Note: This edition of the Phoenix is printed in four columns only.
Milledgeville, Nov. 20
I transmit in both Houses of the General Assembly, copies of a communication received from the War Department, in answer to a letter requesting of the President the withdrawal of the United States Troops from the Territory of the State, occupied by the Cherokees. The Legislature will perceive in the conduct of the President in this matter, as well as all others, the disposition to accord to Georgia all her rights. The removal of the United States troops from the territory occupied by the Cherokees, creates an immediate and pressing necessity for the passage of such laws as may effectually restrain all persons from entering into that territory, for the purpose of taking possession of the public land, or the taking valuable minerals therefrom, without license from the State.
GEORGE R. GILMER.
Milledgeville, 29th Oct. 1830.
Sir: By an act of the Legislature of Georgia, passed at its last session, all the Cherokee territory and the persons occupying it, were subjected to the ordinary jurisdiction of the State, after the 1st of June, than next ensuing. This act has gone into operation. The acknowledgement of the President of the right of the State to pass such an act, renders it unnecessary to say anything in its justification. The object of this letter is to request the President that the U. S. troops may be withdrawn from the Indian territory within Georgia. The enforcement of the non-intercourse law within the limits of the State, is considered inconsistent with the rights of jurisdiction which is now exercised by its authorities, and must if continued, lead to difficulties between officers of the United States and State Governments, which it is very desirable should be avoided. No doubt is entertained that the object of the President in ordering the U. States troops into the Cherokee territory, was the preservation of the peace of the Union. The motive is duly appreciated. The Legislature is now in session. The special object of its meeting is the enforcement of the laws of the State within the Cherokee Country, and the punishment of intrusion into it by persons searching for gold. Its powers are amply sufficient for that purpose. As it is expected that the law for the punishment of trespassers upon the public lands, will go into operation within a few days, the President is therefore requested to withdraw the troops as soon as it can be conveniently done. The Commander Maj. Wager has been very severe to the gold diggers. In some instances unoffending citizens have been made the subject of punishment in violation of their rights, and the authority of the State-Complaints have been made in this Department and redress asked for. The removal of the troops is believed to be the most effectual means of preventing the repetition of such injuries. Information has also been received at this Department, that the digging for gold is still carried on in various parts of the Cherokee territory, and that the extent of country containing mines is so great, that it is wholly impossible to prevent it by the use of the military alone. It is said that the Indians are even more extensively employed in taking gold than before the arrival of the troops. The fear of the whites had restrained them previously.
The President is assured that whatever measures may be adopted by the State of Georgia in relation to the Cherokees, the strongest desire will be felt to make them accord with the policy which has been adopted by the present administration of the General Government.
Very respectfully, 'c.
GEO. R. GILMER.
To the President of the U. States.
Washington, Nov. 10, 1830.
Sir: The President has returned to this Department your letter of 29th of last month, advising him that the act of the Legislature of Georgia, passed at its last session, subjecting all the Cherokee territory and the persons occupying it to the ordinary jurisdiction of the State, has gone into operation, and in reply I have the honor to inform you that previously to the receipt of your letter an order was issued to Major Wager, a copy of which for your information and satisfaction, is here enclosed. By it, you will perceive he is instructed, as the winter is approaching, to retire with his troops into winter quarters. It is expected that the emergency which induced the troops to enter the Indian country has ceased.
Your Excellency entertained a just view of the motives which led to the ordering the troops into the Cherokee territory, as expressed in your communication. It is much to be regretted that in the execution of his orders, the commanding officer should have found himself constrained to resort to measures which may have operated hardly upon some individuals.
The President is happy in the assurance which your Excellency is pleased to give, that the measures which the State of Georgia may adopt in relation to the Cherokees, will accord with the policy which has been adopted by the General Government.
Very respectfully, 'c.
JNO. H. EATON.
G. R. Gilmer.
HEAD QUARTERS OF THE ARMY
Washington, 8th Nov. 1830
To Brevet Major P. Wager, 4th Reg't Infantry Commanding Troops in Cherokee Nation:
Sir: The purpose for which the Troops were ordered into the Cherokee Nation having in a great measure been answered, the Secretary of War deems it advisable, upon the approach of winter, that you retire to some position where the troops can be comfortably accommodated, and where they will be in striking distance to meet any contingency that may arise out of our Indian relations, which cannot at this time be perceived. It is hoped however, that no circumstance will occur which will render it necessary again to employ the troops among the Cherokees, particularly as the Legislature of Georgia now in session, will doubtless take the proper and necessary steps to preserve tranquility along the Indian border. You will therefore with the detachment of the 4th Regiment of Infantry, retire upon Fort Mitchell. The Artillery with the exception of Captain Barden's company, now at Fort Mitchell, will retire to their respective stations, viz: the men belonging to Lieut. Col. Fannin's Company to Augusta Arsenal; Captain Legate's Company to Charleston; and Captain Taylor's Company to Savannah.
I have the honor to be, 'c. 'c.
Maj. Gen. Commanding the Army.