Cherokee Phoenix


Published August, 17, 1833

Page 3 Column 3b



The Enrolling Agents of the Government for emigrating the Cherokees west of the Mississippi, have been unusually industrious in the discharge of their duties. They have visited numerous, and indeed nearly every Indian family in this section of the Nation, but their progress in obtaining signers to their miserable scroll, is of the most discouraging kind. In this district, (Coosowattee,) containing a population of about 8000 Cherokees, they have obtained the signatures of Thomas Wilson and family, of embarrassed circumstances, and Yonah Ookillah, single. A third is of a widow lady from Georgia, (white woman). Of enrolling Georgians for emigration we have no objections, if no advantages were intended to be obtained over the Cherokee people. The enrollment now applied for by these pale faces consists in a two fold object. When the Indian signs himself for removing to the West they likewise obtain his consent to say 'that the propositions of the treaty are liberal,' of which we published in our last number. This transaction is nothing more nor less than negotiating with individuals, and to create an argument for the President that the Cherokees are willing to treat, and to procrastinate the executing of his treaties with us. The Cherokees have become cautious of this deception, and are as fearful of them as the bills on the broken banks of Georgia.

When these agents will have failed, as certainly will be the case, in getting signers to subserve the objects of the Government, then those who have enrolled, we predict will be removed in the same manner that the enrolled Creeks were--on their own footing, and to absolute starvation.


The following communications of Mr. Ridge ' Co., to the Secretary of War and the editor of this paper, are reluctantly given to our readers, for the reason of having no evidence that the former is a true copy of the original. The communication to the War Department, is furnished, it is presumed, with a view as a rebutment to the statement which was made in this paper in part, predicated on this letter. Having excluded further attention to this subject under the editorial head, I proceed in my own name, and as a matter of right, to communicate briefly my thoughts, as the production from the reading of this letter. The secret motives which induced Mr. Ridge ' Co. to open a correspondence with Mr. Cass, can only be fully developed by themselves; but so far as they have been elicited to me, they are as visible as the sun's face, and wholly incompatible with his most solemn obligations to the Nation. Mr. Ridge had been solemnly sworn to sustain the policy of the Nation towards the General Government during the existence of our difficulties, and to no other could he give his support with any degree of propriety. A letter had been received by the Principal Chief from the Secretary of War, promising the removal of intruders from the assailed parts of the Nation, which was construed to embrace the limits of Georgia and Alabama, as within these were the only portion of territories assailed, according to the reading of the letter. At this view of the subject, Mr. Ridge ' Co. places themselves before the Cherokee authorities at the very moment a correspondence was existing with the Secretary of War, ' with this letter, details to him the former opinions of the President, as if they had been forgotten, and an answer to them in time for the Council is earnestly requested. An answer then in the affirmative of the letter to the Cherokee Chief, with the obvious meaning, could not be implied in Mr. Ridge's to Mr. Cass, because of such no additional benefit could arise-the Council had the letter on this point. If the reading of Mr. Cass's letter was questionable, the promised troops were then marching to the Nation, their operations would have settled the existing doubts. Again, Mr. Ridge ' Co. were attached to the constituted authorities of the Nation,the proper organ of information to the Cherokees, but it appears that it was deemed unfit as a medium of communication and consultation, it was thought most lawful perhaps to show a face, aside of the existing authorities, and the secretary would reciprocate to it, as it was by the letter changing the whole aspect of a favorable change. It is in this view of the affair that I am constrained to look upon the sudden change as the fruits of Mr. Ridge ' Co.'s interference, and to arrive at any other, would be the falsification of conscience. Very much might be said on both sides, and to make the matter short, there is an alternative which if adopted, would be highly beneficial to all parties. Let Mr. Ridge state that he has never opposed directly of indirectly the policy of the Nation, towards the United States; as for any other course, it will not be noticed, the Indians mind would turn from it with abhorrence.




Running Waters, August 3, 1833

Mr. Elijah Hicks,--You have accused me of having committed the most consummate treachery to my country that the annals of any nation affords. You say this 'upon consultation.' Until you bring to light 'respectable gentleman, who shall come forward and lift his head out,' to make the charge, I shall do no more than to furnish you a copy of the letter addressed to the War Department, as the answer thereto has been read by many in manuscript, and as it is now published in the Phoenix, should you presume it safe to the 'watch tower' upon which you stand, perhaps you ought to publish Judge M'Lean's letter, on my advice, to which you have alluded, as one of the circumstances that has had the mighty influence of weaning your 'affections' from me.





April 5th, 1833

Hon. Lewis Cass, Secretary of War,

Sir,- During the session of our last General Council, a Delegation was appointed on the part of this Nation to visit Washington City, for the purpose of endeavoring to obtain from the Government the protection, for which in vain we have so long and ardently sought. This Delegation, after an absence of some months, have returned to their Nation, and a part of the undersigned have seen and read the communications which in the discharge of the trust reposed in them, were addressed to you, and your replies to the same. In answer to the appeal made to the Executive, for the restoration to our people of those rights which the exercise of State authority within our limits have deprived them, they were referred to a message sent by the President of the Senate in 1831, upon a special call made by that body for information, why the Act of Congress of 1802, regulating trade and intercourse with the Indian Tribes, 'c. was not executed among the Cherokees; and were informed also that the opinions of the President had undergone a change. A promise however was given for the removal of such citizens of the United States as have intruded upon lands within the chartered limits of Tennessee and North Carolina, disclaiming, (according to the principles of the message alluded to,) any authority to enforce the provisions of that Act within that portion of our territory over which the States of Georgia and Alabama have extended their jurisdiction. Since the return of the Delegation, a letter has been received by Mr. Ross, dated the 24th March, and signed by 'Elbert Herring, Office of Indian Affairs.' This letter acknowledges the receipt of a letter from Mr. Ross, of the 8th March, and as well as recollected, admits that we have experienced much hardships from intrusions, promises that a military force, will shortly be ordered into the Nation from Charleston, to expel the intruders, and that the District Attorney will be instructed, in case they return, to institute suits of prosecution, under the Act of 1802, 'c. The object therefore of the communication, is to ascertain the extent of the protection to be afforded by the military authority, under the pledge given by Judge Herring in his letter to the Delegation. According to the reading of that letter it is considered by many that the views of the Executive may have undergone a change, and that the action of this force will not be confined to any particular portion of our country, but that its blessings will be felt throughout. Under this view of the subject, considering the peculiar and unhappy condition of our people it will not be a matter of surprise for you to learn, that this favorable prospect has been hailed with feelings of much joy and gratulations. Aware, sir, how much we trespass upon your time, we would most respectfully enquire whether indeed our 'Great Father' has thus kindly thought of us, and will thus kindly exercise these paternal feelings which some of the undersigned have often heard him express toward the Cherokees. If we doubt the extent of this protection, it is only by taking in connection this, with the letters from your Department to which we have already made reference. A meeting of our General Council will take place on the 13th of May to deliberate on the affairs of the Nation; and we trust that the information sought for, will not be thought unworthy of the immediate attention of the Department.

With sentiments of high regard, we have the honor to be most respectfully your ob't serv'ts.

John Ridge

W. S. Coodey

Major Ridge

William Hicks

John Fields.