Abraham Lincoln to John Ross, Thursday, September 25, 1862.
Washington, Sept. 25, 1862
Your letter of the 16th. Ins t. was received two days ago. In the multitude of duties cares claiming my constant attention I have been unable to examine and determine the exact treaty relations between the United States and the Cherokee Nation. Neither have I been able to investigate and determine the exact state of facts claimed by you as constituting a failure of treaty obligation on our part, and justifying or excusing, the Cherokee Nation to make for making a treaty with a portion of the people of the United States in open rebellion against the government thereof— This letter, therefore, must not be understood to decide anything upon these questions. I shall, however, cause a careful investigation of them to be made— Meanwhile the Cherokee people remaining practically loyal to the federal Union will receive all the protection which can be given them consistently with the duty of the government to all parts of the the whole country. No more than this can safely be promised, even to the loyal white people of Missouri, or other border states— I sincerely hope the Cherokee country may not again be over-run by the enemy; and I shall do all I consistently can to prevent it.
Your Obt. Servt.