Friday, October 15, 2010

"He was a bribed traitor to his nation."

Most Cherokees today know there is still disagreement among the people over whether the Treaty Party were good or whether they were bad. In my mind, it is pretty clear...they violated Cherokee law and, though having no right to represent the Cherokee Nation, they signed an illegal treaty that sold the homeland of the Cherokee people. That means they were criminals, simply criminals, and nothing more. But, that is only what I think, and a lot of people probably won't be convinced by me alone saying it. So, I thought I would share an excerpt from a news article that appeared in the Colonial Gazette in London on August 21, 1839.

Apprehensions are entertained that the Indians in the far West are on the verge of a war among themselves, and especially in the Cherokee nation. Collisions have already taken place, in which John Ridge and some of his adherents have been slain. Ridge merited the fate he has met. He was a bribed traitor to his nation. Without right or authority, he and a few self-created chiefs entered into a treaty with the United States, by the provisions of which he disposed of the Cherokee lands in Georgia, and stipulated that the nation should remove by a specified day. After the ratification of this fraudulent treaty, the Government required the fulfilment of its stipulations ; and, possessing the power to enforce them, the Red men being first plundered, were then exiled.

Notice even they call Ridge a traitor. Even they say "self-created chiefs" "without right or authority" made a treaty with the United States. Even they say Ridge brought his fate upon himself. Even in 1839, all the way across the ocean in London, they knew the Treaty Party were traitors! They saw it for what it was...a betrayal to a nation. They understood government to government relations and they knew those took place between the official leaders of a nation, not with someone who wanted to be the leader. If they knew it nearly 200 years ago, then why do so many people have a hard time seeing it today?

We can't rewrite history to make it what we want. It is what it is. According to the dictionary a traitor is one who commits an act of betrayal, in particular against the sovereign or the state to which the offender owes allegiance. That is exactly what the Treaty Party did, committed an act of betrayal to their nation. And, because of that, they were criminals -- not martyrs, not heroes, not victims -- just criminals and nothing more.

Those are my thoughts for the day.
Thank you for reading.

The Granddaughter

Source - Colonial Gazette; London, Middlesex, United Kingdom; August 21, 1839; p. 7.

copyright 2010, Polly's Granddaughter - TCB

1 comment:

  1. very useful for a beginner like me"


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