The 1839 Constitution of the Cherokee Nation

Cherokee Translation
The Cherokee Observer On-Line


hEjxe, 2srkg #sp3.

eW;[3eV #4v'm 2d )vf[3eV 20m
2srkg, ]f0 q4Pj]'m tg, 2d aH 2Bf #-V'm tg, m2 t=je, rkg 2Bf #7VL3, 4jg 39je,
2G, rkgo ^gr% 2Bf CgkuOm YL3, #[yf b9cx #jw{mje YL3, 2d CYt, h;He ^hwMf YL3, [sYL -O0p ^Oej[ #w7fje 2d 2fIfje 2w'weje YL3, #w'%9 YL #[u9 avg s[4x3, 4jg 3{hx0eo Chfjc;w0n, 2d ^t]{Un ^gjv;eo 2d ^g0eo 4jg 3{hx0eo, 4H 4jg [sYL -O0n 2d ^tjwoen m2 4jg hEjxe 4jg e0;7e 2s rkgo.

wwmV  I.

#wX[ 1.   2S5x v[E]s7; 2s rkgo 4jgH YUje ecDm tg W-Ix wNmjx 1833 #v%GaeL3, q4Nmj]'m 2syts, [ys0Hjejgs-' YUje 4jg 3ix0e oshfje 4H ^jx 4'0; 2srkg 2syts- 2j8xm sYL4 tg eh;ujw0e YL3.
#wX[ 2.   hw 2srkg #sp3 'yjvje #sr% #4Mf YUje, cQjejgs wx0; 4"s, 2d tbsn rkgo 20m 2slGun 4jg q-V'm, 2d b9cx 3ix0;m 4" ows0;, 2e4 m2 s#jvje 4jg 2s rkgo 20m, #4Mfhi tg 2d hYtgze sYL4 tg cQje wx0; 4jg W03j]'m tg 2s m2 2i7;3, D$ 2d Bf e[ys4e'e oYUje cQje b4x0;3, 2syts D$ 2d jhbg vYaeL ytso, 2d g5H ytso zm, 2d 4jH, 39- 3;m9 2s rkgo zm 9w'L #"D 9B' 9=cO 2s rkgo, 2d 3;mV 2Bf #7VL 4" zm o=fj]', shD #Mfhi #p3, 2d rkgo zm 39x0fwje YL #p #{3UIje, m2 2e4 =jvje 2wdje,
4jg 2Bf eskug #sIje eW"yxje #-Veo [ys6tTe YL 2d shD #4Mf 39fj%Teo rkgo 20m #sp3, 4sD g53, 3;m9 94bf rkgo #s6tTeo, 4jg c(f [e ows]{Un 2Bf eskugo D#s6tTeo.
2d 4jg 2Bf eskug #sIje eW"yxje #-Veo m2 39je #b;e 2d b9ce, 20fjYje 2'ejYje 2sl4as9 YL3, 4jg qs{j7w0eo rkgo 20m q4Mffwjeo vh;ujw0; #s0HMeoH #[yf.

wwmV  II.

