THE CHEROKEE PHOENIX, AND INDIANS' ADVOCATE
Saturday, July 17, 1930
Volume 3 No. 13
Page 2 Col. 1a
From the Arkansas Gazette
THE INDIANS-CHAPTER FIRST
There is a point of endurance in human suffering, beyond which submission is meanness, & silence would be worse than base slavishness. To remedy trifling evils, requires some effort, how much greater, then, must be the exertion necessary to overcome vast evils, when a whole community experience the anguish of hope deferred, and promises violated or totally disregarded.
For any individual to undertake, singly, the achievement of any thing truly valuable to mankind, without the hope of a just and faithful co-operation of those in power, would be as vain as it would be ridiculous. But there is a polar star always existing in the moral, as well as the physical world, which should regulate the course of the mariner, sailing on either ocean. My course shall be directed to the genius, integrity, and intelligence, of the President of the United States, as the polar guides, which are to conduct the Philanthropist to that haven, which will secure to the Indians justice and stay the hand of their rapacious and cruel oppresors (sic).
The Indians were induced to emigrate to Arkansas-first, by the promises of Jefferson, supported by the treaties of Monroe, & again renewed and strengthened by those of Adams. They confided in the pledges given, and to the acceptance of which they were invoked by the courtesies of the Government and the kind expressions of its officers-avowing as the object of the whites-the preservation of Indian tribes--the communication of civilization, intelligence, and morality--perfected into bliss, by the aids of Christ's holy religion. These were exalted motives--such as would re-reflect real benefits on the Indians, and throw back upon the character of the United States, honor and the brightest sunshine of national glory. It would associate well with the highest achievements of heroism and intelligence that have ever emblazoned the American character! It would sustain the integrity of the country, and comport, seemly, with its character at a distance. It would present the rare and beautiful spectacle, of a country, renowned in arms, vast in her resources, unconquerable by foreign enemies--reposing in the consciousness of her own power--at the same time cherishing a love of justice, maintaining the faith of treaties--redeeming her pledges solemnly, and voluntarily given to a people, from whom power, united with injustice, can only withhold their fulfilment (sic)!
Where stood the Indian of other days? He stood on the shore of the Atlantic, and beheld, each morning, the sun rolling from the bosom of its green waves. In that sun he beheld his God, and bowed in homage to the shrine. He felt that no intermediate creature, could usurp the favor of his Divinity. He was monarch of the wilds, and his buoyant step proclaimed him, "every inch a king." That age has long gone by--the aboriginal character is almost lost in the views of the white man, or by a series of impositions. A succession of injuries has broken his proud spirit, & taught him to kiss the hand which inflicts upon him stripes--to cringe, and ask favors of the wretch, who violates his oath, by defrauding him out of his annuities, or refusing to pay him money promised by treaties--basely retaining it, for purpose of speculation--by becoming a partner in trade, with creatures selected for the purpose--or a secret partner, in all contracts for which the Government has selected him as its agent.
If this were the limit of injustice to, & fraud upon, the Indians, & spec-speculation (sic) upon the Government, it would be tolerable--but when, added to this, the introduction of ardent spirits, in vast quantities, by the agents-the quantity sold by their knowledge, and with their connivance, ensures to the Indians, a certain, if not a speedy destruction!
It would require much time, and attention to subject, to place it in a situation where the wisdom of the President would be brought to act fairly upon it. For that purpose, the writer of this article will pursue the subject, by chapters, in which he holds himself pledged to exhibit a scene of corruption in the agents of the United States, without a parallel--unless it is to be found in the conduct of Warren Hastings, while employed in the East Indies. At the same time that he regrets the necessity of exposing this delinquents deserved odium--he will nevertheless feel himself warranted, in so doing, by the facts and circumstances of the case. They were or are at this time, public functionaries, and as such they are amenable to public censure. They have betrayed and abused public trust, and therefore deserve public denunciation. And however earnest the writer of this article may be, in his wishes to see all the Indians, now residing East of the Mississippi, removed to Arkansas, he must confess, that, until the Government does appoint honest & capable Agents, for the different tribes already here, it would be a hapless journey for those to undertake who are in search of peace of happiness. Were it not for the injustice of the Agents to the Indians, on the Arkansas, I should deem it the most appropriate abode of the Indian. He might indeed look to this as a land of happiness and contentment. But until suitable Agents are sent to them, they can only regard this as the of land (sic) promises! where fraud will supplant faith, and justice triumph over humanity! At this very moment many emigrants are destitute of provisions promised to them by Government, under the treaty of 1828, while hundreds are ready to furnish the accustomed nations of six or seven cents each. When will justice be done? Celenda est Carthage!
From the Auburn, (N. Y. ) Free Press.
Where are the Indians to be driven? "West of the Mississippi," say the Georgians. And does not humanity inquire, What is to be their condition there? By an official report of Gen. Clark, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, in March, 1826 he says "the condition of the Indians west of the Mississippi is the most pitiable that can be imagined. During several seasons in each year they are distressed by famine, in which many die for want of food and the living child is often buried with the dead mother, because no one can spare it as much food as will sustain it through its helpless infancy." Yet to this land of famine and death are the Cherokees to be driven-for this are they to exchange their cultivated farms and the enjoyment of civilization, and for no better reason than because Georgia has said "she must and wil (sic) have their land." Did not strict justice forbid the removal of the Indians as contemplated by this bill, humanity would interpose to prevent the exile of a once powerful race from the possession bequeathed to them by the Great Spirit, & whose title, thereto are as strong and firmly established as the law and usages of civilized man can make them.
The page of human sufferings is black already with the records of the wrongs done to the Indians of this continent: the disgrace these wrongs have brought upon this land is enough, without enhancement. From every hill and from every valley they have called upon the Great Spirit to look down upon these wrongs, they have been driven from their homes by the ruthless rapacious hand of war & persecution-their blood has been poured out like water to fatten the soil which was their inheritance--they have been hunted like wild beasts of the forest-they have been dragged from their hiding places, and butchered in cold blood. And the hand of the destroyer is not staid. This is no exaggeration of facts--it is but a feeble picture of Indian wrongs. As yet their appeals to the Great Spirit, the God alike of the white man and the red, has brought down no visitings of wrath upon their persecutors: but may we not dread that these appeals have not passed unnoticed & unheard--that they are written in the book of eternal remembrance, and that the day of vengeance and redress will not be withheld.