Relating to the boundary line between the
Cherokees and Creeks.
12 May, 1829
Sir:- Mr. Gaine arrived this evening with your communication authorizing me to run and mark a line along the Creek Path to the boundary line, which will be done if the surveying party are not arrested. We are now about 15 miles on the line from Sawanah Old Town, to the Sixes Old Town, and as yet have met with no interruption in our progress. An express immediately however has been despatched to the Agent, Col. Montgomery, by the half-breed, for an authority for our arrest, and those individuals living on the west side of the Chattahoochy, say that we will be stopped before the survey is completed; if we are, we can probably be relieved by a habeas corpus. The real Indians appear indifferent about the survey, and were it not that they are to a considerable extent under the influence of the whites and half-breeds living amongst them, I believe they would render the surveying party all the assistance in their power. A considerable number of whites have moved and still are moving over and settling on the disputed land. The occupants complain of their intrusion and conduct. May I be permitted to suggest to our excellency, the propriety of removing these Indians, and to adopt some measure to prevent the whites from encroaching on the settlers, until the dispute is finally adjusted; such a course would tend to allay the excitement that exists here amongst the Indians against the State of Georgia and would, I have no doubt, have a beneficial influence in the procurement of the remainder of the land in the chartered limits of the State.
S. A. WALES.
His Ex. John Forsyth.
Milledgeville, Feb. 18, 1829
Dear Sir:- Your report and the evidence collected by you, having been examined, I have conceived it proper to have the Old Creek and Cherokee boundary line traversed and marked from Sawanah Old Town to Sexes Old Town. You have been appointed Commissioner to superintend this work as you will find by the inclosed document. authority being given to you to procure a surveyor, and the requisite assistance, you will observe the following instructions._ Contracts with the surveyor and all other persons employed by you, must be specific, so much per time, and on the most reasonable terms while engaged in the public service. If the line has been already marked, as I presume it has, not much labor in marking it will be necessary, the object of the General Assembly being not to mark a permanent boundary line, but only to leave the line marked with sufficient distinctness to enable the officers of the General Government who shall be sent to have the Cherokees and other Indians removed above it, to ascertain where it is. Your immediate attention to this business is expected, and as early a report after the work is finished as practicable. The Surveyor must furnish you with a map of the line traced, describing the course and distances, and the manner in which it has been marked and remarked. An advance of money will be made on your requisition, if necessary.
Col. S. A. Wales.
Tuesday, February 18, 1829
Ordered that Col. Samuel A. Wales be, and he is hereby appointed commissioner to superintend the tracing and remarking of the line between the Creeks and Cherokees within this State prior to the last Treaty of Cession by the Creeks, from Sawanah Old Town on the Chattahoochy, to Six's Old Town on the Hightower, having authority to employ a competent surveyor and such assistance as may be necessary. The surveyor and other assistants to be paid by the State, such sums for their labor as may be agreed upon with the Commissioner. The Commissioner will be allowed at the rate of $5 per diem. and his reasonable expenses while employed.
Milledgeville, April 2, 1829
Sir:- I received you letter of the 10th ult. and regretted that your professional engagements prevented you from immediate attention to the commission given to you by the Executive. Under the expectation that you will proceed to the execution of the task, confided to you as early as practicable. I have, after great hesitation, determined to to make another appointment, but to rely upon your known zeal to make such arrangements of your professional business as will permit you to devote the earliest time to this public concern. I cannot apprehend that you will be molested by the Cherokees- if there is a well grounded apprehension of danger you will inform me immediately, and the necessary protection will be afforded to you and your party by the State.
Col. S. A. Wales.
Milledgeville 5 May, 1829
Sir:- A letter has been received from Mr. Thomas, the surveyor written with your approbation and concurrence, suggesting that the true line between the Creeks and Cherokees on the other side of Hightower, was from the junction of the Oostenalah and Hightower along the Creek Path to the Tennessee. In support of this opinion he quotes the very satisfactory letter of General Jackson to the Secretary of War, dated the 4th of June, 1816. The object of the General Assembly is adopting the resolutions under which you are acting was to have the true line between the Cherokees and Creeks within our jurisdiction surveyed and marked.- After running and marking with sufficient distinctness, the line from Sawanah Old Town to the Sixes Old Town, you will consider yourself authorized to run the true line beyond, beginning at the mouth of the Hightower and Oostanalah, along the Creek Path to where it crosses our boundary line.
Col. S. A. Wales.
Marion County, Tennessee,
August 31, 1829.
