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(AMERICAN INDIANS.) William A. Phillips. Defense of the Cherokee Nation's right to sell land in Kansas. 4 printed pages, 9 1/4 x 6 inches, on one folding sheet, signed in type by Phillips "for the Cherokee Nation"; folds, minor foxing. [Kansas], circa 1868
William Addison Phillips (1824-1893) was born in Scotland and had been an anti-slavery journalist in Kansas, served as colonel of the Union Army's Cherokee regiment during the Civil War, and then worked as an attorney for the Cherokee Nation. He later served six years in Congress. In this circular letter addressed "To the Honorable, the Senate of the United States," he argues that the Cherokee held their land by patent rather than treaty: "Their title is as perfect as that to any property in this country. If it is to be called into question, there is an end of all security." The Cherokee sought to sell these excess lands to help support "nearly 800 orphans of war for the Union alone" and fund thirty English-language schools. The Senate sought to block the sale in favor of other investors including a railroad line. OCLC lists one copy of this letter, at Yale.
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