The Act Of Union Of 1839
"Act of Union Between the
Eastern And Western Cherokees"


WHEREAS, our fathers have existed as a separate and distinct Nation, in the possession and exercise of the essential and appropriate attributes of sovereignty, from a period extending into antiquity, beyond the records and memory of man; and whereas, these attributes, with the rights and franchises which they involve, remain still in full force and virtue; as do also the national and social relations of the Cherokee people to each other, and to the body politic, excepting in those particulars which have grown out of the provisions of the treaties of 1817 and 1819, between the United States and the Cherokee Nation, under which a portion of our people removed to this country, and became a separate community, (but the force of circumstances have recently compelled the body of the Eastern Cherokees to remove to this country, thus bringing together again the two branches of the ancient Cherokee family) it has become essential to the general welfare that a Union should be formed and a system of government matured, adapted to their present condition, and providing equally for the protection of each individual in the enjoyment of all his rights.

Therefore, we, the people composing the

Eastern and Western Cherokee Nation, in national convention assembled, by virtue of our original unalienable rights, do hereby solemnly and mutually agree to form ourselves into one bodypolitic, under the style and title of the CHEROKEE NATION.

In view of the Union now formed, and for the purpose of making satisfactory adjustments of all unsettled business which may have arisen before the consummation of this Union, we agree that such business shall be settled according to the provisions of the respective laws under which it originated, and the courts of the Cherokee Nation shall be governed in their decisions accordingly. Also, that the delegation authorized by the Eastern Cherokees to make arrangements with Major General Scott, for their removal to this country, shall continue in charge of that business, with their present powers, until it shall be finally closed. And, also, that all rights and titles to public Cherokee lands on the east or west of the river Mississippi, with all other public interests which may have vested in either branch of the Cherokee family, whether inherited from our fathers or derived from any other source, shall henceforth vest entire and unimpaired in the Cherokee Nation, as constituted by this Union.

Given under our hands, at Illinois Camp-ground, this 12th day of July, 1839.

By order of the National Convention.GEORGE LOWREY, President of the Eastern Cherokees.

GEORGE GUESS, his {X} mark, President of the Western Cherokees.

EASTERN CHEROKEES

R. TAYLOR, V.P. JAMES BROWN, V.P. TE-KE-CHU-LAS-KEE, V.P. GEORGE HICKS, JOHN BENGE, THOMAS FOREMAN, ARCHIBALD CAMPBELL, JESSE BUSHYHEAD LEWIS ROSS, EDWARD GUNTER TE-NAH-LA-WE-STAH, STEPHEN FOREMAN, DANIEL McCOY, By order of the National Convention,

JOHN ROSS Principal Chief, Eastern Cherokees.

GOING SNAKE Speaker of the Council.

WESTERN CHEROKEES

TOBACCO WILL, V.P. DAVID MELTON, V.P. JOHN DREW, V.P. GEORGE BREWER, THOMAS CANDY, MOSES PARRIS, JAMES CAMPBELL, LOONEY RILEY, CHARLES GOURD, LEWIS MELTON, YOUNG WOLFE, CHARLES COODY, AH-STO-LA-TA, JACK SPEARS, LOONEY PRICE,By order of the National Convention,

August 23d, 1839.

JOHN LOONEY, his [X] mark. Acting Principal Chief, Western Cherokees.The foregoing instrument was read, considered, and approved by us, this 23d day of August, 1839.

AARON PRICE, MAJOR PULLUM, YOUNG ELDERS, DEER TRACK, YOUNG PUPPY, TURTLE FIELDS, JULY, THE EAGLE, THE CRYING BUFFALO,

And a great number of respectable old settlers and late emigrants too numerous to be copied.