#wX[ 1.   m2 4jg 2Bf #7VL eh;ujw0e YL C3 =wzje qMfx YL3 eW"yxje 2-Vjg, #s[u9m,
e=cejg-.
#wX[ 2.   D$ g53 m2 4jg aH #7VL #7rf e[y;ujw0e oYUje eT3 wp eh;ujw0e YL3, 2 #yL q9ce ecDm 2d 2fjc;]'m YL3.wwmV  III.
#wX[ 1.   eW"yxje 2-Vjg ]f =4wXYje. h;ke eskug, 2d zke eskug, 3h(je- YL eW"yxje 2f0[ m2 =jvje, ^t0g 2Bf Ctkug.
#wX[ 2.   2Bf eskug eW"yxje [e #4x'3j7e YUje 2S53wje 2s rkgo, q0k 3hbg 3e[0eo, 2d ^s )yEeeL b9ce 90fL aH 2d ]f e[ys0Hje YUje.
#wX[ 3.   h;ke eskug 2s]f s7w9s'je YUje eskug jhbg vYaeL3, zke- eskug 2sC3 s7w9s'je YUje jhbg vYaeL3 q4RBje YUje 4jg BfH [y4wRBje YL 4" jhbg e0m, ]f qv%Gx eskug YUje, q4wxBje YUje 4" jhbg vYaeL 39jen ]f 4v%ojYje, 4m9 YL 2d 4" YL eW"yxje [e 2U;m YUje.
2Bf eskug cm #v%GaeL h5T'n, swv%mL qsku3je YUje 3[ooH #47wH'm bs-e Wdje, 4" #4U;m YL 2Bf eskug 2d cQje #fjYx ifof7n, =[u9L #[u9L [yUje YUje.
#wX[ 4.   jhbg vYL 2s swS537;4 YL3, q4wRBje oshfjen 4sDH #s03je YUje 4 [y4wRBje YL s[4xH rkgo w4RBj[ 4sD 2Bf qs;ujw0m.
3[oo q4wRBje YL w4RBj[ 2Bf qs;ujw0m 2s 2Bf #7VL3. #s[u9m, #s[u9m esjvfjg, 2Bf eskug, e=cejg, 2d e4wsojg, wf8 q4wRBje YUje, 2l swsBfj[4 m2 4jg #sr% twskuD, 3cmx- qs;ujw0e YL 4sD 2Bf qs;ujw0m eRBx YL 2l 4fo5mp4 3[oo #47wH'm bs-e W; 1839,  2Nij7e YUje, hEjxeo 2x'3jx qs;ujw0e YL 2P'wej[ YhRwdsjg 3[o- #47wH'm bs-e W;3 1839  yj%.
#wX[ 5.   D$ g53 Bf 2Bf ehkug 3[yfj7e 2 #yL 4t4$D4 2rkg 2jhi rkgo zm, mjgC0 39v%Gx og. 2srkg 2sjhi q0t, 4sD 2sYG seYt4$D4 2s["Y #'L 4jg 4 qshGfY #40kxm e4Mm 394x0e YL3, 4jgi eW"yxje s['3 2s rkgo 2p3, 4jg #4Mf YUje shD b9cx 2d 394x0fwje YL 2s rkgo 2p3, 4jgi #4Mfhi q0t og. D$ g5 2["Y 2d 2w5sY qhGfY og #7w 2d #t o4g, 2Bf q;ujw0m 3[yfj7e oYUje, cQje [yx7e YL3, 2d hGwe;H7e YL3, 2s m2 2Bf #7VL3.
#wX[ 6.   24wxBjg 2d 2Bf eskug scm;H hYtsGe sYL4 YUje 3cmx 207p w4wRBj[3, 2d 2Bf wskuD3, 4jH 20[ 4"s 2d 7e20[3, 2 #yL #sjh'Om og 2Bf qsh%;x og, 2d 'y7mix 2p #s{j]'m og.
#wX[ 7.   shDH w4wRBj[ #sre Gu, 24wRBj[ #'L #s03je YUje.
4sD seYt4$D4 2sjhi rkgo 20m, 0kb 4H 394v%Gx 4jH #sIje #s03jeo shD 2Bf w4wRGj[.
#wX[ 8.   3qk wsiD 2Bf eskug q=c7e YUje #[yf BfH e[ys;ujw0e YL, 2d #[yf c(f q6Om cm9ejg q4wgGm YL #'L q4Mf wsiD eskug, 2d #sIje eW"yxje #-Veo 394x0fwjeo bs;ujw0p3, #sIje #sjxej7eo 4" Yk ehkug #y%s o4x0n, 2d C3 394w3 ^l9 #sB;'m og [ysae'e YUje 4" Yk ehkug,D$ 2e4 ]f 3[yjxeje oYUje aH =jh'O3.
#wX[ 9.   3qk wsiD 2Bf eskug, 4H qskuOm YUje, q4RBje YUje q4Mf 2Bf qs;ujw0m, #S 4sYje 3qk wsiD BfH e[ys;ujw0e YUje, 2sh{fH- og e[ysBfmjeH YUje sbgOsL3 2d 2U #s6mjeo 3e[y'0e #sc0; eskug, m2 3h3 #sjxeje YUje #0fLm og 3qk wsiD3.
