We take the liberty to request the serious attention of our readers to an article which we republish from the Cherokee Phoenix. It is an address from the Council of that nation to the People of the United States, on the situation and circumstances in which they are placed by the act of Congress passed at the late session for the removal of the Indians beyond the Mississippi, and the operation of a legislative act of the state of Georgia. It occupies more room than we could conveniently spare, but we flatter ourselves that we shall escape censure for inserting it not withstanding its length, by every friend to justice and humanity. No man who is not doubly fortified by the degrading and demoralizing spirit of party against every feeling of justice or who is not governed by a sordid and selfish interest in the property of the Cherokees of which they are in a fair way to be plundered and despoiled can read this appeal without experiencing the deepest emotions. Nothing can be more pathetic than the plain and simple eloquence with which these despised & injured people plead their own cause. Our countrymen should beware of the consequences of rejecting or turning a deaf ear to that appeal. One would think it impossible that those who are not directly or indirectly interested in the plan devised and thus is executed, for stripping these weak and defenseless people of their property, and their rights could read without a crimson blush upon their cheeks, the reference in this address to the "golden rule" of rectitude in the sacred scriptures. Are the inhabitants of this professedly Christian country to be taught their moral and religious duties, their responsibility as accountable beings by these despised, oppressed and persecuted Indians?
The Indian bill passed through the House of Representatives by a very small majority- and we are much mistaken if several individuals in that majority did not act in direct opposition to the sentiments, opinions, feelings, and principles of their constituents.
We shall think it strange, if in the next Congress, there is not a majority in both Houses against the measure. In that event, the act passed at the last session will undoubtedly be repealed. In the meantime, notwithstanding the manifest disposition of our Cabinet to interfere with their plan of appealing to the Supreme Court, we trust that object will be steadily pursued. If General Jackson thinks proper to distribute the money payable to the Cherokees by treaty, in such a manner as designedly to prevent them from applying it for purposes of procuring a judicial redress of their wrongs, he will fail of his object, or we are grossly mistaken in our expectations. We have not the slightest doubt that any reasonable sum of money, necessary to enable them to try their great cause before the proper tribunal can be, and will be raised, any moment that it called for, in this division of the Union.
We are glad that the Cherokees intend to decline the invitation to meet their
"Great Father" the President of the United States, at Nashville, for
the purpose of treating relative to their removal. Having determined not to
remove, it would be worse than useless for them to receive the overtures, or
to listen to propositions. Their safety consists in keeping quietly at home,
even if subjected to the depredations of their civilized neighbors from Georgia,
and directing their whole attention to the trial of their case before the Court.
If that question should be heard, and decided in their favor, the chief magistrate
of the nation must enforce the laws under the decision of the Judiciary whether
he likes or dislikes it. Neither his own legal opinion, nor that of Mr. Secretary
Eaton, nor even that of Mr. Attorney General Berien, will be able to stand against
a solemn decision of the highest judicial tribunal, if that decision happens
to be in favor of the Cherokees, and against the State of Georgia. To this state
of things, we hope they will direct their attention, and all their efforts.
The politicians of Georgia will probably consider the state as degraded by being
obliged to defend their own acts against a tribe of Indians; but injustice to
Indians is as proper a subject for judicial examination, as injustice to white
men; and they must console themselves with the reflection that it is a calamity
of their own seeking, and they have nobody to thank for its visitation but themselves.
And they must be told that it is not half as degrading to be forced to defend
themselves in a controversy with Indians in a court of law as it will be to
meet the reproaches and scorn of all civilized nations.
__N. Y. Adv.