From the Atlas
THE CHEROKEE TREATY.
Notwithstanding the earnest efforts to suppress all inquiry into this infamous fraud, the subject at hand, as will be seen on reference to our congressional columns, has come fairly and fully before the House of Representatives. The speeches of Mr. Wise upon this subject are represented to have been in his happiest manner. The Georgia Indian killers quailed before him. It will be seen that they were driven to the necessity of admitting the treaty to be fraudulent and void; - but with this effrontery and bold wickedness which has characterized the whole conduct of Georgia in the matter, they declared that they and their people, were determined to enforce this pretended treaty, notwithstanding it was void, and to enforce it even at the expense of nullification and blood.
Wise treated these silly threats with the contempt they deserved. Such kind of menace, he said, had no terror for him; and he would tell the State of Georgia, that is she did not wait quietly till this difficulty was adjusted, he for one was ready to coerce her into disobedience.
Lest any should suppose that we exaggerate the infamous conduct of the Georgians in relation to the Cherokees, we beg to lay before our readers the following piece of testimony from the pen of that same John Ridge, whose authority Mr. Senator Lumpkin is so fond of quoting in answer to the northern fanatics. Ridge went to Washington to assist in getting the treaty of New Echota ratified by the Senate, and two weeks after his return home he addressed a letter to General Jackson, date June 39th, 1836, of which the following is an extract. The same scenes so pathetically described in this letter are being re-enacted at this very moment, in the Cherokee country. The extract is as follows:
-------So far all is well. But we come now to address you in the subject of our griefs and afflictions from the acts of white people.- They have got our lands and now they are proposing to fleece us of the money accruing from the treaty.
We found our plantations either taken in whole or in part by the Georgians; and suits instituted against us for back rents of our own farms. These suits are commenced in the inferior courts with the evident design, so soon as we are ready to move, to arrest us, and on those vile claims to compel us to compromise for our release, in order that we may travel with our families. Thus our funds will be filched from us, and we shall be compelled to leave our country as beggars and in want.
Even the Georgia laws which deny us our oaths are thrown aside, and notwithstanding the cries of our people, the protestations of our innocence and peace, the lowest classes of the white people are flogging the Cherokees with cowhides, hickories, and clubs. We are not safe in our homes; our people assailed by day and night by the rabble. Even parties of the peace and constables are concerned in this business. This barbarous treatment is not confined to men, but the women are stripped also and whipped without law or mercy. You gave us, at parting, an excellent talk. We know that you are our friend. We now call upon you to interfere. Write to the Governor of Georgia. Perhaps his proclamation will have some effect. But above all send us regular troops to protect us from these lawless assaults, and to protect our people as they depart for the West. If it is not done, we shall carry off nothing but the scars of the lash on our backs, and our oppressors will get all the money. We talk plainly as chiefs having property and life in danger, and we appeal to you for protection. The urgency of our condition will apologies for us in directly addressing you on this momentous subject.
We are your friends.
SALEM (Mass.), THURSDAY MORNING, MAY 31, 1838
Original article at the Cherokee Heritage Center, Park Hill, OK