Sir:- I have spent most of the last three weeks in the Cherokee Nation, endeavoring to persuade them to remove west of the Mississippi, and I am sorry to say that I have been unable to effect, though I believe that some good has resulted from my visit, in conciliating their feelings. If Congress rejects their memorials on the subject of the late Georgia Law, claiming jurisdiction over its territory within its chartered limits, it will, I have little doubt produce the desired treaty. Nothing else save power, or such a measure will. Just before my departure from Nashville, I was informed by the Secretary of War, that General Coffee of your State, had been appointed to unite with me in the visit to the Cherokees and Creeks. I have not had the pleasure of seeing or hearing from him, and not knowing where he resides, my present object is to request that you will be pleased to notify him, that it will be unnecessary for him to visit the Cherokee Nation, as no good could possibly result from it. Indisposition prevented me from going to the Creek Nation, where perhaps General Coffee can go, and where I hope he may be able to do some good.
I have the honor to be
Your obedient Servant.
His Ex. John Forsyth.
Augusta, September 13, 1829
Sir:- Your letter of the 3d. of August was forwarded to me from the seat of Government, and received this morning. A copy of that part of it which relates to General Coffee of Georgia, will be immediately transmitted to him as the most effectual mode of complying with your request. I regret to find that the Cherokees contemplate an appeal to Congress against the right of the State to exercise its sovereign authority within its territorial limits.- Such as appeal may produce angry discussions, but can in no event be useful to the Tribe or to any of the individuals belonging to it.
I am with great respect,
Your obedient Servant,
Gen. William Carroll
Jasper, Marion County, Tennessee.
Winns' Ferry, Hall County Ga.
17th November, 1829.
Sir:- We take the liberty of addressing you on the subject of boundary between the Creeks and Cherokees, as it is understood that Col. Coffee of Alabama has been appointed a Commissioner to collect testimony respecting said boundary. From the information of several men of respectability living near where the line runs, we have no doubt in stating that if the following men are called on to give evidence, that the line could be well established to run from Sawanah Old Town on Chattahoochy River, known as the Old Red Bank Town. The men to call on for evidence are Jack Right, Sleepy Man, and George W. Freeman, all of whom live near the old trail and know it as the old line between the two nations, which will strike Etowah River six miles above the line run by Col. Wales, including some valuable settlements of land, that was left out by Col. Wales.
His Ex. G. R. Gilmor.
Account of the settlement of the Cherokees in the neighborhood of the Creeks, as stated in a council held at Thelehka, January 11, 1818.- Sour Mush and Shoe Boot his interpreter, Cherokees both of whom were present at the first Council between the nations.
The whites run them from where they formerly lived to Aubucan, a Town in the Upper Creek Country, where the Creeks told them to live in their Country and raise their children. That the Chiefs now present were there at the first Talk in peaceable times before the whites and Cherokees had any fighting. The Creeks owned all the land up to the head of owned all the land up to the head of Coosa River, and all the waters of the Coosa. That the Tennessee was the Cherokee River and their lands joined on the dividing ridge. In former times on the Chattahoochy and Cherokees claimed as low down as a river which empties into it called Choky River, since then they were told by the Cowetan King that they might live as low down as the Cunvhee Mountain, but that their young men now claimed as low down as the Hog Mountain, although they have no claim to it. The foregoing is the substance of a talk delivered by the old Cherokee Chief Sour Mush, in the presence of a deputation of Cherokee Chiefs of whom he was at the head, and interpreted by the old chief Shoe Boots* at a public meeting of the Creeks in my presence, and addressed to me on the day and at the place before mentioned.
(Signed) D. B. MITCHELL
Agent for I. A.
* Interpreted by the old chief Shoe Boots. It was proved before General Coffee, of Alabama, by the Affidavit of five respectable men in this nation, that Shoe Boots was incapable of interpreting a sentence of the Cherokee into the English language. As we have not the Affidavit in our possession we think it necessary to relate this fact.- Ed., Cher. Phoe.
General William M'Intosh, some short time previous to the treaty of 1825, held at Indian Springs, informed me that there was a strip of country about thirty miles in width then in possession of the Cherokee Nation. He stated it had been in dispute some years and was compromised by a ball play in favor of said Cherokee Nation of Indians.
HUGH W. ECTOR.
Milledgeville, Nov. 29th, 1829.
We have now presented before the public all the testimonies on the part of Georgia which have come to our knowledge, ' which have been considered by the state as fully establishing her claim to the line run by Col. Wales. The reader can judge- We think the weakness of the evidence is fully apparent, especially when met by counter statements, to which we shall now commence to devote a portion of our columns.
