die. While ready and willing to defend our firesides from the robber and murderer, let us not make war wantonly against the authority of the United or Confederate States, but avoid conflict with either, and remain strict on our soil. We have homes endeared to us by every consideration, laws adapted to our condition of our own choice, and rights and privileges of the highest character. Here they must be enjoyed or nowhere else. When your nationality ceases here, it will live nowhere else. When these homes are lost, you will find no others like them. Then, my countrymen, as you regard your own rights, as you regard the welfare of your posterity, be prudent how you act. The permanent disruption of the United States is now probable. The State on our border and the Indian nations about us have severed their connection from the United States and joined the Confederate States. Our general interests are inseparable from theirs, and it is not desirable that we should stand alone. The preservation of our rights and of our existence are above every other consideration. And in view of all the circumstances of our situation I do say to you frankly that tin my opinion the time has now come when you should signify your consent for the authorities of the nation to adopt preliminary steps for an alliance with the Confederate States upon terms honorable and advantageous to the Cherokee Nation.
After the deliver of the address of the principal chief and few pertinent and forcible remarks from Colonel Crawford, Cherokee agent, the meeting was organized by electing Joseph Vann, assistant principal chief, president, and William P. Ross, secretary. A recess was then had until after dinner, when the people again assembled together. Having been called to order, Pickens M. Benge, on behalf of the people, offered the following preamble and resolutions, which were read in the English and Cherokee languages:
Whereas we, the Cherokee people, have been voted by the executive of the Cherokee Nation, in compliance with the request of many citizens, to meet in general meeting, for the purpose of drawing more closely the bonds of friendship and sympathy which should characterize our conduct and mark our feelings toward search other in view of the difficulties and dangers which have arisen from the fearful condition of affairs among the people of the several States, and for the purpose of giving a free and frank expression of the rear sentiments we cherish toward each other, and of our true position I regard to questions which affect the general welfare, and particularly on that of the subject of slavery: Therefor bee it hereby.
Resolved, That we fully approve the neutrality recommended by the principal chief in the war pending between the United and the Confederate States, and tender to General McCulloch our thanks for the respect he has when to our position.
Resolved, That we renew the pledges given by the executive of this nation of the friendship of the Cherokees towards people of all the States, and particularly towards those on our immediate border, with whom our relations have ben harmonious and cordial, and from whom they should not be separated.
Resolved, That we also take occasion to renew to the Creeks, Choctaws, Seminoles, Chickasaws and Osages, and others, assurances of continued friendship and brotherly feeling.
Resolved, That we hereby disavow any wish or purpose to create or perpetuate any distinctions between the citizens of our country as to the full and mixed blood, but regard each and all as our brothers, and