#wX[ 10.   2Bf eskug 2slGun YL eYt0e YUje uwgje 2Bf 2v; eeo C3 2v;m lh YhEGze v#s;ujw0;3 3cmx #07; 2Bf wskuD3, m2 jgs- 4 s#jvje, 4jg h0Hje 2d [h{keje YUje eW"yxje [e, D$jgs-' h0SGx YL cQje [7e oYUje 3cmx v#s;ujw0p 2Bf eskug, 4jg #s0SGx YL3.
#wX[ 11.   2Bf eskug eW"yxje #-Ve YUje 4jg 4 c(f #*Ve YL 2d 3[0eo c(5eo q4wRBjeo [sYL 3[0m, 4jg eWflTeo wP'wej[ 3qk wsiD 2Bf eskug #4wX[3.
#wX[ 12.   2slGun 20; 2Bf eskugo 2lH sbs;ujw0p4, m2 39s(ke YUje 24Ufxj[3, 2G h;He9 t0h, 4jg D$RBx tg D$ w8EGp r'ehfj7en, w8wQ'3, 2d 2N=Ix 2F]'m 2d sb9cx4 48x0; 2FL YL 2d g5 et0M;m 4jg 394x0eo o'ehfj7en, 4jg- hw'@j[ BfH 48x0; s[' hEjxe etkug 39fj7eo, 2d 4jg shD cQje W-Ie YL3, 2d eh;ujw0e YL 2g6Mp3, 2g03je YUje 2d 4jg 3i8x0e YUje 2d 4jg m2 #S 3h3 ha7Bg ^jx YL 2s rkgo Yfj[3, 2d #7m9mi 2gj8sc7e 2d 2g;H7e m2 4jg 2Bf #7VL3, 2d 48fs[[ 2F7e
2gjv;e YUje 2d 28eLje YUje hEjxe 2s rkgo 2p3.
#wX[ 13.   D$ g53 qbcw0;m #x' #jh'Om YL 2Bf q;ujw0m 3[yfj7e oYUje, 2d hBt0Me oYUje cQje h;He eh;ujw0e YL3, cQje 2yx7e YL3, 2d cQje YL 2s rkgo.
#wX[ 14.   2Bf eskug #sIje shDH eW"yxje #-Veo 4jg #b;e9 2d ^l9 39y0m 2s rkgo i0fn, 4jg eh%dg sYL4 og m2 4jg hEjxe.
#wX[ 15.   2Bf eskug 2U eW'yxje qs5mj7e YUje, #b;e9 2d b9cx 20fjYje, 4jg e[7e eEc7e qwd'x =4fjw0p3, 4jg #'LH e4wof7m q4RBx YL3, 39- g5 i4RBn 4jg 3ix0eo 3[0eo qwd'x =4fjw0p3.
#wX[ 16.   D$ iIje eW"yxje 2s rkgm wp eh4mj7eo, 2Bf eskug #'L, 2d 4jg #4fjc;k'm YL3.
#wX[ 17.   D$ eW"yxje 2l0g [ys5mj7e oYUje, 2d eW"yxje 2{jejg ew0M;m YL3.
#wX[ 18.   2Bf eskug #sIje eW"yxje q-Veo 2Bf 2EGeo 2d hSTeo, 4jg #[yf #cmjeo 2Bf 2fjv;7e.
#wX[ 19.   shD c(f eW"yxje 3ehfjejg 2v; e0;jg, h;ke eskugo ewdpjYje, zkejgs-' eskug [y-VmTe YUje, 2d [ys{3Ue YUje, shx- eT3 c(f eW"yxje 3ehfjejg 3qkH- wsiD s7w[ywde YUje, T3oj s- esiD ^l #sB;e 2d [ys{3Ue YUje.
#wX[ 20.   shD W-Ix eNmj]'m ews;Om YL )wc4xx h;He9 eW"yxje YUje 2s hw 2p3, 2d 2Bf eskug #'Lm9 #sIje q=c7eo =jx hx[ W-Ix wNmjx3.
#wX[ 21.   zke eskug #'Lm9 #sIje q=uj7eo 2Bf qs;ujw0m. shD eofwje shfjej[ YE3je h;ke eskug qsofwje YUje. 4jg- #[yf 4H wskuzje, eskug #4Uf]'m YUje, D$ 2d g5 qbcw0e oYUje [s C3 394wxm YL ]f 394w3 ^l9 #sB;'m YUje, 4jg eskug 4m9 wskuD3.
#wX[ 22.   =[u9L #[u9m, ]f0 #[u9m, 2d shx 2Bf qs;ujw0m hYtofwje YUje #r%s =4x0; 2p qs;ujw0e YL3, 2U- b4bcw0; 4jg #r%s =4x0; D$ #5Lj7e oYUje Ytae'eo 2d Yt{j7w0eo YhLh57eo 2Bf eh;ujw0e YL h;He YL3, hYhY'eje YL3, 2d h[ys0HMe YL 2Bf #7VL 2s rkgo.
4jg 4 2tof7;m, qbcw0;m og 2d #bwdx og, 2U hBhkR5e, hBtofwje, ehBEcw0e, hBtjxej7e YUje 4jgi s[' eW"Oxje.wwmV  IV.
#wX[ (section) 1.   )wc4xx h;ke eh;ujw0e YL rkgo, =[u9L #[u9m #Lhdje 4jg m2 4t(UIje, =[u9L #[u9m 2srkgo.
