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15.  John Ross to Hugh Montgomery, 20 July 1830

Sir

    . . .The unhappy difference of opinion which seems now to exist under the claim set forth by the State of Georgia to exercise the power of sovereign jurisdiction over the Cherokee Territory, involves a delicate question touching the powers of the General Government, which for the sake of good neighborhood the constituted authorities of this nation have determined to refer to the Supreme Court of the United States for a Judicial decision - and it is to be hoped that this appeal will meet the appropriation of the President, as it evinces a pacific disposition on the part of the Cherokees, and shows that they do not desire to grasp at any extravagant pretensions of power, more than can be awarded to them by the laws of the land.  I would therefore humbly beg that the Executive authority of the United States will be extended to protect the Cherokee nation against the oppression and violence of Georgia, as far as the Constitution, treaties and laws of the United States will authorize him to go, until a final decision upon this important controversy is had from the Judicial Tribunal of the Union - the Supreme Court of the United States.

    In reply to the other points embraced in your communications, I refer you to the accompanying Resolution of the General Council.   And in conclusion permit me to say that I can see no just cause for any difficulties to take place between the United States Troops and the Cherokees, and that no provocation will be given or sanctioned on the part of the constituted authorities of the nation.  Understanding that the United States Troops were ordered into the nation for the purpose of removing intruders for the Cherokee lands, which has not yet been effectually done - it is with feelings of deep regret we have heard it announced, that an arrangement has been made between the United States troops and the civil authority of Georgia for executing al civil processes in the Cherokee nation under the laws of Georgia - and also that the Cherokees are ordered to desist from digging gold on their own soil, no reasons being assigned nor explanation given why it became necessary in the present unhappy state of our affairs, that such measures should be taken.  We cannot but view such orders with astonishment and feel them grievously oppressive, and hope that they will be reconsidered and countermanded by the President, together with that directing the distribution of annuities. 

    The people of this nation having established a constitutional from of Government and the annuities due the nation by the United States having been applied for the support of this Government, it cannot be expected that the constituted authorities will, by their act, and with their own hands, demolish the fabric reared by the voice of the people for the Government of the Cherokee Nation.

    You will please lose no time in laying this communication and the accompanying document before the President of the United States at Nashville.  I am, Sir, Respectfully Your obt Servt.

John Ross

 

15.  John Ross to Hugh Montgomery, 20 July 1830, in Gary E. Moulton, ed., The Papers of Chief John Ross vol. 1 (Norman,OK:  University of Oklahoma Press, 1985), 193-95.