In "Indian Justice," Grant Foreman presents John Howard Payne s first-hand account of the trial of Archilla Smith, a Cherokee charged with the murder of John MacIntosh in the fall of 1839. The Cherokee Supreme Court at Tahlequah (in present-day Oklahoma) found Smith guilty and sentenced him to die.
Occurring immediately after the Cherokee Removal to lands west of the Mississippi River, the trial involved people on both sides of the bitter factional controversies then raging in the Cherokee Nation. Payne s account of this important Indian case first appeared in two installments in the "New York Journal of Commerce in 1841."
In his foreword to this new edition, Rennard Strickland places the case in historical and contemporary context, exploring the evolution of tribal court systems and Indian justice over the past century and a half."