Whereas, we the citizens of the Districts of Aquohee and Taquoee in the Cherokee Nation, are informed that on the 21st of Dec 1835, certain individual Cherokees assembled at New Echota and, without any authority from the council or people of the Nation, entered into an agreement with the Revd Mr. Schermer-horn under the name of a treaty by the provisions of which all the lands of the Cherokees are ceded; their Government and Law abolished, their private improvements: the property of individuals alienated from their rightful owners, without their consent: and all their rights, as free men, wrested from them and left to the discretionary disposal of strangers.
And, Whereas we are further informed that this compact is to be presented to the Senate of the United States for ratification, as a a treaty; we the undersigned, do, with the deepest anxiety and the most respectful earnestness, appeal to the Senate of the United States, against the ratification of the same. And in entering our protest before that honorable and August Body, we again humbly Solicit their attention to the following points on account of which we were so urgently depreciating the ratification of said instrument. Viz. the persons who are represented as acting on behalf of the Cherokees in this matter, are wholly unauthorized. And the circumstances of a few individuals making a treaty vitally affecting the liberties, the property and the personal rights of a whole people, appears to be so utterly repugnant to reason and justice and every dictate of humanity, that we come to the Senate of the United States with full confidence that under such circumstances the voice of weakness itself will be heard in the cry for justice.
To the Basis of said instrument and most of its details we entertain insuperable objections. But being fully persuaded that an instrument so unwarranted will not be sanctioned by the Senate, we deem it unnecessary to recite the particular provisions which it contains, as we feel all assurance of the justice and magnanimity of the August body before whom we humbly presume to present our grievances.
[note in pencil: signed by 3,352 names]
Citation: Cherokee Petition in Protest of the New Echota Treaty; 1836; (SEN24B-C4); Records Relating to Treaties with Indian Tribes, 1789 – 1871; Records of the U.S. Senate, Record Group 46; National Archives Building, Washington, DC. https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/cherokee-petition-protest-new-echota-treaty. Accessed 28 August 2023.
- Who is writing this letter?
- What had they been denied as a result of previous actions?
- Why were they writing this letter? In other words, what did they want Congress to do?
Alienated: separated; removed from
Discretionary: done however one wants to
Ratification: official approval
Earnestness: seriousness; sincereness
August: respected and impressive
Depreciating: decreasing value or merit
Repugnant: distasteful; offensive
Insuperable: cannot be overcome or solved
Magnanimity: very forgiving