James Daniel, late one of the Judges of the Cherokee courts, in the Cherokee Nation, aged forty years, has been raised in the southeastern part of the Cherokee Nation- is acquainted on the Appalachy and Chattahoochy Rivers,- he thinks the High Shoals of the Appalachy is nearly about due east from the Buzzard Roost on Chattahoochy-he knows of the place called Sawanah Old Town on Chattahoochy and the place called Buzzard Roost on the same river, and he never knew of any other places known by these names. He further states that he was educated in Green County Georgia,and when there he has frequently heard the subject of the boundary between the Creeks and Cherokees mentioned amongst the people of that country, running from the High Shoals of Appalachy a direct course to the mouth of Will's Creek on Coosa River, and he always received the same impression from the Cherokees. Given under my hand in the Cherokee Nation.
6th December, 1829
ROBERT D. HARRIS
Cherokee Nation 6th Dec. 1829.
George Saunders, a half breed Cherokee, aged about fifty seven states that he was born and raised in the southeastern part of the Cherokee Nation: that he has always since he was grown been familiar with what was thought to be the line that divided the lands of the Creek Nation from those of the Cherokees as claimed by the Cherokee Nation ,and which was as follows: Beginning at the old Cherokee corner, which stands about 25 miles east of the High Shoals of the Appalachy, and to run thence to the said High Shoals of Appalachy, and thence a direct line to the mouth of Will's Creek on the Coosa River.- This was the understanding of the Cherokees so far as I have understood it. The above statement is made at the special request of General Coffee United States Commissioner, desiring me to state what I know of the old and true line between the Creeks and Cherokees, and which is as stated above according to the best of my knowledge and recollection. I have never known of but one place called the Sawanah Old Town, and but one place called Buzzard Roost, and they both on the Chattahoochy and are generally known by those names. He further states that his brother Alexander Saunders was living at the Old Sawanah Town on the Chattahoochy River about the year 1807 or 1808, and at the same time a man by the name of Rhode Easley, a citizen of Georgia, who formerly had a store at the High Shoals of the Appalachy, and he had also a stock of cattle and established a cow pen on the west side of the Appalachy about 4 or 5 miles west of the High Shoals and settled a stock keeper there-that Alexander Sanders (sic) and Thomas Woodward, a half breed raised a company of Cherokees and went to Easley's cow pen and drove off the family and burnt the improvement as being on Cherokee lands.-He thinks this took place 21 or 22 years ago. his
GEORGE SANDERS x
ROBERT D. HARRIS,
I George G. Weatherspoon, a citizen of Gwinnett County, in the State of Georgia, have resided in the country about six years--I have heard a great deal said since I have been in this country about the line that divided the lands of the Creek and Cherokee Nations, and have had some curiosity and anxiety to ascertain what was the true line between those nations, which as led to many conversations with the old settlers of this country on that subject, from all of which I have been informed that the line between the two nations began at the High Shoals of Appalachy and run with the Hightower Path which passeth at the north foot of the Stone Mountain and to the Shallow ford on the Chattahoochy.
G. G. WEATHERSPOON.
Sworn to and subscribed before me, this 9th December, 1829.
ISAAC GILBERT, Jr.
Gwinnett County, Ga.
At John Roges, Cherokee Nation.
9th December 1829
I Daniel Clover, a resident of Gwinnett County in the State of Georgia, now sixty-eight years of age, have lived in the State of Georgia thirty-four years. I settled near Greensborough in Georgia about 33 years since, when the Indians of both Cherokee and Creek Nations were frequently in trading at Greensborough. Alexander Dale, and John Fidler were at the time trading with the Indians, and went out to the nations on their trading tours. I became well acquainted with both of them. Mr. Dale, now Col. Dale of Alabama, was frequently at my house and I had many conversations with him about the Indians on various subjects, I asked him if he knew the line between the two nations,- he said he did know it, that it began at the Old Cherokee Corner in Georgia and run thence to the High Shoals of Appalachy, and thence with the Old Hightower Path to the shallow ford on Chattahoochy; but I have no recollection that he stated the line any further. The Old Cherokee Corner that I have mentioned stands about eight miles from Athens in Georgia. I have seen it frequently ever since I first came into the country,- it is marked on a white oak ' a number of other trees, and the marks had the appearance of being very old when I first saw it. I do not know by whom or when it was made, but it has always been called the Old Cherokee Corner.
Sworn to and subscribed before me, this 9th December, 1829.
Gwinnett County, Georgia.