NEW ECHOTA SEPT. 11, 1830
We finish publishing, this week, Mr. Wirt's opinions. They can be had at this
office in pamphlet form.
A detachment of the United States troops have lately visited the mines at
A CHOCTAW is unavoidably deferred until next week.
A meeting of the citizens of Aquohee District in the Cherokee Nation convened for the purpose of considering the present situation of the nation: the following resolutions were passed, and an address to the citizens of the United States adopted.
1. Resolved unanimously, that the unfeigned thanks of this meeting be given to "William Penn" for the substantial benefits rendered to our beloved country by his able exposition of the grounds of our national rights, and of our relation to the United States as set forth in his luminous numbers on "The Present Crisis in the Condition of the American Indians."
2. Resolved unanimously that the thanks of this meeting be given to the Honorable Senators and Members of Congress who ______ unanimously espoused our cause and asserted our rights, and by arguments and eloquence vindicated our claims and repelled the attacks of our adversaries in the United States Senate and House of Representatives.
3. Resolved unanimously, that the cordial thanks of this meeting be given to these philanthropic citizens of the United States who have interested themselves on our behalf, who sustained our cause in Congress by the weighty arguments and high respectability of their memorials.
4. Resolved unanimously that the thanks of this meeting be given to the independent editors of Public Journals who have rendered essential service to our country by freely circulating information which has enlightened the public mind, on the subject of our just rights; and thereby produced a strong feeling in our favor. And also, to all those public spirited individuals, who by their eloquence or their pens, have contributed to place in a clear light, the arguments on which those rights were founded.
5. Resolved that in the absence of any direct medium of communication with our friends: the foregoing resolutions and the following address be sent to the Cherokee Phoenix for publication in the hope these feeble expressions of our gratitude may thus meet the eyes of those for whom they are intended.
To the citizens of the United States
Friends and brethren:
The occasion of our present address is one, which affects not only the well being, but the very existence of our country.
A course of policy has of late been pursued with relation to us, which we consider to be at variance with the most solemn treaties & which has filled our minds with painful anxiety.
Oppression is at this moment in vigorous operation under the appellation of laws of Georgia. These overbearing and cruel edicts are evidently designed to exterminate us from the earth. Under the sable banners of these pretended laws, are already marshalled for the purposes of rapine and plunder a host of the most abandoned characters who drive off our property, break the repose of our families, imprison our persons, and threaten our lives. But these laws grant us no hearing: they afford us no redress.
We consider these doings to be flagrant violations of those identical treaties by virtue of which millions of acres of land, ever ours are now vested in the United States as the price of protection against these very evils.
We have asked your Executive, for the stipulated protection: but it is not granted. We have petitioned Congress; but without success. We have assumed the attitude of abject suppliants, in soliciting that for which we have paid in full tale; but we have met nothing but mortifying repulses. We are grieved. We are oppressed. What are we to do, where shall we look for succor? The arm of your President heretofore potent to enforce justice has lost its wanted energy; he cannot help us.
The State of Georgia, in the vehemence of her thirst for sovereignty, has overleaned [sic] her bounds. She tramples on our dearest rights and frowns to silence the interrogators of justice.
People of America, where shall we look? Republicans we appeal to you. Christians we appeal to you. We need the exertion of your strong arm, we need the utterance of your commanding voice, we need the aid of your prevailing prayers.
In times past, your compassions, yearned over our moral desolation, and the misery which was spreading among us though the failure of game our ancient resource. The cry of wretchedness reached your hearts; you supplied us with implements of husbandry, and domestic industry, which enabled us to provide food and clothing for ourselves.--You sent us instructions in letters and the true religion which has chased away much of our mental and moral darkness.
Your wise President Jefferson, took much pains to instruct us in the science of civilized government and recommended the government of the United States and of the several states as models for our imitation. He urged us also to industry and the acquisition of property. His letter was read in our towns; and we received it as the counsel of a friend. We commenced learning. We commenced improving our government. And by gradual advances we have attained our present station. But our venerable father Jefferson never intended that whenever we should arrive at a certain point in the science of government, of the knowledge of civilized arts, that our rights would be forfeited, our treaties become obsolete, the protection guaranteed them withdrawn, our property confiscated to lawless banditti, and our necks placed under the foot of Georgia.
