War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0490 MO., ARK.,KANS., IND.T., AND DEPT.N.W. Chapter XXV.

Search Civil War Official Records

my proclamation to the people of the Cherokee Nation, reminding them of the obligations arising under their treaties with the United States, and urging them to the faithful observance of said treaties by the maintenance of peace and friendship toward the people of all the States.

The better to obtain these important ends, I earnestly impress upon all my fellow-citizens the propriety of attending to their ordinary avocations and abstaining from unprofitable discussion of events transpiring in the State and from partisan demonstrations in regard to the same.

They should not be alarmed by false reports thrown into circulation be designing men, but cultivate harmony among themselves and observe in good faith strict neutrality between the States threatening civil war. By these means alone can the Cherokee people hope to maintain their rights unimpaired and to have their own soil and firesides spared from the baleful effects of a devastating war. There has been no declaration of war between the opposing parties, and the conflict may yet be averted by compromise or a peaceful separation.

The peculiar circumstances of their condition admonish the Cherokees to the exercise of prudence in regard to a state of affairs to the existence of which they have in no way contributed; and they should avoid the performance of any act or the adoption of any policy calculated to destroy or endanger their territorial and civil rights. By honest adherence to this course they can give no just cause for aggression or invasion nor any pretext for making their country the scene of military operations, and will be in a situation to claim and retain all their rights in the final adjustment that will take place between the several States. For these reasons I earnestly impress upon the Cherokee people the importance of non-interference in the affairs of the people of the States and the observance of unswerving neutrality between them.

Trusting that God will not only keep from our own borders the desolations of war, but that He will in infinite mercy and power stay its ravages among the brotherhood of States.

Given under my hand at the executive office at Park Hill this 17th day of May, 1861.


Principal Chief Cherokee Nation.

[Inclosure No. 6.]


His Excellency JOHN ROSS,

Principal Chief Cherokee Nation:

SIR: It may now be regarded as almost certain that the States having slave property within their borders will, in consequence of repeated Northern aggression, separate themselves and withdraw from the Federal Government. South Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, and Louisiana have already, by action of the people, assumed this attitude. Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, and Maryland will probably pursue the same course by the 4th of March next.

Your people, in their institutions, productions, latitude, and natural sympathies, are allied to the common brotherhood of the slave-holding States.

Our people and yours are natural allies in war and friends in peace.