Cherokee Phoenix


Published November, 23, 1833

Page 4 Column 1a


From the N. Y. Advertiser.

State Sovereignty- We adverted recently to the difficulties in Alabama. growing out of the diverse action of the National Executive, in the two States of Alabama and Georgia. A case occurred, a few weeks since, which places this subject in a very strong light. A Cherokee Indian, named Scott Man-killer, was arraigned before Judge Adair, of the Circuit Court of St. Clair County, in the state of Alabama, for the murder of his brother, Buck Mankiller. A plea was filed, in his behalf, to the jurisdiction of the Court-stating in substance, that the said Scott Mankiller was a native of the Cherokee Nation of Indians-that the offence charged was committed in that nation-that he was amenable to the laws thereof, and not subject to the jurisdiction of the tribunal before which he was then arraigned. The solicitor for the state put in a special replication to the effect that the offence was committed within the constitutional limits of the state of Alabama, and in that part of the so called Cherokee Nation, which had been attached to, and made part of, the county of St. Clair.

The principle point of the defence was, that the state of Alabama had no right to extend its jurisdiction over the Indian nations within its chartered limits; and the treaties of the United States with the Cherokees,and the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of the Missionaries, were adverted to, as sustaining that position. After long argument the judge sustained the plea to the jurisdiction of the Court, and discharged the defendant!

Thus we see that there is one law for Alabama, and another for Georgia. Of two Cherokees, indicted for similar crimes, one (Tassels) is hung- and the other (Mankiller) is discharged.- Over that portion of the Cherokee country, included within the territorial limits of Georgia, the laws of the Cherokees are nullified, and those of Georgia are supreme;- over the other portion of it, lying in Alabama, the laws of the natives are respected and those of the state inoperative.

That the decision of Judge Adair was correct, no rational doubt can be entertained-but if it was so, and shall be maintained to be so, by General Jackson, then can he do no less then to hang the Judges and Sheriff of Georgia, who spurned the mandate of the Supreme Court, and hurried Tassels to his grave.


Troubles in Alabama- It appears that the excitement in Alabama was, in reality, assumed a very serious aspect, and is likely to afford us another practical illustration of the beautiful theory of nullification. Governor Gayle, in a letter to the Secretary of War, has declared that the Treaty with the Creeks, of March 1832, 'is not law, can impose no obligation on the people of Alabama, and will be declared null and void by the legally constituted authorities.'

This treaty ceded to the United States, under certain conditions, all the Creek territory in Alabama.- The same territory had been previously ceded to the Government of Georgia, in her act of session of April the 24th 1802, seventeen years before the admission of Alabama into the Union as an independent state. The late treaty with the Creeks was ratified by the Senate of the United States as a measure of peculiar interest to Alabama, the operation of which would relieve her, in a very few years, of all the Indian population, and it was so considered and received by the people of Alabama and their representatives in Congress. This, therefore, is a still more flagrant case of opposition to the rights and authority of the general government than that of Georgia. An admission of the right asserted by the State in this instance, would put an end at once to all ownership or property of the government in the public lands throughout the Union.-Balto. Gazette.



The Globe states that, 'while the Indians insist upon the execution of the treaty, in good faith, and demand the removal of all intruders, in conformity with the law especially referred to in the treaty, the President has no alternative but to carry its stipulations into effect, or to acknowledge that the Government he administers is not competent to make treaties, in as much as he has no power to execute them.' And it further says, that Governor Gayle 'must know that the present Chief Magistrate is not a man who will be deterred from the performance of a public trust by any parade and mustering of a military array, to prevent the due observance and complete execution of his duty.' American Daily Advertiser.


From Alabama we have received, says the National Intelligencer, the following letter, under date of October 16, which gives a painful view of the state of affairs and of feeling in that agitated State.:-Ibid.

