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12.  Annual Message to the Cherokee Nation, 14 October 1829

   . . . The subject having been laid before Congress, and the sentiments of the nation fully expressed and the opinion of the delegation not being in the slightest degree affected by the arguments advanced by the Hon. Secretary in favor of Georgia's extending her sovereign jurisdiction over a portion of our territory, and withal, being in readiness to depart, and anxious to return home, they did not deem it necessary to make any reply.  The extraordinary latitude of construction given by the Secretary, on the sovereignty of Georgia, exhibits a glaring attempt of innovation in our political rights, and is calculated to affect seriously our relationship with the General Government.

    Georgia, to add to our grievances in the many outrages committed by her intrusive and lawless citizens, has lately set forth an unheard of claim, before, to a large portion of our lands . . . It is well known that many of the citizens of Georgia had previously intruded upon these lands; and after committing many flagrant aggressions, upon the persons and property of our frontier citizens, and anticipating a removal by order of the United States Government, this fraudulent and unfounded claim was set forth by some Georgia politicians, with a view of causing a delay in the removal of the intruders; and that by a system of fraud, violence, and oppression, practised upon the frontier Cherokees . . . [so that they] might thereby, eventually, be compelled to cede these lands . . .

    . . . A crisis seems to be fast approaching when the final destiny of our nation must be sealed.  The preservation and happiness of the Cherokee people are at stake, and the united States must soon determine the issue - we can only look with confidence to the good faith and magnanimity of the General Government, whose precepts and profession inculcate principles of liberty and republicanism, and whose obligation are solemnly pledged to give us justice and protection.  Our treaties of relationship are based upon the principles of the federal constitution, and so long as peace and good faith are maintained, no power, save that of the Cherokee Nation and the United States jointly, can legally change them.   Much, therefore, depends on our unity of sentiment and firmness of action, in maintaining those sacred rights, which we have ever enjoyed; and, in deliberating upon this subject, our minds should be matured with that solemnity its great importance demand.   But if, contrary to all expectation, the United States shall withdraw their solemn pledges of protection, utterly disregard their plighted faith, deprive us of the right of self government, and wrest from us our land - then, in the deep anguish of our misfortunes, we may justly say, there is no place of security for us, no confidence left in the United States will be more just and faithful towards us in the barren prairies of the West, than when we occupied the soil inherited from the Great Author of our existence.

John Ross

Geo. Lowery


12.  John Ross, Annual Message to the Cherokee Nation, 14 Oct 1829, in Gary E. Moulton, ed., The Papers of Chief John Ross vol. 1 (Norman, OK:  University of Oklahoma Press, 1985), 169-72.