the treaties of the 25th of October 1805, and the 27th of February 1819, and the 27th of February 1819, and ceded to the United States in trust for the Cherokee nation as a School fund, there have been sold 29,823.33-100 acres, as appears from the returns made from the land office at Huntsville, and that the proceeds of sale amounted on the 31th (sic) of December last to $45,230,62(sic) according to information received from the Commissioner of the General land office; which sum is now in the Treasury of the United State, and will be vested, and the dividend or interest thereof will be appropriated, pursuant to the 4th Article of the said treaty of the 27th February 1819.
I am Gentlemen,
With high respect,
Your humble serv't
John Ross and others, Cherokee Delegation
BROWN'S HOTEL, WASHINGTON CITY,
February 14th, 1833
Hon. Lewis Cass, Sec'ry of War,
Sir:- yours in reply to ours of the 28th ult. communicating the views of the President has been maturely deliberated; ' in duty to our nation we feel ourselves bound to respond to the same. We are told 'that the President looks with great anxiety and solicitation to our situation, that he knows our position is an embarrassing one, and that a change is called for by every consideration of present convenience and future security. And that the Government is desirous of entering into a satisfactory arrangement by which all our difficulties will be terminated, and the prosperity of our people fixed upon a permanent basis. Yet we are assured that you are well convinced, these objects can only be attained by a cession of our possessory rights in Georgia and by our removal to the country west of the Mississippi, that you can foresee the cause of apprehension as we do, that such removal will be injurious either in its immediate or remote consequences. A mild climate, a fertile soil, an inviting and extensive country, a government of our own, adequate protection against other tribes and against your own citizens within a reasonable expectation are freely offered to us; you cannot therefore see that the subject present itself in the melancholy light in which we view it.' You have also referred to the President's message to the Senate of February 22d 1831, to show his views on the subject of the existing relations between the Indian tribes and the states in which they reside. In viewing the principles upon which these views are predicated we have been impelled to look into those upon which the primitive and conventional rights of the Cherokee Nation have been recognized and established by the solemn acts of this Government, and it is with deep regret and great diffidence we are constrained to say that in this scheme of Indian removal we can see of more of expediency and policy to get rid of them, than to perpetuate their race upon any permanent fundamental principle. Were it possible for you to be placed or to imagine yourself for a moment to be in the peculiar situation in which we stand, with the existing treaties and laws and the subsequent acts of the Government all before your eyes, you cannot but see and feel as we do. It is impossible then for us to see that by a removal in the country west of the Mississippi all our difficulties would be terminated and the prosperity of our people fixed upon a permanent basis. Would not a removal to the country west of the Mississippi upon lands of the United States by the Indian tribes under the provisions of the act of congress denationalize their character as distinct communities? By what tenure would such tribes occupy the lands to be assigned to them? Is not the fee simple title vested in and will be retained by the United States? What kind of a government of their own then is it designed for them to establish? And how is it possible for the United States to afford them more adequate protection against your own citizens there, than where we are? These questions have never as yet been definitely settled down upon any fundamental law of Congress, that we know of; and we cannot avoid believing that the present system of policy towards the Indians, is founded upon contingencies growing out of the interest and desires of the states; without regarding the permanent prosperity and happiness of the Indians. We intend no reflection upon the Government in thus frankly communicating our views, but we deem it essential to a perfect understanding of the subject. As to the climate, soil and extent of country to which you have alluded, and the future prospects of the Cherokees who are living there, our people are correctly informed on these points from personal observations and otherwise.--- Withal they have no wish to remove there. What then would be the consequence of a whole nation of people driven by the force of necessity to leave their native land for a distant one in a strange and an inhospitable region and there to experience the sad effects of injured disappointments; to what source could they seek indemnity for their injuries? And what tribunal will there redress their wrongs; for in vain will our nation have appealed to the protecting arm of the General Government to fulfil treaty obligations, to shield our suffering people against illegal encroachments, and in vain till our supreme judicial tribunal have declared a verdict in favor of our nation against the exercise of usurped power on the part of State authority. In the suggestion which we took the liberty to submit for the consideration of the President, that some practicable arrangement might be entered into between the United States ' Georgia to relieve our nation of its present embarrassments, we had entertained no doubt that with a corresponding desire on the part of the General Government such an arrangement could be effected, and in that event, that Georgia would not be permitted to subject our people to the obedience of her laws, in as much as the Supreme Court of the United States had already pronounced the exercise of her jurisdiction over our territory and people to be unconstitutional and void; and we are at a loss, to see the ground you have taken in arriving to the opinion that we would still be subject to the laws of Georgia. We cannot subscribe to correctness of the idea, which has so frequently been recurred to by the advocates of Indian removal, that the evils which had befallen and swept away the numerous tribes that once inhabited the old states are to be traced to the mere circumstance of their contiguity to the white population-but we humbly conceive that the true causes of their extinction are to be