ALABAMA, Oct. 16th, 1833

We have arrived at a solemn crisis in our State at the present moment.- You are aware that the whole of the Creek Nation was some time since laid off into counties, and the Judges of our Circuit Courts ordered to hold courts in them accordingly. The case alluded to above is this: At the present term of said Court, held for Russel County, an indictment was found against some certain soldiers of Fort Mitchell for the murder of Col. Hardeman Owens, who was shot some time ago by the command of the Deputy Marshal, Mr. Austill, the Solicitor of the Circuit issued subpoenas for the file of men and for Major McIntosh, who is in command at the Fort, to appear at the Court to answer to the charge. The Major refused to pay any regard to the mandate of the Court, and swore that he would not suffer any of the men to be arrested. The Court issued an attachment for the Major and men; the Sheriff was ordered by the Major not to touch him; he returned to the Court next day, and made oath that he could not take him, the Major; for fear of death. Upon this, the Court sent an express to our Governor for military power sufficient to arrest the Major, and to bring him and men before the Court. The Governor will undoubtedly do it, as he, as well as the whole country here, are in a state of excitement against the General Government, and are determined to support the civil authorities even to the last ditch.- Union or no Union.'


From the N. H. Sentinel.

The excited State of political parties in Georgia has brought out a letter from Mr. Wirt, one of the Counsel for the Georgia Missionaries, to Mr. Sergeant, his colleague, dated at Baltimore, Dec. 23, 1832. It appears that Mr. Forsyth the Senator from Georgia, the President's friend and South Carolina Anti Nullifier, made a special visit to Mr. W. to devise ways and means to 'separate the Georgia question (as Mr. Wirt says)from that of South Carolina, that the President may have only one on his hands to settle at a time!' Mr. F. although disclaiming any authority from the Governor of Georgia, professes to know his most ardent wishes to get rid of the difficulty, by a rational plea for discharging them, and he has no doubt, that if the Missionaries, through their Counsel, stop farther proceedings in the Supreme Court, they will be forthwith set at liberty. Then the Georgians can rail against Nullification. It would also relieve the President, as there 'were many persons in Georgia, and out of Georgia, who thought if (the two cases) a common cause.'- There would then be no pretence for joining South Carolina, if this affair could be adjusted-otherwise Georgia and South Carolina might go together! So, in the end, the proceedings were stopped, the Missionaries released. the President relieved- and the honor of the parties, we suppose, received an additional polish- from a patent powder, however, composed in unequal parts of State pride, mortification, tyranny, humility, hypocrisy, expediency, 'c, 'c with a 1-1000th part of political honesty and integrity.


The following paragraph from the Hartford Times relates the termination of an affair which took place in Massachusetts a few months since. A little handful of Indians, the remnant of the powerful tribes which once inhabited that country, encouraged by the declamations about the rights of the Cherokees which they heard all around them, and instigated, it appears by their missionary, made an attempt to shake off the yoke of the whites and to vindicate to themselves the rights of an independent community. The officers of the law however very strangely interfered, the proceeding was summarily decided to be a breach of the peace, and the persons concerned were actually held worthy of punishment. We wonder that no more clamor has been made about this affair. It is certainly as fine a topic for declamation about the natural and original rights of the ancient natives as the case of the Georgia Indians. The only difference is that their numbers are fewer, but this does not change the principle- We beg pardon-there is yet another difference-there is nothing to be gained in a political point of view by making a noise about the rights of the Massachusetts Indians, and therefore, the fountains of sympathy are left unscaled, and the tears which should have flowed for their fate remain unshed in the eyes of the journalists, essayists, and orators of the opposition.- The sole record of the attempt of this little bands of patriots to revive their ancient laws and customs is to be found in such paragraphs as the following- N. Y. Evening Post, 16th inst.


The Rev. Mr. Apes, the Missionary among the Mashpee Indians, in Massachusetts, has been sentenced to thirty days imprisonment, and ordered to recognize with one surety to keep the peace, for his attempts to establish the independence of the poor Indians. It is probable that the Georgia Missionaries will get up a great excitement against this tyrannical and oppressive act of the government of Massachusetts. They at least ought to do this to be consistent.-Hartford Times