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CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Wednesday, July 2, 1828
Volume I, No. 19
Page 2, col. 1b-3a

   COMMUNICATIONS.
   [CONCLUDED]

 Secondly, I shall notice his charges of "vague testimony."

 First, I am accused of having originated the charge against at chief, who on account of it had been deposed.  2d. At my recommendation two other Indians had been created chiefs in his stead.  3d. I had a wish to be made a treasurer of the Creek Nation. 4th To have the power to decide upon all claims arising under the Intercourse law.  5th Of making charges of the foulest kind against the Creek Agent.  6th Of stealing and imposing on the Creeks for their marks to these charges.  7th Influencing two Indians to implicate their Agent of passing on them counterfeit [sic] money, and for being apparently pleased  by the expression of my countenance in this open attack of these instruments on their agent, and for interfering in the concerns of the Creek Nation.  Having made the above charges, he is compelled to say something more to make them important, and what a terrible, dangerous and wicked creature must be he, who is the subject of these charges; "The overthrow of a chief, the peace and harmony of the Creeks, the starvation of hundreds of them, the continuation of the controversy with Georgia, the ruin of the agent's character, and contempt of the government and policy of the United States, all appeared to be cheap sacrifices in the view of this interfering agent, in the attainment of this great end of having a treasury &c." - it is the part of Col. McKenney to prove his charges and not mine.  But instead of doing this he evades the necessity of calling to his aid, proof, and substitutes for it, a lecture on his charity and mercy.  He says, "It is always painful to form opinions on vague testimony, when those opinions implicate character.  I would make it a matter of principle to avoid doing so, and would apply the same rule to Indians with the addition of pity."  The word vague, means according to Walker, who is our English Standard, wandering, vagrant, vagabond, unfixed, unsettled, undetermined.  Col, McKenney would "make it a matter of principle to avoid the implication of character.  How kind and Benevolent!  What a "sweet thing" he carries under his tongue for the afflicted children of the forest!  They are objects of his peculiar regard and he would fondly in such cases, "add pity" in consequence of their ignorance of "moral and intellectual lights."  Notwithstanding this smooth doctrine, his practice, and his profession do not go hand in hand.  He implicates my character on "vague testimony."  Who deserves most pity, Col. McKenney with his intellectual and moral lights convicted of acting contrary to his "matter of principle," or the Indian destitute of such lights who adheres both to truth and principle?

  "Who steals my purse, steals trash, 'tis
   something-nothing.
  'Twas mine,'tis his, and has been slave
   to thousands.
  But he that flinches from me my good
   name,
  Robs me of that, which not enriches
   him."

 The foul charges against the agent were written in the Creek Nation, without my knowledge, by Mr. Vann and Eli Jacobs, and two sets of charges were brought to me by a deputation of Creeks to transcribe, with a request to affix their marks and names to the transcripts as they were in the original and forward them to Washington.  These charges were indeed foul, but who is to blame?  That man who commits foul things and occasions the charge, or those who are compelled to make them?  It is and was not manly in Col. McKenney to have investigated these charges in my absence.  He says he did it in council, it may be so, but it was not done in Tuckuabocchee, where the Creeks and Col. McKenney ought to have moved upon me and demonstrated my villany [sic] for forgery, and disgraced me then!!- No sir, that would not do in tenderness for Crowell's character; it was safer to do it in secret and publish it at Washington.  The legislature of Georgia and the Executive thereof made charges previous to the Creeks if possible "more foul," but as they were interested in the success of Col. McKenney their Representatives in Congress have united with others in condemning my conduct.  Crowell stands charged for mal-practice in his agency, and so long as the executive send their special agents to him for explanations, he will be always acquitted.  The only movement the Executive ever made on him to ask him to resign; but he answered the Secretary of War, in a plaintive tone of letter of refusal expressing that his only hope for safety and protection from the persecutions of his enemies was in the Executive.  This took place at Washington.

 Thirdly. The treaty was not effected at Tuckaubachee or in Council, as Col. McKenney has reported, but at Broken Arrow, or Fort Mitchel, as the date of that instrument will prove; and then not with four hundred and ninety and nine chiefs, but with five only, subject to a future ratification of it by the Senate of the U. S. and an Indian Council, the first treaty that ever was required to undergo the formalities of ratification by an Indian Council, which proves that Col. McKenney had not concluded it with the proper authority.

 The Indians according to McKenney were starving and compelled to subsist on roots and berries, but when he paid them the advance consideration, it was in goods and not bread.- Query.  How could the Indians subsist on berries out of their season, and not to be had in the latter part of November?

 I am accused for creating division among the Creeks, when they have been known always a divided people into the Upper and Lower Towns, to History and Geography.  I am accused for interfering in their concerns, when at their invitation and not without it, I have attended their Councils.  I am charged for contempt of the United States and its policy; and what is that policy?  It is the removal of the Indians from the Lands of their fathers, from their comfortable firesides, and plantations and in respect to the Cherokees, from the means of education and privileges of Religion, to the barren wilderness of the Rocky Mountains, west of the Mississippi.-  It is to unnationalize [sic] them here and nationalize them with the deer and buffaloe [sic], with them to perish.- To this policy I declare myself opposed and the charge of contempt to the United States I positively deny.
      JOHN RIDGE.