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Doc. 15.-John Ross's proclamation.

I, John Ross, principal Chief, hereby issue this 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, and peace and friendship toward the people of all the States. The better to attain these important ends, I earnestly impress on all my fellow-citizens the propriety of attending to their ordinary avocations, and to abstain from political discussions of the events transpiring in the States, and from partisan demonstrations in regard to the same.

They should not be alarmed with false reports, thrown into circulation by designing men, but cultivate harmony among themselves, and observe good faith and strict neutrality between the States threatened with civil war. With these means alone can the Cherokee people hope to maintain their own rights unimpaired, and have their own soil and firesides spared from the hateful effects of devastating war, There has not been a declaration of war between the opposing parties, and the conflict may yet be avoided with a compromise or a peaceable 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. With an honest adherence to this course, they can [146] give no just cause for aggression or invasion, nor any pretence for making their country the scene of military oppression, and will be in a situation to claim all their rights in the final adjustment that will take place between the several States.

For these reasons I earnestly urge on the Cherokee people the importance of non-interference with 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 desolation of war, but that He will, in His infinite mercy and honor, stay its ravages among the brotherhood of the States.

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

John Ross, Principal Chief.

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