found in the catalogue of wrongs which have been heaped upon their ignorance and credulity, by the superior policy of the white man when dictated by avarice and cupidity. You appeal to our better feelings in regard to the situation of our people and suggest that under existing circumstances some sacrifices may well be encountered in removing from a contract with a white population, in order to escape the fate which has swept away so many Indian tribes-should the doctrine that Indian tribes should be the doctrine that Indian tribes cannot exist contiguously to a white population prevail and they be compelled to remove west of the states and territories of this republic, what is to prevent a similar removal of them from there for the same reason? We can only plead, let equal justice be done between the red and the white man, and so long as the faith of contracts is preserved inviolate, there will be no just cause for complaints, much less for aggressions on the right of the one or the other, and that so far as our (individually) sense of right justice ' honor will dictate to us a course to meet the wishes, the interest and the permanent prosperity and happiness of our nation; that no pecuniary sacrifices or human suffering ever so great can or will deter us from encountering them.
Contrary to treaty stipulations and the intercourse Act of 1802, there are numerous white families who have intruded upon the lands of our Nation, within the chartered limits of the several adjoining States, and the repeated complaints made of the same to the Agent, had not been regarded, and the trespassers, instead of being removed, have greatly increased in numbers, and are daily multiplying. We are constrained to bring this grievous subject before the Department, that the evil be corrected. In addition to these there are others who threatens to overrun and dispossess our Nation of its territory, under the sanction of State authorities.- Under the assumption of the right to exercise jurisdiction, it is known that Georgia has passed Legislative Acts to survey and draw a lottery for the occupation of our lands, and which in part, have been carried into effect-and without the timely interposition of this Government, will doubtless rob us of our lands. Can this be permitted, or will the President extend the Constitutional arm of the Government to save us from this impending calamity? His determination upon this delicate and important question, we most respectfully solicit. Also, if we are to understand from your communication, that the propositions submitted through Mr Chester, and which have been rejected by the General Council of our Nation, as containing the only basis upon which the Government will relieve our Nation of the injustice of State oppression. On the subject of our annuities, you reply 'that none are withheld from us.' 'That the Government has engaged to pay certain annuities to the Cherokees. Whether these are to be paid to persons representing the tribe or the individuals composing it, as the treaties do not provide, the Government is at liberty to determine.' The view you have taken of this subject is at variance with the true intent and meaning of these treaties, as all the former practices of the Government in relation thereto, will show. The United States of America through their Commissioners Plenipotentiary entered into certain treaties with the Chiefs, Headmen, 'c. of the Cherokee Nation who were duly authorized and empowered, by said Nation; and in consideration for sundry cessions of lands, there are certain articles stipulated in these treaties to be paid to the Cherokee Nation, and the usual practice of the Government in paying those annuities, has always been through the United States Agent, to the authorities of the Cherokee Nation, and by them disposed of as the Legislative Council thereof think fit to direct for the public welfare. Upon the complaints of several discontented Chiefs of the upper Cherokee Towns, to the Government, Mr. Jefferson, the then President of the United States, on the 4th day of May, 1808 spoke to them in writing thus-'You complain that you do not receive your just proportion of the annuities we pay your Nation, that the Chiefs of the Lower Towns take far more than their share, my children, this distribution is made by the authority of the Cherokee Nation, and according to their own rules, over which we have no control. We do our duty in delivering the annuities to the Headmen of the Nation, and we pretend to no authority over them, to no right of directing how they are to be distributed.' For the last thirteen years, the Cherokee Nation have had a treasurer, and into whose hands the annuities have been paid by the Agents of the United States, and for the faithful performance of the duties assigned to his office, the Treasurer has executed a bond with ample securities, in the penal sum of fifty thousand dollars. The annuities due for the two last years, the Agent has refused to pay them over to the Treasurer, as usual; notwithstanding the written request of the great mass of our people to do so.- And upon his failing to induce the individuals of our nation to accept of this money agreeably to the direction of the Department these annuities have since been deposited in the United States Branch Bank at Nashville to the credit of the Treasurer of the United States. Under these circumstances we felt justified in saying that our annuities are withheld from us. Since the unconstitutional proceedings of Georgia towards our nation our public expenses have greatly increased, consequently debt have been incurred for the payment of which the faith of our nation stands pledged-and we trust that the President will see in this, good reasons for directing the annuities to be paid over to us as heretofore-for we can see no possible advantage in the Government controlling the application of these annuities contrary to the interest and desire of our nation, when they constitute a debt from the United States to the Cherokee Nation. No complaints having been made to the Government by our nation against the dishonesty or misapplication of this annuity stipend by our own constituted authorities, on the contrary they have required the Agent to pay it over as usual; and without intending any reflection we feel justified in saying that the Cherokee people feel as much respect for, and have as great confidence in the justice and integrity of their own public men as they can possible entertain towards the pubic Agents of this Government in their nation.
