The Removal of the Cherokee Nation: Manifest Destiny or National Dishonor?

By Louis Filler; Allen Guttmann | Go to book overview

MEMORIAL OF THE CHEROKEE NATION (JULY 17,1830)

Appeals such as Representative Crockett's were in vain. On the 26th of May, 1830, Lumpkin's bill passed the House by a vote of 102 to 97. The Senate concurred with the House's amendments, and the bill was signed into law on the 28th of May. The enactment did not revoke the treaties then in force between the United Statesand the Cherokee nation, and the Cherokees appealed to the American people and urged them not to break the treaties. "We wish," wrote the assembled leaders of the nation, "to remain on the land of our fathers."

SOME months ago a delegation was appointed by the constituted authorities Cherokee nation to repair to the city of Washington, and in behalf of this nation, to lay before the government of the United States such representations as should seem most likely to secure to us, as a people, that protection, aid, and good neighborhood, which had been so often promised to us, and of which we stand in great need. Soon after their arrival in the city they presented to congress a petition from our national council, asking for the interposition of that body in our behalf, especially with reference to the laws of Georgia; which were suspended in a most terrifying manner over a large part of our population, and protesting in the most decided terms against the operation of these laws. In the course of the winter they presented petitions to congress, signed by more than four thousand of our citizens, including probably more than nineteen-twentieths, and for aught we can tell, ninety-nine hundredths, of the adult males of the nation. . ., pleading with the assembled representatives of the American people, that the solemn engagements between their fathers and our fathers may be preserved, as they have been till recently, in full force and continued operation; asking, in a word, for protection against threatened usurpation and for a faithful execution for a guaranty which is perfectly plain in its meaning, has been repeatedly and rigidly endorsed in our favour, and has received the sanction of the government of the United States for nearly forty years.

More than a year ago we were officially given to understand by the secretary of war, that the president could not protect us against the laws of Georgia. This information was entirely unexpected; as it went upon the principle, that treaties made between the United States and the Cherokee nation have no power to withstand the legisla

____________________
From Niles's Weekly Register, XXXVIII ( August 21, 1830), 454-457.

-42-

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