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CHEROKEE PHOENIX AND INDIANS' ADVOCATE
Saturday, May 29, 1830
Vol. 3, No. 6
Page 4, col. 3b

INDIAN QUESTION

Our readers will perceive from another part of our paper, that the Indian Question has been decided in the Senate. The speakers against the Indians were Messrs. White of Tennessee, Forsyth of Georgia, Adams of Mississippi, and McKinley of Alabama. Messrs. White and Forsyth each addressed the Senate twice, during the debate. Messrs. Frelinghuysen of N. Jersey, Sprague of Maine, and Robbins of Rhode Island, advocated the rights of the Indians, and the execution of the treaties with them, in good faith. The former made two speeches, during the debate. The cause of justice and honour [sic] was ably defended-but in vain. The glory is departed. Our disgrace is written in characters which neither time nor repentance can efface. If the House of Representatives concur with the Senate, the world will know just what confidence to place in treaties with the United States. Carthaginian fidelity, `Punic faith' will henceforth cease to be a proverb-and our country will succeed to the inheritance of that name of reproach and ignominy which the lapse of so many centuries has not been able to detach from the nation of Hannibal. Would that disgrace were all! But such an example `in high places' will send a deadly influence through the whole land. When honesty, when justice, when magnanimity, all give place to expediency and to sordid interest, in the councils of a nation, they cannot long maintain their ground in the intercourse of individuals.

And it is not only the future influence of the measure which ought to fill the country with alarm. We regard the vote in the Senate as a criterion of public sentiment. It shows how far we have floated down the stream of political depravity. The days of our Pilgrim fathers-the days of the heroes of our Independence-the days of Washington and our other illustrious patriots, have passed-never-never to return. The bare thought of such a measure would have sickened the minds of those who than guided our affairs. The proposition to expel the Indians from their native soil would have been spurned with indignation. Our future orators on the fourth of July may dwell, if they please, on military victories, and on naval glories, but who, on that day, will venture to speak of moral virtue, of political honesty, as an ornament of our country? What American will not henceforth instinctively shudder at the very name of governmental faith, and public justice?

To New England there is still left one topic of consolation;-her sons, with one exception, have borne their testimony against the oppression and robbery of the Indians. She may still reply to the reproaches of other nations-and reply with consciousness of innocence, `Tho canst not say I did it.' And when the judgements of heaven come down on our country-and come they will-she may hope that her remonstrances will spring up in remembrance, and that the destroying angel will sheath his sword on her borders.- Con. Obr.

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The Indian Question will probably be brought up in the House next week. A debate of great warmth and energy is confidently expected. The manner in which this question was disposed of in the Senate has only deepened a sense of responsibility with those who are now called upon to make the highest efforts to save our national faith from utter ruin. Those who are determined to sustain the unjust proceedings of Georgia, will be met face to face, and breast to breast; no twisting, or turning, or evasive movements will be allowed; they will be compelled to declare whether the one hundred and sixth treaties which we have made with the Indians mean any thing, or whether they are a mere farce; whether the highest enactments of this Government are a binding reality, or a hypocritical jest. We are perfectly willing to see those men reduced to this alternative. If this nation is incapable of being bound by treaties, let it be known. If we can sport with everything sacred in plighted faith, let us not deepen our crimes and infamy by concealment. Let the tale of our guilt and degradation be told at once; let it be proclaimed amidst the scoffs and execration of foreign courts; let us stand before the world in the light of heaven for just what we are- a nation whose professions are a mockery, and whose vows are a lie. Amer. Spec. May 8.

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A Correspondent, Judging from the tenor of our remarks on the Indian Question, accuses us of hostility to the present Administration. Indeed!- has it come to this!- that tos [sic] the man who conscientiously dissent from the opinions entertained by the Executive is to be regarded in the light of an enemy? Is universal and unqualified assent the only terms upon which he can escape from the charge of enmity? The bare assertion of this is the highest insult that can be offered to any generous, high minded Administration. That friendship is worthless which does not discriminate between what is destitute of all compliment to the man who receive it, and of all evidence of worth in the man who bestows it. Smiles bestowed upon our faults are more to be dreaded than censures upon our merits- the first will lead us to ruin, the last will only lead us to stricter scrutiny into the motives and tendency of our actions. Were we plotting the destruction of this administration, and the ruin of the country, we would fill the lips of men with a blind indiscriminate eulogy over its every act, and we would look to flattery and adulation for effects which can never be produced by the most active and unrelenting hatred. There is more than one in power who may with propriety say-"Save me from my friends, and I will take care of my enemies." Ib.