Cherokee Phoenix


Published May, 17, 1834

Page 3 Column 2b


NEW ECHOTA, MAY 17, 1834

The ferry of the Principal Chief, at Coosa, which we stated sometime since had been released, has been again forcibly seized by the vendees of the place, (Mr. Hemphill) and the last accounts we have received of this proceeding, state that the ferry was now guarded by two or three armed men with guns.


Our readers will find in our columns, intelligence from Washington, copied from various journals of the highest standing, and for talents of their correspondents of the highest character, a crisis is stated to have arrived in the affairs of this agitated government, portending a speedy revolution, if the usurpations of the administration does not give place to established precedents, and to Constitutional principles. {Note: these items all refer to the on going controversy in relation to the national bank} It is not for the first time, that we have to remark on the probabilities of this event; for we have already stated in some of our past numbers, that if the institutions of the government and its wholesome laws were not properly regarded and executed, it would soon cease to exist as a Government of well regulated laws. The Cherokees were the first who heard the angry mutterings for their destruction; five years have but expired, when it has become visible to the ablest of the American people, when they find the mighty Government in its dying agonies, and trembling in its foundations. Every effect has its cause. The people of the United States, permitted their President to sink the Cherokee ship at the blow of his mighty breath to its fly-colors, regardless of the Government laws, expressly enacted for their protection, but the bane did not stop here; we ask the American reader where is the stopping place. The whole Indian relations coeval with the Government, have been rendered almost to nonentity by the single person of the President. -Nature and ambition could not be satiated at these strides to unlimited power. The American nation has now passed in our stead in groans of a dying state in the hands of one man. When the American people permitted the President to raise his mighty arm, and command the bright seals of the United States, on the 16 solemn Cherokee treaties to fade, virtue departed to return no more, but with a political change. It was this indulgence of their President to exercise unbridled power over the Indians which has contaminated the purity of the executive, and an adequate constitution ordained for a salutary government. The signs we confess are ominous to the red man first, and to the great American people; but we humbly hope, there is sufficient wisdom existing to restore the Constitution and laws to their manifest intentions.*


*The Government before the revolution of Indian affairs was like unto the vision of St. John, 'And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God,' rejoicing in the felicity and marching onward to protection.



We frequently stated that the Cherokees in Tennessee had made great speculations on the Government, by making large improvements and then emigrating. First, the enrolling agents induced these Indians to bring white men into the nation, and make large improvements, preparatory to a valuation by the agents, and second to sell their possessory right to white men before they left the country. The Secretary of War likewise had engaged with those that enrolled to secure to such, their interest in the soil when ever a treaty could be made. This was something like a thribble price to the Indians which induced them to enroll, until the Government found it had incurred the expense of an hundred and forty thousand dollars, but first took care to send the emigrants to the never failing streams, ' where the Indians live without trouble. But the emigrants have been sent off at the point of the bayonet ' the promises made them are now too great and unjust. Return J. Meigs Counsellor at law at Athens, Tennessee, has been appointed Secretary of War to report to him the transactions of the agents and these Indians in relation to the speculation on these improvements. For which purpose, Mr. Meigs has invited the Cherokees of the best standing to the agency to testify to him what improvements were recognized to be the property of the emigrants. Hurrah and Hurrah for the humane policy.