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9.  Annual Message to the Cherokee Nation, 13 October 1828

Fellow Citizens:

. . . The circumstance of our Government assuming a new character under a constitutional form, and on the principles of republicanism, has, in some degree, excited the sensations of the public characters of Georgia, and it is sincerely to be regretted that this excitement should have been manifested by such glaring expressions of hostility to our true interests.  by the adoption of the Constitution, our relation to the United States, as recognized by existing Treaties, is not in the least degree affected, but on the contrary, this improvement in our government, is strictly in accordance with the recommendations, views and wishes of the Great Washington under whose auspicious administration our treaties of peace, Friendship and protection, were made, and whose policy in regard to Indian civilization has been strictly pursued by the subsequent administrations.

    The pretended claim of Georgia to a portion of our lands, is alleged on the following principles.  First, by discovery.   Secondly, by conquest.  Thirdly, by compact . . .

. . . The third pretension is extremely lame.  The United States enters into a compact with Georgia that they will purchase certain lands, which belong to us, for Georgia, so soon as they can do it on peaceable and reasonable terms.  This promise was made on the part of the United States without knowing whether this nation would ever consent to dispose of those lands on any terms whatever; and the Cherokees not being a part in the compact, their, title cannot be affected in the slightest degree.  it appears astonishingly unreasonable, that all those hard expressions of denunciation which have been unsparingly lavished against our sacred rights and intersts, by interested politicians, have arose from no other circumstance than our honest refusal to sell to the United States lands, for the fulfillment of their Compact with Georgia.  Although our views & condition may be misrepresented - although we may be stigmatized with the appellation of "na-bobs," and should be represented as ruling with an "Iron rod" and "grinding down into dust the wretched and abject mass" of our citizens; and although we may be called avaricious for refusing to sell our lands, we should not be diverted from the path of rectitude.  in all our intercourse with our neighboring white brethren, we should endeavor to cultivate the utmost harmony and good understanding, by strictly observing the relations which we sustain to the United States.

     Owing to the various representatives respecting us, we have been frequently called upon to make a treaty of cession; and under the hope of succeeding with us, a treaty has been entered into by the United States with that portion of Cherokees who have absolved themselves from all connection with us, by removing west of the Mississippi, and establishing themselves there as a distinct community, stipulating that all those Cherokees residing east of the Mississippi who will consent to emigrate west of that river, shall receive a bounty consisting of a a rifle gun, a blanket, steel trap, a brass kettle and five pounds of Tobacco.   Such are the temptations offered to induce us to leave our friends, our relatives, our houses, our cultivated farms, our country, and every thing endeared to us by the progress of civilization - for what?  To tread the barren wilds and dreary waste on the confines of the rocky Mountains with those necessary accoutrements and appendages of the hunter on our backs, in pursuit of the Buffaloe and other wild animals . . .

John Ross

William Hicks

 

9.  Annual Message to the Cherokee nation, 13 Oct 1828, in Gary E. Moulton, ed., The Papers of Chief John Ross vol. 1 (Norman,OK:  University of Oklahoma Press, 1985), 140-44.