      =[u9L #[u9m 'g qv%Gx #Lhdje q;ujw0e YUje 4 Bf [t4wRBje YL3 4m9H 3h 2d 4" q4RBje YL 2Bf eskug.
      cm9ejg- c(f 2hRBx YL =[u9L #[u9m, wjbIje, hb3eV- b7D vc(dje qw%43 h;ke wskuD3, 4jg qjb3je  2d q-r5e YUje wskuD 2Bf eskug. 4jg- #S 3is3 [yU;m 4jg =[u9L #[u9m YUje, 39jgs 2s]f 2d #S 3is3 #NoH og, 2d #S 3is3 [y4U;m og, 2lGu 4jg [y4RBje q4Pj]'m 3qk wsiD 2Bf eskug. 3[0eo- eEc7eo 2eLmx b4RBL, eW"yxje 2UmIje 39fj]swjeo.
#wX[ 2.   D$ g53 =[u9L #[u9m 3[yfj7e oYUje 2 #yL rkgo Vmi og, D$ 2d g5 =[u9L #[u9m 3[yfj7e oYUje C2jcm mjg 39v%Gx sYL4 og.
#wX[ 3.   4jH #4RBje 3YUje 4m9H 4 [y4wRBje YL #NoH 394x0e YUje #4RBje 'g qv%Gx q;ujw0eo, ]f0 #[u9m 4jg C2jcm mjg 39v%Gx og.
#wX[ 4.   39- 3;m9 itWpL =[u9L #[u9m, 2d 9{QL, 2d ob{LH 2d Bf 3[yx0e sYL4 o=fj]' =jx q;ujw0e YL #[u9m, 4H ]f0 #[u9m q;ujw0e YUje [s 2Cj7j[ 2px YUje, 2d #P'x #sWfla'm YUje 2Bf eskug.
#wX[ 5.   2Bf eskug [y-Ve YUje eW"yxje #[yf YtWpje YL3, #s{QLm YL3 qs{Lm YL3, 2d Bf e[yt;ujw0e sYL4 =fj]'3 =jx 2p qs;ujw0e YL 3qkn =[u9L #[u9m, 2d ]f0 #[u9m, [sYL 4'0Ije 4jg YL 2Bf qs;ujw0m shfjej[ =[u9L #[u9m q;ujw0e YL3, [s 2Cj7j[ 2px o=fj]', 2d =[u9L #[u9m 2RBx o=fj]'.
#wX[ 6.   ;ujw0;3, 4jg D$ h0Hje 2d [h{keje oYUje 3cmx YhRBL qs;ujw0eo, 2d 4m9 YL 'ywd #s0HMm rkg 2Bf #7VL h[ys0e oYUje, D$ 2d 'ywd 2Bf #7VL3.
#wX[ 7.   =[u9L #[u9m 2l 4dsj[4 sb;ujw0p4 YUje 2p q;ujw0e YL, m2 39(je #Uf7e YUje, "h;He9 t0h, 4jg 2G ^jx eg;ujw0e =jx qs;ujw0e YL =[u9m 2s rkgo zm, 2d 48sf[[ 2F7e 2gj8sc7e 2gjv;3, 2d 28eLje tjvfj[ hEjxe rkg #sp3.
#wX[ 8.   39- 3;m9 cQje #j8sce ifof7n, #[u9m, 2Bf eskug e[ykuejeH YUje 2Bf #7VL qsku3jeo.
#wX[ 9.   3GxnH [sYL 3qy0e YUje 2Bf eskug =jeb[ 2Bf ' 7VL3, 2d [sYL 3qy0e YUje qwd'x #4haij7e #b;e9 2B;j[3.
#wX[ 10.   #haij7e YUje eW"yxje wp 2Wf3 eha7Gw 39fj7eo.
#wX[ 11.   2U #(wje YUje jhbg vYaeL3, h{fY YL 2U aH 39(wje 39jen ]f 4v%ojYje, #[ydje #7dAmjeo =jev[ s[4x3.
#wX[ 12.   ]f0  #[u9m, 'ehfj7ejYje =jx #Lh; q;ujw0e YL 2jvfjYje 2d 2f-IjYje =[u9L #[u9m #[yf ha7oL, 2Bf #7VL3 scm;H 3cmx #Lh; q;ujw0e YL3.
#wX[ 13.   wP'wejYje 2Bf qs;ujw0m 20p3, 2Bf eskug qs0Me ts[', =[u9L #[u9m qWflTe YUje, 4m9 swskuD4 Yl 2Bf eskug, c(f vh'0Ije b0M;3, 4jg- c(f vhf*Yje wsBfjYjeH ]f0 y4'' 2Bf eskug.
