4. John Ross, et al, to the Senate and House of Representatives, 15 April 1824
. . . It is with unfeigned regret and pain we discover the sentiments which are expressed by the governor of Georgia [George M. Troup], in his letter to the Secretary of War [John C. Calhoun], of the 28th of February last; and also, those expressed by the Georgia delegation in Congress, to the President of the United States [James Monroe], on the 10th of March last. We cannot but view the design of those letters as an attempt, bordering on a hostile disposition towards the Cherokee Nation, to arrest from them, by arbitrary means, their just rights and liberties, the security of which are solemnly guarantied to them, by these United States. As you have a full view of the subject before your honorable body, it is not our purpose to be superfluous; therefore, we will take occasion to assert, under the fullest authority, that all the sentiments expressed, in relation to the disposition and determination of the nation, never again to cede another foot of land, is positively the production and voice of the nation, and what has been uttered by us, in the communications which we have made to the Government, since our arrival in this city, is expressive of the true sentiments of the nation, agreeably to our instructions, and that not one word of which has been put into our mouth by a whiteman. Any surmises or statements to the contrary, are ill-founded and ungenerous. We forbear to animadvert on the aspersion pointed at our chiefs, by the pen of the Georgia delegation; it is but a subterfuge. The Cherokees are informed on the situation of the country west of the Mississippi river; and there is not a spot, out of the limits of the United States, that they would ever consent to inhabit, because they have unequivocally determined, never again to pursue the chase, as heretofore, or to engage in wars, unless by the special call of the Government, to defend the common rights of the united states; and, as a removal to the barren waste, bordering on the Rocky Mountains, where water and timber are scarcely to be seen, could be for no other object or inducement, than to pursue the buffalo, and to wage wars with the uncultivated Indians in that hemisphere - imposing facts, speaks from the experience which been so repeatedly realized, that such state of things would inevitably be the result, were the Cherokees to emigrate to that country. But such an event will never take place. The Cherokees have turned their attention to the pursuits of the civilized man; agriculture, manufactures, and the mechanic arts, and education, are all in successful operation in the nation, at this time; and whilst the Cherokees are peacefully endeavoring to enjoy the blessings of civilization and Christianity, on the soil of their rightful inheritance; and whilst the exertions and labors of various religious societies of these United States are successfully engaged in promulgating to them the ward of truth and life, from the sacred volume of holy writ, and under the patronage of the General Government - they are threatened with removal or extinction. This subject is now before your honorable body for a decision. We appeal to the magnanimity of the American Congress for justice, and the protection of the rights, liberties, and lives, of the Cherokee people. we claim it from the United States, by the strongest obligations, which imposes it upon them by treaties; and we expect it from them under that memorable declaration, "that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" . . .
John Ross Major Ridge (X)
Geo Lowery Elijah Hicks
4. John Ross, et al, to the Senate and House of Representatives, 15 Apr 1824, in Gary E. Moulton, ed., The Papers of Chief John Ross vol. 1 (Norman,OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1985), 77-78.