This is just a somewhat obscure document I found in the digital archives of the Library of Congress. It is part of the Andrew Jackson Papers (1775-1874). It is dated to 1836—one year after the Treaty of New Echota (1835).
In his address to Congress, Jackson portrays the white-American Republic as an “interesting, civilized, and Christian community…studded with cities, towns, and prosperous farms embellished…and filled with all the blessings of liberty, civilization and religion.” He calls the Cherokee Nation just the opposite: “savage” and unsettled. Of course, this was a wildly inaccurate depiction. With that said, it is much more interesting (and worthwhile) to look at the misnomer of Jackson’s definition of “white” society. During the 1820s, a large degree of acculturation took place in the Cherokee Nation:
The first issue of the newspaper was printed on February 21, 1828 in New Echota, Cherokee Nation. It published all articles in both English and Cherokee (using the 86 character Cherokee syllabary developed by Sequoyah). This made it both the 1st newspaper published by a Native American tribe and the 1st newspaper to print articles in a Native American language. A much more complete history of the paper can be found here.
I believe that the Mr. Hopkinson being referred to in this letter is Joseph Hopkinson. He served as President of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) from 1813 until his death in 1842. More information about the history of the PAFA is available here.
The following is a letter from interim Secretary of War George Graham (1816-1817) to General Andrew Jackson. He signed each of the three Treaties made with the Cherokee in 1816. The letter discusses the terms of the Treaty with the Cherokee, 1806 and the Treaty with the Chickasaw, 1816 (“late cession made by the Chickasaws”). The former outlines new boundaries to be drawn between the territory of the Cherokee and Chickasaw nations as “southward of the Tennessee river, viz. beginning at the mouth of Caney Creek…and to run up said creek to its head, and in a direct line from thence to the Flat Stone or Rock” (Article 3 of the 1806 treaty). However, the treaty promises only a negotiation of these boundaries between the United States and Chickasaw Nation. The actual cession of this land is negotiated under the 1816 treaty with the Chickasaw.
Continue reading “Transcription of a Letter from George Graham to Andrew Jackson (November 7th, 1816)”