#wX[ 14.   shD c(f eW"yxje 3ehfjejg 3qk wsiD 2Bf eskug, q5Lm YUje 2l eW"yxje sehfjej[4, =[u9L #[u9m yt'0e YUje, 39- ^l ysB;', #*(5e YUje v#7D 4"s^l9- =B;'4 3YUje )Oj7e YUje 2fNijejYje shfj7ej[ zjh 2B;j[3, ub'0e YUje 4" esiD qwd'3, 4jg 4 wskuD #-(5e YUje shx 'ehfj7ej[ zjh 2B;j[3 #]-m c(fm #s4D3, 4H-#4w'@mTe YUje, 39- 4H #4w'@ma'm YL, C3 394wxm YL ]f 394w3 4" #4wX[ ^l9 9sB;' #s5mj7eo eW"yxje 3hfjejg, )s'e YUje 'ehfj7ej[ #fNije zjh 2sB;j[ T3o esiD3, 4jH 4" 2siD #4w'@mTe YUje ^l9- 9sB;' C3 394wxm YL ]f 394w3 4" #4wX[ ^l9 9sB;' #s5mj7eo eW"yxje 3hfjejg, )s'e YUje 'ehfj7ej[ #fNije zjh 2sB;j[ T3o esiD3, 4jH 4" 2siD #4w'@mTe YUje ^l9- ysB;' C3 394wxm YL ]f 394w3 4" wskuD3, 4H eW"yxje shfjejYje. 39- eW"yxje 3hfjejg c(f  'q''4 3YUje =[u9L #[u9m, o=fj]s7.
o=fj]s7; 2U eW"yxje shfjejYje, 39jgs-' ]f0 y4'Dj[ eskug C3H 3h zjh qyEx [y4''m eh'DjYje.
#wX[ 15.   20k 2Bf eskugo, 2d 4sDH 2Bf qs;ujw0m, #s[u9m 2d e=cejg o4g, 24bw;DjYje 24Ufxj[3 #sjv;eo hEjxe 2p 2s  rkgo, 2d 394x0eo 2p E4M;s qs;ujw0e YL b9cx3.
#wX[ 16.   39-  ow4hdsn ]f swsiD 2Bf eskug, 39 qsBmjeo YL #[yf, =[u9L#[u9m #Ije qBfj7eo 3cmxH zfj[3, 39 2e4 sh5Ljej[4 3YUje hEjxe 2U;m YL ]f0 qsku3jeo YL3.
#wX[ 17.   =[u9L #[u9m 4m9 wskuD 2Bf eskug 2U 2h]yvYje 2Bf ehku3jeo
2Bf ehku3jeo.
#wX[ 18.   #s[u9m esjvfjg #4ve YUje mjg 3isx, 2Bf eskug q4RBje YUje, 4jg =[u9L #[u9m 2Wf3 #Lhdje qkuejeo shxh zfjYje, 4jg- #[u9m, 2d ]f0 #[u9m, 2d  #s[u9m esjvfjg, 2d 2Bf #5Lje 3is3 og 4jg, 3GxnH e[ysku3je YUje #[yf q=c7eo shfj]s7p rkgo 4jgi eW"yje s['3, 2Bfjgs-' eskug #sIje #sh{kejeo 4sD3 39- ^l9 9sB;' 4H #sj8xm YUje 3cmx qs;ujw0e YL 3[oo YhRBL3, wsh{kej[ C3 39s3jeo YUje.
#wX[ 19.   #s[u9m esjvfjg ]f qv%Gx 3cmx qs;ujw0eo YhRBje YUje.
#wX[ 20.   =jx v#s;uj]w0; #s[u9m esjvfjg c(5e YUje #x-m c(fm, 2d v#47D q-(5e YUje 4"s ^l9 2sB;jg, 4jg- c(; 2Bf eskug 3qkH wsiD [ysk{je YUje, 2d g5H #[u9m 2jvfjg [sYL 3[y0e YUje #T'Mp 2Bf #5Lje 3is3 =jx v#s;ujw0;3.
#wX[ 21.   2v;2h%i rkg #4Mfh #4RBje YUje q4Pj]'m YL 3qk wsiD 2Bf eskug, 'g qv%Gx qs;ujw0eo.
#wX[ 22.   2v;2h%i 2lH 4dsj[4 sbs;ujw0p4 q;ujw0e YL3, c(f #'e YUje rkg 2Bf #7VL 2b;0p3, #fNije ]f [yxw0m ^l9 qsB;'m 2Bf eskug, 4jg 2bw;DjYje b9cx 39x0eo b;ujw0p =jx 2hY'G3.
#wX[ 23.   2v; D$ ue[gje oYUje wp 2v; eeo, [s 2v; eUmj7e c(f []'m =[uj9L #[u9m YL3, 2d 4jg o'ehfj7en eW"yxje [e e0k'm  YL3.
#wX[ 24.   2v;2h%i 2U qws;3je YUje =4wdL 2Bf 20m 2v;, 2d 2Wf3 [sYL 39y0e YUje 3h3 wt0; 2d 3h3 cQje by0; 2Bf 20m 2v;, swsv%GmL qsku3je 2Bf eskug [sYL 3qy0e YUje.wwmV  V.
#wX[ 1.   eEc7eo eh;ujw0eo YL #4Lhdje q4]4 e=cejg, 2d 24v{m
e=cejg, 2d q4je e=cejg, 4jg 2Bf eskug 3Gxn w=cejYje ehceo.
#wX[ 2.   q4]' e=cejg 2d 24v{m e=cejg 'g qv%Gx Y 0Me YUje qs;ujw0eo, 2U- hYtWpjeH 4" qs;ujw0e 2p3,  39-  9s]{; C3 394w3 xm ]f 394w3 3qk wsiD 2Bf eskug 4jg #[yf 9s]{U; =[u9L #[u9m.
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7g;ujwl ^gre 7tkuD3 wf8, rkgo, Rwf0 3h bfje 1839.
rt 2gf, (George Lowrey)
qw%"3 #sre wskuD3.