With great respect we have the honor to be,
Sir, your ob't serv'ts
John F. Baldridge
DEPARTMENT OF WAR,
Feb'ry 20, 183333(sic)
GENTLEMEN,- I have received your letter of the 11th inst, but having, as already explained to you, but little time to continue a correspondence, promising no useful result, I must be brief in my answer.
All the considerations, connected with your situation and prospects, have been so long and so much discussed, that it seems wholly unnecessary to review the subject. So far as regards the questions specifically stated by you, respecting the political situation you would occupy west of the Mississippi, the tenure of the lands, the kind of government 'c. you will find, in the papers heretofore communicated from this department, satisfactory explanations; and anything further that may be necessary shall be frankly stated in any personal interviews, should there be a prospect of a satisfactory adjustment of the affair.
You are fully aware of the President's views of his constitutional duty. He considers that he has no right to arrest the laws of Georgia, within the limits of that State, nor can he rake any measures to procure such a result. And possessory right, independent of jurisdiction, which you may claim, does not fall within the provision of the Intercourse Act of 1802, and its supplements, and consequently does not present a case within the authority of the President to determine.
I have nothing to add on the subject of the annuities, but that the President's views are unchanged.
I will add, that I should be very glad to meet you, and to discuss this subject, in the confident hope that arrangements may be made, which will be satisfactory to our people, and terminate all the difficulties, in which they are now involved.
I am Gentlemen
your ob't serv't
Messrs, John Ross, R. Taylor, J. F. Baldridge, Jos. Vann.
To the Committee and Council, in General Council Convened.
FRIENDS AND FELLOW CITIZENS:
It has been deemed advisable to convene you for the purpose of making you acquainted with the proceedings of the late delegation to the seat of the American Government in order that you may be prepared to make them known to the people of your respective Districts, as it is important that they should at all times, be correctly informed of our public affairs. From the documents herewith submitted, you will perceive that the business of the Mission was brought directly before the executive branch for deliberation and action. It may be proper to state some of the reasons which influenced the delegation on this occasion in confining themselves exclusively to this course, when it is known that the President hitherto had disclaimed any right to interpose his authority against the illegal and highly oppressive encroachments of Georgia.
It was evident however, that the President in pursuing this course was actuated more from motives of policy to effect our removal than to sustain us in our just rights; and as the Supreme Court of the United States having decided the question of cause favorable and the President in his proclamation to the people of South Carolina, on the subjects of Nullification and Secession, having promptly declared the Supremacy of the Constitution and laws of the United States over State authority, there was every reason to believe that he would ultimately enforce the treaties and Intercourse Act for our protection. Under this persuasion it was thought best not to agitate the question of our affairs before Congress at that time by presenting another memorial,it being a short session, and moreover the principles of Nullification and Secession which were agitated by South Carolina, having been submitted before both houses of Congress by the President, and that the final action of the General Government upon that important controversy could not fail to affect the Georgia proceedings towards us also, as the principle upon which they are based being nothing more nor less than that of Nullification, and the only difference in the principle as maintained by South Carolina and Georgia, is that that the former has only asserted it in theory, when the latter has reduced it to practice. A law has finally been passed extending the powers of the Federal Judiciary and vesting the President of the United States with sufficient power to suppress the practical operation of this unconstitutional and ruinous principle.- Whether this Nation will be benefitted by the decisive action of Congress on this subject or not, is a question which will depend much upon the unity of sentiment and action of the Cherokee people themselves, as well as on the wisdom and integrity of their representatives.
Should it become necessary, I will in a subsequent communication, express my views in regard to our public affairs in more general terms.
RED CLAY, CHEROKEE NATION,
May 13th 1833.