Cherokee Phoenix

From the Federal Union

Published November, 23, 1833

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From the Federal Union

Extract from Gov. Lumpkin's Message

The drawing of the Lotteries, which were in progress at the last session of the Legislature, was completed about the first of May last; and the act of the Legislature, providing for the organization of ten new counties out of the Territory thus disposed of, has been carried into effect-and we have now, a settled freehold population on every part of our Territory competent to the administration of our laws, so far as to secure most of the blessings of our system to those, whose enterprise has led them to become settlers in that interesting section of our State, hitherto the abode of a people wholly unqualified to enjoy the blessings of wise self government. The accomplishment of this great and desirable object to our State, has been attended at every step with the most unrelenting and obstinate opposition. The unfortunate remnant of the Cherokees has, for years past, been made the dupes and instruments of selfish and ambitious politicians, whose restless spirits have urged them to acts of mischief degrading to humanity itself. In the early part of the present year, another earnest and liberal effort was made by the President of the United States to effect a treaty with the Cherokees, having for its object their entire removal beyond the Mississippi-which object, it is believed, was defeated alone, by a few of the interested half-breeds, who are evidently under the influence of political men, who stand opposed to the interest of the Indians, as well as that of the State. The failure to effect a treaty has not, however, prevented a continuance of our efforts to effect the object of removing the Indians, at as early a day as practicable. Another opportunity of enrollment for emigration has been extended to such as may be disposed to remove; and I am gratified to learn, that many of the intelligent and influential among them, have availed themselves of the liberal terms proposed. Therefore, the day cannot be distant, when the State will be entirely relieved from the perplexities occasioned by this portion of its population. It will, however, become the duty of the Legislature, at its present session, to revise and amend our laws providing for the government and protection of the Indians. Experience has already exposed many defects and ambiguities in the existing laws on this subject, which should be speedily remedied. In our anxiety to provide for the welfare and protect the right of this unfortunate race, we have, in some instances, given advantages to the native population over our white citizens; which advantages, when exercised under the influence of selfish counsels, become oppressive to our white population, who are certainly not less entitled to the protection of our laws, than the native race-however just may be their claims on the sympathies of an enlightened government.

Under our existing laws, the reservations of land secured to the natives during their pleasure, are in many instances unreasonably large, and ought to be curtailed by judicious legislation. I would also call the attention of the Legislature to another description of native claims, which involves considerations of the greatest importance to the interest and honor of the State. A class of individuals, chiefly of the white and mixed blood, and who claim the right of natives within the limits of Georgia, are persons, who, under the treaties of 1817 and 1819, took valuable fee-simple reservations of the best lands then ceded, under an expressed, written determination to become citizens of the United States-and consequently, abandoning all the claim of rights or privileges, as a part or portion of the Cherokee Nation. Nevertheless, these persons have since sold and disposed of their reserved lands, thus taken for large considerations of money for their individual benefit; and have gone into the country still occupied by the remnant of the Cherokees, and have again made selections and settlements on the most valuable lands, or that portion of their people, who have not participated in an equal degree with themselves, in the benefits of the treaties referred to. Moreover, these very individuals, by their superior intelligence, and advantages of education, have had the address to regain an influence over the Cherokees-whom they had once abandoned to their fate-so far as to rule, govern, and influence them in all matters relating to their most important interest; and have been, for years past, and continue to be, the prime and efficient cause of preventing the Cherokees from yielding to the liberal and beneficent plans of the Federal Government, for removing them to the west of the Mississippi. The insolence, ' mischievous influence of these individuals should no longer receive the indulgence or countenance of extraordinary privileges from the General or State Government; but should be treated by both governments as intruders of the most assuming character. The lands, now in the occupancy of these persons under our existing laws, ought to be granted to the drawers; who are the rightful owners, and who have been restrained from the occupancy by the laws of the State now in force. These persons have already done their own people, the State of Georgia, and our common country, great and serious injury. They have been the dupes and instruments at home and abroad, of desperate, political agitators, whose factious spirits are unbridled by the restraints of virtuous patriotism.


The President is now engaged in an attempt to enroll individuals of the Cherokee Nation to remove West, and urge a treaty with the chiefs. The Phoenix says, he 'might as well undertake to empty the Pacific Ocean into the Atlantic, as to remove the Cherokees by enrollment, and when he has appointed Georgians who are robbing us of our rights. We repeat again, that 'no treaty can be made with the body politic of the Cherokees.' Still there is but little ground for hope that the Cherokees are not destined to destruction by the power of this Government, exerted in direct opposition to solemn treaty, and in face of a solemn decision of the highest judiciary power. The people are too much engaged in their own money getting concerns, in banks and making Presidents to attend to, and express publicly their views of wrong ' injustice committed against so small a community.- This is only one of the abuses of the Executive department, and any resolution of Congress, had they the independence to act; would be voted by a Republican President, who completely nullifies the decisions of both the Judicial and Legislative branches when not according precisely with his own views. A. Maj. Downing truly says, Gen Jackson is the Government.