The 1839 Constitution of the Cherokee Nation


English Translation
The Cherokee Observer On-Line


The Eastern and Western Cherokees having again re-united and become one body politic, under the style and title of the Cherokee Nation: Therefore,
We, the people of the Cherokee Nation, in National Convention assembled, in order to establish justice, insure tranquility, promote the common welfare, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of freedom acknowledging, with humility and gratitude, the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe in permitting us so to do, and imploring His aid and guidance in its accomplishment do ordain and establish this Constitution for the government of the Cherokee Nation.

Article I.

Sec. 1. The boundary of the Cherokee Nation shall be that described in the Treaty of 1833 between the United States and Western Cherokees, subject to such extension as may be made in the adjustment of the unfinished business with the United States.

Sec. 2. The lands of the Cherokee Nation shall remain common property; but the improvements made thereon, and in the possession of the citizens of the Nation, are th exclusive and in indefeasible property of the citizens respectively who made, or may rightfully be in possession of them: Provided, That the citizens of the Nation possessing exclusive and indefeasible right to their improvements, as expressed in this article, shall possess no right or power to dispose of their improvements, in any manner whatever, to the United States, individual States, or to individual citizens thereof; and that, whenever any citizen shall remove with his effects out of the limits of this Nation, and become a citizen of any other Government, all his rights and privileges as a citizen of this Nation shall cease: Provided, nevertheless, That the National Council shall have power to re-admit, by law, to all the rights of citizenship, any such person or persons who may, at any time, desire to return to the Nation, on memorializing the National Council for such readmission.

Article II.

Sec. 1. The power of the Government shall be divided into three distinct departments the Legislative, the Executive, and the Judicial.

Sec. 2. No person or persons belonging to one of these departments shall exercise any of the powers properly belonging to either of the others, except in the cases hereinafter expressly directed or permitted.

Article III.

Sec. 1. The Legislative power shall be vested in two distinct branches a National Committee, and Council; and the style of their acts shall be it enacted by the National Council.

Sec. 2. The National Council shall make provision, by law, for laying off the Cherokee Nation into eight (8) Districts; and if subsequently it would be deemed expedient, one or two may be added thereto.

Sec. 3. The National Committee shall consist of two members from each District, and the Council shall consist of three members from each District, to be chosen by the qualified electors in their respective Districts for two years; the election to be held in the respective Districts every two years, at such; times and place as may be directed by law.

The National Council shall, after the present year, be held annually, to be convened on the first Monday in October, at such place as may be designated by the National Council, or, in case of emergency, by the Principal Chief.

Sec. 4. Before the Districts shall be laid off, any election which may take place shall be by GENERAL VOTE of the electors throughout the Nation for all offices to be elected.

The first election for all the officers of the government Chiefs, Executive Council, members of the National Council, Judges and Sheriffs shall be held at Tah-le-quah before the rising of this Convention; and the term of service of all officers elected previous to the first Monday in October 1839, shall be extended to embrace, in addition to the regular constitutional term, the time intervening from their election to the first Monday in October, 1839.

Sec. 5. No person shall be eligible to a seat in the National Council but a free Cherokee male citizen who shall have attained to the age of twenty-five (25) years.
The descendants of Cherokee men by free women except the African race, whose parents may have been living together as man and wife, according to the customs and laws of this Nation, shall be entitled to all the rights and privileges of this Nation, as well as the posterity of Cherokee women by all free men. No person who is of negro or mulatto parentage, either by the father or mother's side, shall be eligible to hold any office of profit, honor, or trust under this Government.

Sec. 6. The electors and members of the National Council shall in all cases, except those of treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at elections, and at the National Council, in going to and returning.
Sec. 7. In all elections by the PEOPLE, the electors shall vote viva voce. [word of mouth]

All free male citizens, who shall have attained to the age of eighteen (18) years shall be equally entitled to vote at all public elections.
Sec. 8. Each branch of the National Council shall judge of the qualifications and returns of its own members; and determine the rules of its proceedings; punish a member for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds (2/3), expel a member; but not a second time for the same offense.

Sec. 9. Each branch of the National Council, when assembled, shall choose its own officers; a majority of each shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day and compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalty as each branch may prescribe.

Sec. 10. The members of the National Council, shall each receive from the public Treasurer a compensation for their services which shall be three dollars per day during their attendance at the National Council; and the members of the Council shall each receive three dollars per day for their services during their attendance at the National Council, provided that the same may be increased or diminished by law, but no alteration shall take effect during the period of service of the members of the National Council by whom such alteration may have been made.

Sec. 11. The National Council shall regulate by law by whom and in what manner, writs of elections shall be issued to fill the vacancies which may happen in either branch thereof.

Sec. 12. Each member of the National Council, before he takes his seat, shall take the following oath, or affirmation: I, A. B. do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be,) that I have not obtained my election by bribery, treats, or any undue and unlawful means used by myself or others by my desire or approbation for that purpose; that I consider myself constitutionally qualified as a member of, and that on all questions and measures which may come before me I will so give my vote and so conduct myself as in my judgment shall appear most conducive to the interest and prosperity of this Nation, and I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, and to the utmost of my ability and power observe, conform to, support and defend the Constitution thereof.

Sec. 13. No person who may be convicted of felony shall be eligible to any office or appointment of honor, profit, or trust within this Nation.

Sec. 14. The National Council shall have the power to make all laws and regulations which they shall deem necessary and proper for the good of the Nation, which shall not be contrary to this Constitution.

Sec. 15. It shall be the duty of the National Council to pass such laws as may be necessary and proper decide differences by arbitration, to be appointed by the parties, who may choose that summary mode of adjustment.

Sec. 16. No power of suspending the laws of this Nation shall be exercised, unless by the National Council or its authority.
Sec. 17. No retrospective law, nor any law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall be passed.

Sec. 18. The National Council shall have power to make laws for laying and collecting taxes, for the purpose of raising a revenue.

Sec. 19. All bills making appropriations shall originate in the National Committee, but the Council may propose amendments or reject the same; all other bills may originate in either branch, subject to the concurrence or rejection of the other.

Sec. 20. All acknowledged treaties shall be the Supreme laws of the land, and the National Council shall have the sole power of deciding on the construction of all Treaty stipulations.

