7. John Ross, et al, to John Quincy Adams, 12 March 1825
Be pleased to accept our congratulation for the Great Trust confided to your care as President of the United States. The various tribes of Indians emphatically call the President, Father, and to him, they as children look for protection and preservation. Therefore we conceive it a duty as well as a privilege to address you - a retrospective view of the History and true cause in the downfall, degradation and extinction of certain tribes, exhibits a solemn and imposing lesson, which may be profitable in administering justice to those few, who at this day breathe the vital air on the land of their Fathers. The crisis seems to be at hand, which must forever seal their doom. Civilization & preservation, or dispersion & extinction, awaits them - and this government is the tribunal which must pass the sentence. We therefore solicit your attention to a few remarks which we deem to be our implicit duty to make, in relation to the Cherokee People whom we represent. the arts of civilized life has been successfully introduced among them, they consider themselves permanently settled, and no inducement can ever prompt them to abandon their habitations, for a distant wild & strange clime. They are well aware of the earnest solicitude of the State of Georgia, for their removal, and also are apprized of the desire of the Government to grattify the wishes of Georgia, if their consent could be obtained. And whilst the Cherokees are ever ready to comply with the views and wishes of the Governemtn they cannot consent to yield another foot of land. Unceasing exertions, has from time to time been used to purchase from the Cherokees their lands for Georgia. But we have never as yet witnessed a single attempt made on the part of the government to bring the Compact of 1802 with Georgia to a close, by compromise or, in any manner other than by trying to purchase our lands. For the peace and tranquility of our nation, we do sincerely hope that measures may be adopted by the United States & the State of Georgia so as to close their compact without teasing the Cherokees any more for their lands. the Cherokees have repeatedly declared their sentiments, respecting their lands, to the governemtn; those Sentiments has been, matured in soberness and expressed in sincerity.
The idea of concentrating the various tribes of Indians for the object of civilizing and preserving them West of the Mississippi, is a subject of great magnitude, and may perhaps contribute to better the condition of those tribes who have been removed form their lands and are now wandering over the wild & extended plains of the West. But if Indians civilization & preservation is sincerely desired and is considered worthy the serious attention of the United States; never urge the removal of those tribes who are now successfully embracing the habits of civilized man within their own limits. A removal of the Cherokees, can never be effected with their consent, consequently if removed at all, it must be effected by such means, as would engender irreconcilable prejudices, and their dispersion and ultimate extinction would inevitably follow. The Cherokees if permitted to remain peaceably and quietly in the enjoyment of their rights, the day would arrive, when a distinction between their race and the American family, would be imperceptible;of such a change, the nation can have no objection. Complexion is a subject, not worthy consideration, in the effectuation of the great subject - for the sake of civilization and preservation of existence, we would willingly see the habits and customs of the aboriginal man extinguished, the sooner this takes place, the great stumbling block, prejudice, will be removed. May the power of Heaven direct your steps for the good of all under your administration, is the Sincere Prayer of, Sir, Your unworthy but most Obt Hble Servts.
John Ross G. Lowery
7. John Ross to John Quincy Adams, 12 Mar 1825, in Gary E. Moulton, ed., The Papers of Chief John Ross vol. 1 (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1985), 104-05.