Desires and dreams are roots that run deep, and neither race nor culture alters those ideas. Consequently, we, the Cherokee Nation, mirror the longings of the American people.Seeking self-government, Americans fought the Revolutionary War, yet in victory they continue to treat us as a conquered people. Promises of self-government without armed conflict were made in vain. Therefore, we the Cherokee residing in the state of Georgia should support the treaty party led by John Ridge and agree to the removal of ourselves and our communities to the lands west of the Mississippi River in Indian Territory.
The Cherokee Nation has exhausted all avenues of integration with the Americans without prevail. As requested, we conformed to the Anglo-Americans by developing an alphabet and a written language. We felt this would foster communications between the Anglo-Americans and our Nation. Against our ancestral beliefs, we converted to Christianity and permitted missionaries to educate our children. We molded our society to resemble that of the Anglo-Americans in every way possible. Farming has replaced our mens tasks of hunting and gathering, and our women no longer manage the farm. Instead, they tend to the home. These social changes, however, have not stopped the United States from confiscating our lands because we refused to totally forfeit our cultural beliefs. Our government has not been spared in all this reform. It also has transposed to simulate the Americans government. No longer are the laws of the land left up to our honor; now we must abide by a written constitution. A bicameral legislature and a judicial branch are presently our keepers. In light of this so-called betterment, American temperaments have not metamorphosed and our people continue to suffer.
Due to treaties being dishonored, such as the Treaty of Hopewell, the United States and our Cherokee Nation continue to resort to warfare. The Americans have proven to us our land is not our own. The only true support the Cherokee Nation has received has been from the United States Supreme Court. However, this branch of government has not proven capable of enforcing its own judgements. The Supreme Court relies solely upon on presidential support and President Jackson, unfortunately for us, favors Indian Removal. Considering the views of the citizens of the United States and Congress, President Jackson is not willing to uphold or support any Supreme Court decisions in the Cherokees favor.He has suggested the only sensible way to get land from tribes that refuse to sell is to take it. Negotiating treaties is absurd in his eyes. President Jacksons answer to the United States verses the Cherokee Nations quarrels is merely to force our nation to comply. For instance, our people have forcefully been removed from our native lands when gold was discovered on them. Also, the implementation of a land lottery in Georgia has exiled us from our land without compensation or a place of refuge. Do these resemble the actions of one independent nation to another? I think not! They parallel the actions of an overpowering nation invading a benevolent nation. The Americans are not and have not honored the treaties they themselves have proposed and the relocation of our people is the only way to save our culture, our lives, and the lives of future generations of Cherokee people.
Fellow Cherokees, the decision is simple! Relocation west of the Mississippi River in Indian Territory is our only prospect. If we choose to stay in our native lands, the white man will cause our nation and culture to become extinct and our very existence will be at risk. As a whole, relocation will sustain our culture for future Cherokee generations and prevent a military conflict that would surely result in the extermination of our people. Though we are fearless warriors, we cannot forget the Fox and Sauks who were overcome and exhausted by the United States Military in 1832. We, the Cherokee Nation, cannot allow ourselves to follow their trail of tears. Again, I say, war is inevitably if we remain in these lands. Take head, we cannot compete with the weapons and the tactical skills the Americans maintain. Being a peaceful nation, we must unite in the conviction that it is more advantageous to our nation to relocate to the lands west of the Mississippi River and avert war than to delay and be annihilated. The fact that if we linger in these lands we will die, cannot be stressed enough. By evading an armed conflict with the United States and migrating west of the Mississippi River, we ensure that the majority of our people will survive to propagate and pass our culture on to our descendents. Not only the survival of our people is at stake, but the survival of our culture. A remarkable new life for us lies west of the Mississippi River. Lives were our heritage could carry on for many centuries to come. Destiny is our hands; I hope to see each and every one of you on the other side of the river.