Sec. 21. The Council shall have the sole power of impeaching. All impeachments shall be tried by the National Committee. When setting for that purpose the member shall be upon oath or affirmation; and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds (2/3) of the members present.

Sec. 22. The Principal Chief, assistant Principal Chief, and all Civil officers shall be liable to impeachment for misdemeanor in office; but judgment in such cases shall not be extended further that removal from office and disqualification to hold an office of honor, trust, or profit under the Government of this Nation.

The Party, whether convicted or acquitted, shall nevertheless, be liable to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment according to law.

Article IV.

Sec. 1. The Supreme Executive Power of this Nation shall be vested in a Principal Chief, who shall be styled the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

The Principal Chief shall hold his office for the term of four (4) years; and shall be elected by the qualified electors on the same day and at the places where they shall respectively vote for members of the National Council.

The returns of the election for Principal Chief shall be sealed up and directed to the President of the National Committee, who shall open and publish them in the presence of the National Council assembled. The person having the highest number of votes shall be Principal Chief; but if two or more shall be equal and highest in votes, one of them shall be chosen by joint vote of both branches of the Council. The manner of determining contested elections shall be directed by law.

Sec. 2. No person except a natural born citizen shall be eligible to the office of Principal Chief; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained the age of thirty-five (35) years.

Sec. 3. There shall also be chosen at the same time by the qualified electors in the same manner for four years, an assistant Principal Chief, who shall have attained to the age of Thirty-Five (35) years.

Sec. 4. In case of the removal of the Principal Chief from office, or of his death or resignation, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of the said office, the same shall devolve on the assistant Principal Chief until the disability be removed or the vacancy filled by the National Council.

Sec. 5. The National Council may by law provide for the case of removal, death, resignation, or disability of both the Principal Chief and assistant Principal Chief, declaring what officer shall then act as Principal Chief until disability be removed or a Principal Chief shall be elected.

Sec. 6. The Principal Chief and assistant Principal Chief shall, at stated times, receive for their services a compensation which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which they shall have been elected; and they shall not receive within that period any other emolument for the Cherokee Nation or any other Government.

Sec. 7. Before the Principal Chief enters on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation:

"I do solemnly swear, or affirm, that I will faithfully execute the duties of Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the Cherokee Nation."

Sec. 8. He may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the National Council at the seat of Government.

Sec. 9. He shall from time to time, give to the National Council information of the state of the government, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he may deem expedient.

Sec. 10. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

Sec. 11. It shall be his duty to visit the different districts at least once in two years, to inform himself of the general condition of the country.
Sec. 12. The Assistant Principal Chief shall, by virtue of his office, aid and advise the Principal Chief in the administration of the Government at all times during his continuance in office.

Sec. 13. Vacancies that may occur in offices, the appointment of which is vested in the National Council, shall be filled by the Principal Chief during the recess of the National Council by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of the next session thereof.

Sec. 14. Every bill which shall pass both branchs of the National Council shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the Principal Chief; if he approves, he shall sign it; but if not, he shall return it, with his objections to that branch in which it may have originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their journals and proceed to reconsider it; if, after such reconsideration, two-thirds (2/3) of that branch, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other branch, by which it shall like-wise be reconsidered, and, if approved by two-thirds (2/3) of that branch, it shall become a law. If any bill shall not be returned by the Principal Chief within five (5) days (Sundays excepted) after the same has been presented to him, it shall become a law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the National Council, by their adjournment, prevent its return, in which case it shall be a law, unless sent back with in three (3) days after their next meeting.

Sec. 15. Members of the National Council, and all officers, executive and judicial, shall be bound by oath to support the Constitution of this Nation, and to perform the duties of their perspective offices with fidelity.

Sec. 16. In case of disagreement between the two branches of the National Council with respect to the time of adjournment, the Principal Chief shall have power to adjourn the same to such time as he may deem proper; provided, it be not a period beyond the next constitutional meeting thereof.

Sec. 17. The Principal Chief shall, during the session of the National Council, attend at the seat of Government.

Sec. 18. There shall be a council composed of five persons, to be appointed by the National Council, whom the Principal Chief shall have full power at his discretion to assemble; he, together with the Assistant Principal Chief and the counselors, or a majority of them, may, from time to time, hold and keep a council for ordering and directing the affairs of the Nation according to law; provided, the National Council shall have power to reduce the number, if deemed expedient, after the first term of service, to a number not less than three.
Sec. 19. The members or the executive council shall be chosen for the term of two years.

Sec. 20. The resolutions and advice of the council shall be recorded in a register, and signed by the members agreeing thereto, which may be called for by either branch of the National Council for the term of four years.

Sec. 21. The Treasurer of the Cherokee Nation shall be chosen by a joint vote of both branches of the National Council for the term of four years.

Sec. 22. The Treasurer shall, before entering on the duties of his office, give bond to the Nation, with sureties, to the satisfaction of the National Council, for the faithful discharge of his trust.

Sec. 23. No money shall be drawn from the Treasury but by warrant from the Principal Chief, and in consequence of appropriations made by law.

