War of the Rebellion: Serial 003 Page 0674 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter X.

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the Confederates for their independence and a government of their own. Gigantic preparations ar made by both sides to carry on the war. The calamities, the length, and the result of that war cannot be foretold. The Cherokees will be concerned in its issue, which in all probability, it now appears, will be the establishment of the new government. The attention of your authorities was early directed to the subject from their position and by correspondence with officers of the Confederate States, and the delicate and responsible duty devolved upon them of deciding to some extend the course to be pursued by the Cherokee Nation int he conflict between the whites, to whom she was equally bound in peace and friendship by existing treaties. Our situation is peculiar. Our political relations had long been established with the United States Government, and which embraces the seceding as well as the adhering States. Those relations still exist. The United States have not asked us to engage in the war, and we could not do so without coming into collision iwht our friends and neighbors, with whom we are identified by location and similar institutions. Nor, on the other hand, had we any cause to take up arms against the United States, and prematurely and wantonly stake outlives and all our rights upon the hazards of the conflict. I felt it to be my duty, therefore, then to advise the Cherokee people to remain natura, and issued a proclamation to that effect. I am gratified to know that this course has met the approbation of the great mass of the Cherokee people, and been respected by the officers of both Governments in a manner that commands our highest gratitude. Our soils has not been invaded, our peace has not been molested, nor our rights interfered with by either Government. On the contrary, the people have remained at home, coli voted their farms in security, and are reaping fruitful returns for their labors. But for false fabrications, we should have pursued our ordinary vocations without any excitement at home, or misrepresentations and consequent misapprehensions abroad, as to the real sentiments and purposes of the Cherokee people. Alarming reports, however, have been pertinaciously circulated at home and unjust imputations among the people of the States. The object seems to have been to create strife and conflict, instead of harmony and goodwill, among the people themselves, and to engender prejudice and distrust, instead of kindness and confidence towards them by the officers and citizens of the Confederate States.

My fellow-citizens, you have now an opportunity to express your views in an authoritative manner upon the policy which has been pursued by your officers in the present juncture of affairs and upon questions affecting the harmony of the people, and upon the domestic institutions of the country. The people same here. Say whether you are arrayed in classes one against the other-the full-blood against the white and mixed blood citizens; say whether you are faithful to the constitution and laws of your country-whether you abide by all the rights they guarantee, particularly including that of slavery, and whether you have any wish or purpose to abolish or interfere with it in the Cherokee Nation.

The position which I have assumed in regard to all the important question which affect the Cherokee people has been too often proclaimed to be misunderstood, however much it may be misrepresented. The great object with me has been to have the Cherokee people harmonious and united in the full and free exercise and enjoyment of all their rights of person and property. Union is strength; dissension is weakness, misery, ruin. In time of peace, enjoy pace together; in time of war, if war must come, fight together. As brothers live, as brothers