Cherokee Phoenix


Published August, 24, 1833

Page 3 Column 3c



Our readers are referred below to the secret set of instructions from the War Department, to Ben. Curry, which we have been enabled to obtain through a friend for their Government in prosecuting the present system of operations for removing the Cherokees west of the Mississippi, and we request the public to receive it as a true copy. It will be perceived that the President is altogether opposed to the suggestion of the Agent, of sending a party of Cherokees to look out a country to which he proposes removing them, least by enabling them to see the country, and knowing it to be altogether unsuitable for the permanent location of the Cherokees, would only tend to defeat the intentions of the Government towards them. It is here proven by the President himself, that the West is not a good country for the Cherokees, and prefers to thrust them there in the same way that a man would leap into the dark. It is this injustice to which we are opposed, and it is painful to see the Chief Magistrate of a great people persisting in a system of measurers having for its accomplishment cruelty and oppression.

It appears that the President has now resorted, after having matured the Cherokee case to its extremity, to desperate measures, to intimidate them into a treaty. It is proposed now by those golden instruction from the White House, and previously nullifying our treaties to take the opinion of the Attorney General of the right of the Government to remove certain Chiefs of the Nation, who had received reservations in fee in some of the last treaties with the Government. If one sentence can be found in these treaties prejudicial to these Chiefs, it is to be magnified; and the treaties to be binding under the Constitution, and attempts probably will be made to drive the Cherokee Chiefs from the lands of their fathers and from their Nation. Otherwise they are not binding, the States having superseded them by legislation. It is here to be remarked, that if the Attorney General has decided this question of the principles of his holiness, the Pope, the Supreme Court have also decided that the Cherokees are a distinct Community and a Nation; having a right to admit into their nation whom they please, and that we are fully entitled to the benefits of that decision. If the President has placed himself in a narrow place in forcing his policy of removing the Cherokees, and cannot extricate himself from it with honor, the hardships of the case cannot be expressed with the English language, when he is looking for treaty authorities to punish the Cherokee Chiefs for their virtues.

As it is not our intention to enter into a discussion fully of the merits of these instructions, but submit them to the honest reader, we are constrained to remark, in conclusion, that they cannot be reconciled to the correspondence which we have published recently--there the president has recognized Mr. Ross to be the Chief of the Cherokee Nation, whom it is now contemplated to remove.

It will likewise be seen by these instructions that those who may enroll, shall also be entitled to the benefits proportionably to their numbers, of the school fund of this Nation, and of which in the late correspondence the President has promised that it shall be applied pursuant to the treaty of 1819. We would here respectfully enquire to whom has the truth been told?

As our Indian compositor is absent, our home readers are requested to explain the instructions.



June 22, 1833

Sir:- In relation to the project for the removal of the Cherokees, heretofore submitted by you to the Secretary of War, I am instructed to communicate to you the views of the President on that subject. The President is opposed to sending an exploring party of Cherokees to examine the country allotted to their tribe west of the Mississippi; as a measure involving very considerable expense, and not promising much benefit, the probability is that the generality of the Cherokees are sufficiently informed upon that subject, and their real or pretended reluctance to remove, does not rest upon their ignorance or dislike of that country.

He is also at present, opposed to the appointment of commissioners, believing it to be premature, and thinking that by precipitancy, we may defeat the whole object in view, and deprive ourselves of the power of doing what we would otherwise been able to do.

The opinion of the Attorney General will be taken touching the power of the Gen'l Government, to remove the reservees under the treaties of 1817-19. If he should be of the opinion that the Government has the power, instructions will be given for that purpose, and the reservees will be informed of the views of the Department, and advised to remove peaceably by the first of January next, after his return you shall be advised of his opinion, he being now absent.

In the meantime, you are hereby authorized to remove, at the public expense, such reservees; as wish to go west of the Mississippi,

You will proceed with the enrolling business, and Gov. Lumpkin, to whom a copy of this letter has been transmitted, has been requested to appoint two assistant enrolling agents, to receive the same compensation as was allowed last year.

Enrolling books must be prepared in the following form. A memorandum must be inserted, purporting that the subscriber assents to a treaty with the United States, upon the terms heretofore offered by the President, to their people, and that if no treaty should be made in the course of the next fall or early in the winter, then the subscribers will cede to the United States all their right and interest in the Cherokee lands east of the Mississippi, upon the following conditions.

That they shall receive, so far as Congress shall make the necessary appropriations, the ascertained value of their improvements, on their arrival west of the Mississippi.

That they shall be removed and subsisted for one year, at the expense of the United States.

That they shall be entitled to all such stipulations as may be hereafter made in favor of those who do not now remove, excepting so far as such stipulations may depend on the cession of rights of improvements which the subscribers have been previously allowed compensation.

That they shall have their full share of the three years of annuity now remaining unpaid, and they shall be entitled to their just proportion of the school reservation under the treaties of 1817 '-19.

The object of this, as you will perceive, is to place them who will now enroll and emigrate on the same level with those who may follow them to the West; the Government being desirous to expedite their removal, and render to them all equal justice. In the progress of this business I will thank you to communicate freely with the Department, and make such further suggestions as you may suppose will conduce to the benefit of the Cherokees and the advancement of the benevolent views of the Government, in endeavoring to effect their removal. You will be pleased to communicate to your assistant enrolling agents, such directions, in conformity to these instructions, as you may deem necessary for their information and government, in the enrolling business.

I am, sir, with great respect,

Your ob't serv't

(Signed) JOHN ROBB

Acting Secretary of War.

Maj. Benj. F. Curry, Calhoun, Tennessee.


The following advertisement taken from the Nashville Banner, and handed us by a friend, is a specimen of the small falsehood, not uncommon with our adversaries, but intended to do our office much injury. This same P. M. we consider a dangerous incumbent of this office. He has refused to deliver to us our exchange papers several times, for the only reason that this paper was not published regularly some time ago. He was informed that the Phoenix was not discontinued, and yet in the face of this notice, he has gratuitously and officially advised editors on this point without authority and perfectly untrue.

Our nashville contemporaries and elsewhere, will please renew the exchange with us, as without them we cannot do well for our western news.


Post-Office NEW ECHOTA, GA.

June 16th, 1833

EDITORS of Newspapers that exchange with the CHEROKEE PHOENIX, will please stop sending their papers directed to it in exchange as it is discontinued.