Cherokee Phoenix

Extract from the Report of the Secretary of War

Published January, 25, 1834

Page 2 Column 4b

Extract from the Report of the Secretary of War.

With the exception, therefore of the Miamies in the State of Indiana, of a band of the Wyandots at Upper Sandusky, in Ohio, and of scattered portions of the Ottawas and Chippewas in the peninsula of Michigan, north of Grand River and of Saganaw Bay, probably not exceeding altogether five thousand individuals, the whole country north of Ohio, and east of the Mississippi, including the States of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, and the territory of Michigan as far as the Fox and Ouisconsin Rivers, has been cleared of embarrassments of Indian relations; and the Indians themselves have either already emigrated, or have stipulated to do so within limited periods, and upon such terms as will ensure them adequate subsistence, and the means of establishing themselves comfortably in their new residence, unless indeed, the aid and efforts of the Government are rendered useless by their habitual indolence and improvidence. The Cherokees occupying portions of land in Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, and Tennessee, and probably not exceeding eleven thousand persons, are the only Indians south of the Ohio, and east of the Mississippi, with whom an arrangement has not been made, either for emigration or for a change of political relations. It is to be regretted that the same causes which have heretofore prevented an adjustment of the difficulties of that tribe, and their removal west, yet continue to defeat the efforts of the Government. These abuses no doubt principally to be traced to the ascendance of particular individuals, and their desire to retain political influence and power. It is expected that about five hundred of these Indians will remove west this season, and the residue of the Cherokees, then remaining east of the Mississippi, will be, agreeable to previous computations, about ten thousand five hundred.

The commissioners west of the Mississippi are engaged in the execution of the duties connected with our Indian relations in that quarter. They have succeeded in arranging satisfactorily the disputed question of boundaries between the Creek and Cherokees, which has for some time, occasioned much embarrassment. They have also formed treaties with the Creeks, the Cherokees, the Senecas and Shawnees, the Quapaws and the Seminoles, of Florida, by which all matters connected with these tribes have been satisfactorily adjusted. Their labors will be now directed to the other subjects indicated in their instructions, and which are important to a permanent arrangement of the various questions arising out of a new state of things which will be created in that region. Among these one of the most interesting is a practical plan for regulating the intercourse of the various tribes, indigenous and emigrant, one with another, and with the United States, and for the establishment of some general principles by which their own internal government can be safely administered by themselves, and a general superintending authority exercised by the United States, so far as may be necessary to restrain hostilities among them, and incursions into our borders. Until such a system is adopted, it is evident that the condition of those Indians cannot be secure, nor will the obligations imposed upon the Government be fulfilled. The task requires an intimate knowledge of the local circumstances of the tribes of that region and of the country they inhabit, and a practical acquaintance with Indian habits, feelings, and modes of life. I trust the commissioners will be able to report a plan which will fulfil the expectation of those who have observed with a solicitude the course of this matter, and which will eventually secure the prosperity of the Indians. As it is probable, however, that this cannot be effected within the time limited for the duties of the commissioners, I would respectfully suggest the propriety of their term of service being prolonged until the close of the next year.