Sec. 24. It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to receive all public moneys, and to make a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public moneys at the annual session of the National Council.

Article V.

Sec. 1. The judicial powers shall be vested in a Supreme Court and such circuit and inferior courts as the National Council may, from time to time, ordain and establish.

Sec. 2. The Judges of the Supreme and circuit courts shall hold their commissions for the term of four years, but any of them may be removed from office on the address of two-thirds (2/3) of each branch of the National Council to the Principal Chief for that purpose.

Sec. 3. The Judges of the Supreme and Circuit courts shall, at stated times receive a compensation which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office, but they shall receive no fees or perquisites of office, nor hold any other office of profit or trust under the government of this Nation, or any other power.

Sec. 4. No person shall be appointed a judge of any of the courts until he shall have attained the age of thirty years. Elected by the National Council, and there shall be appointed in each district.

Sec. 5. The Judges of the Supreme and Circuit Courts shall be as many Justices of the Peace as it may be deemed expedient for the Public good, whose powers, duties, and duration in office shall be clearly designated by law.

Sec. 6. The Judges of the Supreme Court and of the Circuit courts shall have complete criminal jurisdiction in such cases, and in such manner as may be pointed by law.

Sec. 7. No Judge shall sit on trial of any cause when the parties are connected [with him] by affinity or consanguinity, except by consent of the parties. In case all the Judges of the Supreme Court shall be interested in the issue of any case, or related to all or either of the parties, the National Council may provide by law for the selection of a suitable number of persons of good character and knowledge, for the determination thereof, and who shall be specially commissioned for the adjudication of such cases by the Principal Chief.

Sec. 8. All writs and other process shall run "In the Name of the Cherokee Nation," and bear test and be signed by the respective clerks.

Sec. 9. Indictments shall conclude-"Against the Peace and Dignity of the Cherokee Nation."

Sec. 10. The Supreme Court shall, after the present year, hold its session annually at the seat of government, to be convened on the first Monday of October in each year.

Sec. 11. In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall have the right of being heard; of demanding the nature and cause of the accusation; of meeting the witnesses face to face; of having compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his or their favor; and in prosecutions by indictment or information, a speedy public trial, by an impartial jury of the vicinage; nor shall the accused be compelled to give evidence against himself.

Sec. 12. The people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and possessions from unreasonable seizures and searches, and no warrant to search any place, or to seize any person or thing, shall issue, without describing them as nearly as may be, nor without good cause, supported by oath or affirmation.

Sec. 13. All persons shall be bailable by sufficient securities, unless for capital offenses, where the proof is evident or presumption great.

Article VI.

Sec. 1. No person who denies the being of a God or future state of reward and punishment, shall hold any office in the civil department in this Nation.

Sec. 2. The free exercise of religious worship, and serving God without distinction, shall forever be enjoyed within the limits of this Nation; provided, that this liberty of conscience shall not be so construed with the peace or safety of this Nation.

Sec. 3. When the National Council shall determine the expediency of appointing delegates, or other public agents, for the purpose of transacting business with the government of the United States, the Principal Chief shall recommend, and by the advice and consent of the National Committee, appoint and commission such delegates or public agents accordingly. On all matters of interest, touching the rights of the citizens of this Nation, which may require the attention of the United States government, the Principal Chief shall keep up a friendly correspondence with that government through the medium of its proper officers.

Sec. 4. All commissions shall be "In the Name and by the Authority of the Cherokee Nation," and be sealed with the seal of the Nation, and signed by the Principal Chief. The Principal Chief shall make use of his private seal until a National Seal shall be provided.

Sec. 5. A sheriff shall be elected in each district by the qualified electors thereof, who shall hold his office two years, unless sooner removed. Should a vacancy occur subsequent to an election, it shall be filled by the Principal Chief, as in other cases, and the person so appointed shall continue in office until the next regular election.

Sec. 6. No person shall, for the same offense, be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb, nor shall the property of any person be taken and applied to public use without a just and fair compensation; provided, that nothing in this clause shall be so construed as to impair the right and power of the National Council to lay and collect taxes.

Sec. 7. The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate, and every person, for injury sustained in person, property, or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law.

Sec. 8. The appointment of all officers, not otherwise directed by this Constitution, shall be vested in the National Council.
Sec. 9. Religion, mortality and knowledge being necessary to good government, the preservation of liberty, and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged in this Nation.

Sec. 10. The National Council may propose such amendments to this Constitution as two-thirds of each branch may deem expedient, and the Principal Chief shall issue a proclamation, directing all civil officers of the several districts to promulgate the same as extensively as possible within their respective districts at least six months previous to the next general election. And if, at the first session of the National Council, after such general election, two-thirds (2/3) of each branch shall, by ayes and noes, ratify such proposed amendments, they shall be valid to all intent and purposes, as parts of this Constitution; provided, that such proposed amendments shall be read on three several days in each branch, as well when the same are proposed, as when they are ratified.
Done in Convention at Tahlequah, Cherokee Nation, this sixth day of September, 1839


GEORGE LOWREY, President of the National Convention
Written by William Shorey Coodey