hope you will allow me to repeat what I did say. I informed you that I had taken a neutral position and would maintain it honestly, but that in case of a foreign invasion old as I am I would assist in repelling it. I have not signified any purpose as to an invasion of our soil and interference with our rights from the United States or Confederate States, because I have apprehended none and cannot give consent to any.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Principal Chief Cherokee Nation.
[Inclosure No. 14.]
FORT SMITH, June 12, 1861.
Hon. JOHN ROSS,
Principal Chief Cherokee Nation,
Brigadier General BEN. McCULLOCH,
Commanding Troops of Confederate States,* Fort Smith, Ark.:
SIR: As Commissioner of Indian Affairs of the Confederate States it was my intention to have called upon you and consulted as to the mutual interests of our people. Sickness has put it out of my power to travel, and those interests require immediate consideration,and therefore I have determined to write, and make what I think a plan statement of the case for your consideration, which I think stands thus: If we succeed in the South - succeed in this controversy, and I have no doubt of the fact,for we are daily gaining friends among the powers of Europe, and our people are arming with unanimity ever seen in the world before - then your lands, your slaves,and your separate nationality are secured and made perpetual, and in addition nearly all your debts are in Southern bonds, and these we will also secure. If the North succeeds you will most certainly lose all. First your slaves they will take from you; that is one object of the war, to enable them to abolish slavery in such manner and at such time as they choose. Another, and perhaps the chief cause,is to get upon your rich lands and settle their squatters, who do not like to settle in slave States. They will settle upon your lands as fast as they choose,and the Northern people will force their Government to allow it. It is true they may volley people small reserves - they give chiefs pretty large ones - but they will settle among your, overshadow you,and totally destroy the power of your chiefs and your nationality,and then trade your people out of the residence of their lands. Go North among the once powerful tribes of that country and see if you can find Indians living and enjoying power and property and liberty as do your people and the neighboring tribes from the South. If you can, then say I am a liar, and the Northern States have been better to the Indian than the Southern States. If you are obliged to admit the truth of what I say,then join us and preserve your people, their slaves,their vast possession in lands, and their nationality.
Another consideration is your debts, annuities, &c., school funds due you. Nearly all are in bonds of Southern States and held by the Government at Washington,and these debts are nearly all forfeited already by the act of war made upon the States by that Government. These we will secure you beyond question if you join us. If you join the North they are forever forfeited,and you have no right to believe that the Northern people would vote to pay you this forfeited debt. Admit
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