found to be the most important ever negotiated on behalf of the Cherokee Nation, and will mark a new era in its history. Without attempting a recapitulation of all its provisions, some of its distinguishing features may be briefly enumerated.
The relations of the Cherokee Nation are changed from the United to the Confederate States, with guarantees of protection and a recognition in future negotiations only of its constitutional authorities. The metes and boundaries, as defined by patent from the United States, are continued, and a guarantee given for the neutral land or a fair consideration in case it should be lost by war or negotiation, and an advance thereon to pay the national debt and to meet other contingencies. The payment of all our annuities and the security of all our investments are provided for. The jurisdiction of the Cherokee courts over all members of the nation, whether by birth, marriage, or adoption, is recognized.
Our title to our lands is placed beyond dispute. Our relations with the Confederate States is that of a ward; theirs to us that of a protectorate, with powers restricted. The district court, with a limited civil nd criminal jurisdiction, is admitted into the country instead of being located in Van Buren, as was the United States court. This is perhaps one of the most important provisions of the treaty, and secures to our own citizens the great constitutional right of trial by a jury of their vicinage, and releases them from the petty abuses and vexations of the old system, before a foreign jury and in a foreign country. It gives us a Delegate in Congress on the same footing with Delegates from the Territories, by which our interests can be represented; a right which has long been withheld from the nation and which has imposed upon it a large expense and great injustice. It also contains reasonable stipulation in regard to the appointing powers of the agent and in regard to licensed traders. The Cherokee Nation may be called upon to furnish troops for the defense of the Indian country, but is never to be taxed for the support of any war in which the States may be engaged.
The Cherokee people stand upon new ground. Let us hope that the clouds which overspread the land will be dispersed and that we shall prosper as we have never before done. New avenues to usefulness and distinction will be opened to the ingenuous youth of the country. Our rights of self-government will be more fully recognized, and our citizens be no longer dragged off upon flimsy pretexts, to be imprisoned and tried before distant tribunals. No just cause exists for domestic difficulties. Let them be buried with the past and only mutual friendship and harmony be cherished.
Our relations with the neighboring tribes are of the most friendly character. Let us see that the while path which leads from our country to theirs be obstructed by no act of ours, and that it be open to all those with whom we may be brought into intercourse.
Amid the excitement of the times it is to be hoped that the interests of education will not be allowed to suffer and that no interruption be brought into the usual operations of the government. Let all its officers continue to discharge their appropriate duties.
As the services of some of your members may be required elsewhere and all unnecessary expense should be avoided, I respectfully recommend that the business of the session be promptly discharged.
Tahlequah, N. C., October 9, 1861.