If your benevolence responded to our silent petitions where we possessed no other claims than our wretchedness, and no other advocate than generous emotions of your own breasts, we feel assured that our appeal will not be disavowed when we ask for justice at your hands.
Much industry has been employed to misrepresent our condition, our faults, and our misfortunes and our defects have been magnified; and unfounded odium has been cast upon our name as if the worthlessness of our character and the degradation of our condition could exonerate the United States government from her engagements and annul the binding force of the treaties.
Sometimes our untamable barbarism and deplorable degradation are urged against us; and at others our civilization and our cultivation of domestic and social advances resulting therefrom are charged against us as unpardonable crimes.
It has been frequently asserted that we are willing and even desirous to go to the west. We assure our friends it is not so. We have our homes, we have our families, we love to dwell by our father's graves. We love to think that this land is our Great Creator's gift to them that he had permitted us to enjoy it after them and that our offspring are preparing to succeed us in the inheritance.
This land is our last refuge and it is our own. Our title to it has no defect, but the inferiority of our physical force, this defect is amply supplied by our compacts with the powerful and magnanimous government of the United States.
Respected and honored friends, permit us to speak plainly. Much has been done against us. Promises, threats, and stratagems have been employed. But we are still unshaken in our attachment to the land of our birth, and we do sollemnly protest against the exercise of oppressive measures to effect our removal. We protest against the extention of the laws of Georgia over any part of our territory; against the occupancy of our lands by U.S. citizens in virtue of compacts between the U. S. government and another nation with which we have no political connection and whiich possesses no rights within our territory against the removal of our boundary lines; and against the employment of money or other bribes to corrupt our citizens and induce them to become traitors to their country; and against the distribution of our annuities amongst individuals as being all contrary to the letter and spirit of our treaties.
We are greatly encouraged in bearing up under accumulated wrongs, to know that our rights are acknowledged and our claims advocated by a great majority of the wise, the honorable, and the virtuous among the citizens of the United States.
Brethren, while we beg your acceptance of the imperfect expression of our unfeigned gratitude for your past exertions, we ask with the most earnest solicitude of respect, the continuance of your aid in every way which your wisdom and philanthropy may dictate. And trusting to the ing [sic] dance of all wise Providence; we are encouraged to look forward through generations yet to come, in the hope that the Cherokees will be still known on their native soil; that the light of truth which already illuminated our horizon will advance to meridian splendor, and that the magnanimous deeds of the vindicators of our rights will live in the memory and the veneration of our posterity! long after our bodies shall have mingled with the dust.
Signed by order and on behalf of the meeting
JOHN WICKLIFF Clerk
We would invite the attention of our readers to the Address
of the Cherokee Committee and Council which may be found on our last page. We have before expressed our opinion of this document which is remarkable both for its force and eloquence and gives us a practical idea of men upon whom the screws of torture have been fixed by this enlightened and Christian country, to be turned round and round just so many times as is necessary to crush the victims or tear them from their soil. If the State of Georgia and the national Administration expect to conceal the injustice of the act under a look of benevolence and philanthropy they deceive themselves as the decision of the civilized world, the decision of posterity, and we doubt not the decision of Heaven will tell them. Party men may endeavor, as they have done, to lull the public into a belief that all is well,--but the question will arise and it must be answered. How comes it to pass that the Cherokees who but two or three years ago were in the enjoyment of independence, self government, and undisputed sovereignty over their soil, and were protected by nearly a score of solemn treaties guarantying them the continuance of their privileges,-how comes it that they are now subjected to a government not their own, exposed to continued and goading provocations, forbidden to dig gold on their own lands, abandoned, or rather betrayed, by the general government, their laws and immemorial usages abolished, their constitution abrogated, their peace invaded, their hopes lost! How comes it, we say, that all this has been done, and that all the alternative left them is misery where they are, or misery in the depths of the wilderness? Let those answer who are officially their fathers and protectors, and with whom rests the execution of Treaties. In our humble opinion, all the Veto Messages which could be piled up between here and Maysville, would be an honor and ornament to the present Administration and the dominant party in comparison with their treatment of the Cherokee Indians.
N. Y. Jour. of Com.