Cherokee Phoenix

From the Sentinel of Freedom

Published April, 5, 1834

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From the Sentinel of Freedom

The Indians- Mr. Burgess, in a speech in Congress, on the 17th ult. against Mr. Chilton's bill for inquiring into the expediency of so extending the pension law, as to embrace those who were engaged in the Indian wars, down to 1794- bore the following testimony to the injustice with which the red sons of the forest have been treated by the white men.

'Sir, look into the ornaments of your Rotunda. Sculpture has done something to perpetuate the original character of the red man of the country.- William Penn, the man of Peace, stands in the ever during stone quietly discussing the terms of a treaty with the great Delaware Chief. On the opposite side you see, sculptured in stone, the great hero of the West, engaged in mortal conflict with two red warriors of the woods. One of the Indians is already down; the two surviving combatants stand one on each side of him, with each a foot on the dead warrior. The sculptor, to exhibit the face of this chief to the spectator, was compelled by the narrowness of the panel, where this combat is represented, to contract his legs and arms, as they might have been drawn up by a strong convulsion, but as the limbs never are when the man has space enough to extend them in the last mortal struggle. He often thought when looking at this interesting production of human art, that the sculptor had, without intending to do so, most strikingly represented both our national avidity to engross lands, and the hard terms which we do hold out to the Aborigines. Sir, this piece of sculpture tells us that we do not leave to the Indians enough of the land of their fore-fathers to die upon.

Shall we continue to awaken and encourage the spirit or war, by chanting in our halls the praises of our own men, where no one lifts up a voice for our brave, magnanimous, but conquered foe? He has buried the tomahawk-he has retired beyond the great river; and forgetful of all war but the chase, now follows the buffalo in the prairies of the West. Shall we still be at cost-shall we offer a bounty to keep alive that spirit of chivalry, that eagerness for battle, which has driven our great adversary far beyond our borders?- The reign of peace has I trust, commenced on earth. Men have ceased to look after plunder for subsistence; they seem too have submitted to the will of the creator; and are determined to live on the productions of their own labor.'