and Indians' Advocate
Wednesday, April 14, 1830
Vol. II, no. 52
Page 3, col. 1b-5b
It appears to be a common thing with some editors of newspapers, where facts are concerned to favor the side where their interest lies. It is therefore natural that our first statements respecting the late murder, should have been somewhat mistrusted. We have, however, a rule which our sense of moral obligation enjoins on us as strictly to observe in our editorial as individual capacity-always to tell the truth. Thus far in our connection with the public, we have not been guilty of violating our rule. In regard therefore to what we have said respecting the murder alluded to above, we have no other story to tell, but to affirm our former statements. They are facts which cannot be disproved-no responsible person will give his name to the public and endeavor to prove them false.
To what we have published theretofore we add the following:
Extract of a report made by JAS G. WILLIAMS to COL. HUGH
MONTGOMERY relative to the murder of Rattling Gourd in the jail of Carrol County.
CALHOUN, 4th March, 1830
To Col. HUGH MONTGOMERY,
Agent for the Cherokees
East of the Mississippi.
SIR: In obedience to your order of the 8th ult. informing me that you had "Received information from Mr. John Ross that a difference of a serious and alarming nature has taken place between the Cherokees and whites in that quarter," and requesting me to proceed with as little delay as practicable to that neighborhood and endeavor by every means in my power to put a stop to them, &c.
I have the honor to report that immediately on the receipt or your order I set out for Mr. Ross' and reached there on the Wednesday following. On my arrival at Mr. Ross', I learned from him that, in consequence of his having had some intruders of notorious characters removed who had taken possession of the improvements abandoned by the Emigrating Cherokees- that the Intruders had assembled together to the number of twenty five or thirty, and on the 5th February commenced pursuit of Major Ridge who commanded the party ordered out by Mr. Ross. The Ridge having fulfilled his orders on this day discharged his men at Cedar Town, and they had all returned to their respective homes, with the exception of Daniel Mills, Waggon, Rattling Goard [sic], and Chuwoyee, who remained. On the night of the same day the company of intruders came to the house where these four Cherokees were and finding them all in a state of intoxication, they seized upon and tied them. Chuwooyee, the last mentioned one, not understanding the cause of this confinement, and almost unable to stand from the effects of whiskey, refused to go, altho he was tied, upon this one of the whites struck him with his gun on the back part of the head, & three or four others commenced on him with Clubs &c. &c.
After this barbarous treatment and finding that he was unable to walk, they threw him across a horse before one of their company and Marched off about a mile where they encamped for the night. After reaching the camp ground the man who had charge of him threw him from the horse upon the ground; and he was suffered to lie there exposed to the inclemency of a cold wet sleeting night without the least vestige of anything to protect him from the severity of the weather, but the few clothes he had on when taken prisoner. Early on the next morning he expired. The company started immediately afterwards with the other three for Carrolton in Carrol County, Georgia-on their way to Carrolton the two first mentioned, Mills and Waggon, effected their escape, though The Waggon in getting off received a severe wound in the breast with a butcher knife from the hands of Old Richard Philpot.
The Rattling Goard[sic] they succeeded in putting in Jail.
After getting all the information that was in my power to obtain relative to the murder of Chuwoyee, which is above stated- I repaired to Carrolton for the purpose of trying to release the Rattling Goard [sic], from his confinement- On my arrival at the Court House, I was informed that he had employed four counsellors- I waited on three of them- They informed me that if it could be made to appear to the satisfaction of the Judges of the inferior Court that the prisoner was not an officer of the company ordered out by Mr. Ross, but was only acting under the orders of the commanding officers, there would be no difficulty in having him discharged. To obtain the proof required agreeably to the opinion of his Lawyers, I had to return to the Nation, a distance of fifty miles from the Court House. While in the Nation for the purpose of getting the necessary proof I procured from Mr. John Ross, the volume of the Laws of the United States containing the law of 1802, commonly called the "Intercourse Law"- On my return the second time to Carrolton, I called upon John Roberson Esq. formally of Tennessee, and requested him to inform me of some Attorney that stood high at the Bar.- Mr. Roberson recommended Mr. John Ray. I employed Mr. Ray, and I have no doubt that it was owing to his argument and the laws of 1802 that the Court released the Rattling Goard[sic].
I herewith enclose you Mr. Ray's direction relative to the course to be pursued against those concerned with the murder of Chuwoyee, together with a list of the names of a part of the company charged with it,- also his account against the Government for his fee in the case of the Rattling Goard [sic].
After the Rattling Goard [sic] was discharged by the Hon. Court, I had an interview with Col. Fambough, the Attorney for the prosecution who agreed to suspend all further proceedings against the Ridge and his company for the present-of this I informed Mr. Ross and Ridge.
For the want of funds I was unable to make any attempt towards arresting the party charged with the murder of Chuwoyee-Having been furnished with only fifteen dollars when I set out from the office.
All the information that I was able to get relative to this unfortunate affair was derived from Mr. John Ross, and others, citizens of the Nation.- And I have no doubt, Sir, that it is a plain unvarnished statement of facts.
While engaged in the above business, I hired Mr. William Jones to accompany
me, for which I agreed to pay him one dollar per day for himself and horse,
and to bear his expenses. Mr. Jones was with me fourteen days,-all of
which is respectfully submitted.
I have the honor to be
Your Ob't Ser't
JAS. G. WILLIAMS