Cherokee Phoenix


Published December, 7, 1833

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The Legislature of Georgia, it appears by the Governor's Message, and by their Legislative proceedings, are now on the eve of passing a law to curtail the tenures of the Cherokees, or in other words to confine them upon one lot. If Georgia can possess herself of the vacant territories of the Cherokees, as she has already done, there could be stopping place in their subsequent acts to deprive the Cherokees even of their personal rights. But we can fully solve the motives of this cruel and illiberal legislation. Great efforts are making by the President and his enrolling agents to enroll the Cherokees for emigration; and to give effect to this system of acquiring the Cherokee Nation, the present additional expedient to oppress the Cherokees has been adopted. Tennessee, likewise, has succeeded in passing its jurisdiction over the part of the Nation within its limits, cooperating with the State of Georgia to give effect to the same measure, as is fully proved in our opinion, by the reference which the Governor of Georgia has made in his message, and the report of the Select Committee of Tennessee, on the same question. A great crisis has arrived in the affairs of the Cherokees, and it is to counteract some anticipated measures that the simultaneous cooperation of the two Sates have taken place. The President is prepared to see the whole objects of the Government towards the Cherokees defeated as appears from the instruction to his agents, which we published sometime ago if the firmness of the Cherokees should be sufficient to withstand the policy of the Government. To weaken this position of the Cherokees then is to be ascribed the coalition of these two States, or one more mighty weapon in the hands of the President, in plain English, with which to break up the Cherokees from the lands of their fathers, and the beloved homes of their families.


No Commissioner attended the Council, according to the notice in this paper, of a Commissioner having arrived, and having for his object a treaty with the Cherokees. We made this announcement on the authority of several respectable persons who had interviews with this officer. We have promised to speak the truth when we give our readers intelligence of our affairs, and to rectify the error into which we have been led, we have it now in our power to state that it was Lieutenant Harris, of the United States Army, who visited the Council, and sent out by the President to the Nation as a Disbursing Agent to some emigrants for the Western Cherokees.



On the morning of the 18th of last month, about 3 o'clock at the home of the writer of this article, according to our simple ideas, the whole heavens were discovered emitting the most beautiful streams of fire, commonly called by the Cherokees-flying stars. The atmosphere was unnaturally still and heavy, the circulation of the air was not the least perceptible. The rapidity with which they moved was truly astonishing. The multitude of sizes, and lengths of these burning meteors, presented a scenery so brilliantly sublime, the most acute imagination would fail to describe. We had a full view of this etherial frolic. The distance of their origin was but short; apparently a thousand feet above our towering trees here. Their descent was a deviation from the common principles of gravitation. Those that made their exit immediately over us, took a horizontal and western direction, but those at a distance were not generally of that course but no difference in the obliquity of their movements. About the rising of the morning star, these beautiful streams of meteors increased to such rapidity, the world was literally striped with fire, and the words of the Grecian Philosopher (Thales) darted to our minds, 'nothing more beautiful than the world, because it was made by God.' Some of the largest that passed near us were about the size and length of a cottonwood (?) tree, larger at the lower end and running to a point. They passed us with a rumbling noise, and all terminated 50 to 100 feet above the earth, and left in its track a column of smoke or dim light, which gradually expanded and crooked, and after a few minutes of duration they disappeared. They continued their hasty flights until the rising sun obscured their appearance. Two causes of this profusion of lights we leave to some astronomers solution.