CHEROKEE PHOENIX AND INDIANS' ADVOCATE
Saturday, July 3, 1830
Volume 3 No. 11
Page 2 Col 2b -3b
We invite the special attention of the Cherokee reader to the following letter which we take from the New York Spectator: It is from an intelligent friend of the present executive and shows what the protection amounts to, which is promised to the emigrating Indians.
Extract of a Letter From "Arkansas Territory, April 20th, 1830.
"Two years have passed since the treaty was made with the emigrating Indians and a pledge was then given by the Government to pay them $50,000 (sic) on their complying with the terms of the treaty. This has been fully done on the part of the Indians, but the Government has not as yet paid the money. When we witness the professions of the Government on behalf of the poor Indians; their readiness to pay them for their improvements and to give them land equal in quality to that which they now occupy; their forwardness to hold out inducements of one sort and another to the Creeks and Cherokees to emigrate, and to abandon their present homes, where they enjoy very many of the comforts of civilized life, and where they have successfully cultivated many of its most useful arts-where, moreover, in a multitude of instances, the blessings of that religion which our Savour (sic) taught have been largely shed upon these poor red men; and all this to gratify the States of Alabama and Georgia, and to minister to the cupidity of some of their mean and baser spirits, without intending to comply with the terms of the act which Congress are importuned to pass: we turn from the spectacle with disgust and loathing.- A Nation's faith ought to be far, far above suspicion; but in these wild and inhospitable regions, we can furnish that which will more than fix suspicion on the character of the government for fair dealing and integrity in all its transactions with the Indians.- It cannot be that hopes are held out only to delude -that pledges are given only to be broken, without inflicting a wound of great magnitude on the character of our country for honor & good faith; and it is still more disgraceful to us that we, a free people, should perpetrate all the outrages on the unoffending Aborigines of our country. I speak now more particularly with reference to what I know to be the fact, so far as the Cherokee Indians within view of my dwelling are concerned, and I dread what is likely to be if the remainder of their nation with the Creeks are forcibly sent here! The poor Cherokees already here ask me and others, why the President has not placed funds in the hands of the Agents to pay them as originally promised; and beg us, earnestly and mourfully (sic), to let them have articles of clothing, and other little necessaries, such as hoes and axes, to enable them to provide sustenance for their families, and to keep their little ones from starvation. This, I assure you, my friend, is no fiction: it is indeed too true; and would to God, for the honor of my country, it were otherwise! We have helped these poor men along until we are able to help them no longer. I have seen an Indian chief apply to the Agent for the use of a few dollars, and offer to give him as security his certificate for $1500, but the Agent was compelled to refuse the money, not having been furnished by the Government with a cent to pay these certificates!
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In common with all the friends of the Government, and as a warm friend of the President, I trust, for the honor of the one and the good name of the other, that this instance of mala futes will, ere long, be rectified; and I pray most devoutly, with an eloquent Senator, that "the gorgeous ensign of the Republic, now known and honored throughout the earth, still full high advanced, its arms and trophies streaming in their original lustre, not a stripe erased or polluted, nor a single star obscured," may "in characters of living light, blazing on all its ample folds, as they float over the sea and over the land, and in every wind under the whole heavens, bear for its motto that other sentiment, dear to every American heart"-not alone "Liberty and Union," but National Honor and National Faith, untainted by meanness and fraud, "now and forever!" There is not an American bosom but must respond to this glowing language.
Page 2 Col. 3b-4a
From the Philadelphian
THE CHICKASAW INDIANS
We have received a letter from the Rev. Hugh Wilson, under date of April 17th, 1830, in which he says, concerning the Chickasaw Nation, "During eight years residence among them, I have never seen nor heard of an individual who had not a home, and a house sufficient to afford the most complete shelter from both cold and wet, at which they reside eleven months in a year: and I do not believe that there is a family in the nation which does not derive nine tenths of their subsistence from the cultivation of the earth, and from their stock.
"There is no such thing as an Indian pretending to have a claim to the fruits of his neighbor's industry. He lays a claim to his generosity, when he is in need; and this claim is acknowledged and acted on. Riches have not yet destroyed this most excellent feeling of our nature in those who possess them among the Indians. The rich perhaps here give more in proportion to their ability than the poor."
The same writer informs us, that the annuities paid to the Choctaws have NOT been appropriated to the private use of the chiefs. He need not have added, that the charge against the missionaries, of their having hired the natives to become communicants, by the presents of blankets and other gifts, are utterly false. No person acquainted with our missionaries among the Indians, would for a moment listen to such a slander.
Our brother is assured, that we give full credit to his statements, and have ever relied upon the veracity of his fellow labourers (sic). We did however suppose, and must still think, that the mass of the Indian tribes do not enjoy such advantages as the few who have been taught in missionary schools and have become Christian in their faith and habits of conduct.
The Rev. Hugh Caldwell, in a letter dated Clarksville, Ten. May 12th, 1830, assures the Editor, that he has lived among the Choctaws 10 months; has travelled 2000 miles among them; has seen 1000 of them together; has not seen any whiskey in their possessions; has found them peaceable and friendly; and thinks they have in their own language no expressions of profane swearing.--Id.
It is a curious fact that the success of the bill for removing the Indians beyond the Mississippi resulted entirely from the clause of the Constitution which recognizes the Sabbath or Sunday. A period of ten days is allowed to the President by the Constitution, in which to determine the question of signing or not signing any bill which may be presented to him. "Sundays excepted." It so happened that the ten days allowed him for the consideration of the Maysville Road Bill, included two Sundays; making twelve day in all. This enabled him to withhold his decision until the final passage of the Indian Bill in the House; whereas; had he retained it but ten days, Sundays inclusive, he would have been obliged to return it before the decision of the Indian Question, in which case it is certain the latter bill would not have passed.
N. Y. Jour. of Com.