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Old News Stories
Stealing Cherokee Horses, 1830

From The Poughkeepsie Intelligencer
Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
July 3, 1830

The Cherokee Phoenix gives an account of the manner in which the Georgians have commenced operations in plundering the Indians, under the authority of that "sovereign" state. It seems that an Indian, or, in other words, one of "those savages who refuse to submit to the very reasonable requirements of Georgia," has been in the habit of raising horses and cattle for market, of which he had a large and valuable stock on hand. Some Georgia border men made several attempts to procure some of his best horses at a very low price, but he refused to deal with them, obstinately preferring to keep his horses; finding the Indian too cunning for them, they resolved, after the example of the state, to dispense with his consent, and to take the horses in their "sovereign capacity," but he guarded his property with such unceasing vigilance, that they could find no chance to execute their mild purpose of stealing. In a short time, however, that patriotic state, in the rightful exercise of her "sovereign powers," and in her "sovereign capacity," by her human, just and equitable laws, enacted merely to convince the Indians that they had better remove west of the Mississippi, relieved the enterprising border men of their difficulty. Those champions of state rights, conceiving that the existing treaties with the Indians were unconstitutional, and that neither the general government or Supreme Court of the United States had any right to interfere with the legislative acts of a "sovereign state," and finding themselves duly licensed by the laws of the state to persuade the Indians to consent to emigrate, collected a body and made a descent upon the Indian's property and gallantly captured their proceedings, but they heroically punished his savage insubordination by knocking him down and then stabbing and beating him and destroying much of his property. His wife also interfered, but as they were striving to persuade him to emigrate, her interference to prevent them made her subject to the penalties of the eighth section of the Georgia law, but instead of taking measures to send her four years to the state penitentiary, according to the mild provisions of that equitable law, they humanely knocked her down with their guns, and left her nearly dead. Having thus completed the objects of their mission, they gallantly returned to their homes. The Indian sufferer has made several attempts to bring the offenders to justice, but in vain; every avenue of justice was closed against him. As no Indian can be an evidence in any case in which a white man is a party, he was dismissed without a hearing, and left to reflect upon the even-handed justice of this "sovereign state," this "patriotic" member of the Union!

Such are the effects of the tyrannical, unjust and oppressive laws of Georgia, for which the annals of modern tyranny can scarcely furnish a parallel; and yet, strange to relate, these laws have defenders, even in this section of the Union.

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