From the Journal of Commerce
AMERICAN BOARD OF MISSIONS.
The annual meeting commenced in this city on Wednesday morning, and will close today. In the course of yesterday morning's session, the letter which has been extensively published in the newspapers, purporting to be President Jackson's reply to the memorial of the Board in respect to the Cherokee Indians, was alluded to by one of the members; and the Prudential committee stated that no such a letter had been received by them, and that they had no reason to suppose that it was genuine. The following gentlemen were elected officers of the Society for the ensuing year:
Hon. John Cotton Smith, President.
Hon Stephen Van Rensselaer, Vice President.
Rev. Calvin Chapin, D. D. Recording Secretary.
Hon. William Reed
Rev. Warren Fay. D. D.
Hon. Sam'l Hubard,
Rev. B. B. Wisner, D. D.
Sam'l T. Armstrong, Esq
Charles Stoddard, Esq
Rev. B. B. Wisner, D. D.
Rev. Rufus Anderson
Rev. David Greene
Henry Hill, Esq Treasurer
John Tappan, Esq.
William J. Hubbard
The next annual meeting is to be held at Philadelphia, on the 3d Wednesday in September, 1833. Rev. Dr. M'Auley, of that city, was appointed to preach the annual sermon, and the Rev. Dr. M'Murray of New York his alternate.
PUBLIC ANNIVERSARY MEETING.
The public meeting of the anniversary addresses 'c. was held last evening in Chatham Street Chapel.--A numerous concourse assembled on the occasion.
The Speakers were:
Rev. Mr. Smith, Missionary to Persia. Hon. Mr. Frelinghuysen, and the Rev. Dr. Beecher.
It appeared from the annual Report, that the receipts of the year had amounted to $130,574.12 viz: donations $117,349.93, legacies $10,349.93; interest of permanent funds and temporary loans $2,832.19.- Expenditures, including $2,941.95 for which the Board was indebted at the beginning of the year; $123,896.48. Leaving a balance in the treasury, $6,677.64
The Society has missions at the Sandwich Islands, in the Mediterranean, in Ceylon in continental India, in China, in Siam, and among the aborigines of our country The accounts received from them are in general highly encouraging.
Bombay- At Bombay and vicinity, there are 35 schools under the direction of the missionaries, containing 1946 scholars, of which 455 are girls; a fact which Americans will hardly appreciate as they ought.- Until very recently the idea of a female learning to read, would have been regarded by the native population as the height of absurdity. The mission press is very active having printed during the year 1831, 1,481,300 pages, and since the first establishment of the mission, 11, 481,000 pages.
Ceylon-This mission has been, in many respects, far more successful than of Bombay. The number of native children and youth in the schools, is 3,560, of whom 617 are females. There is a sort of high school at Batticotta, to which students of promise in the lower schools are transferred after they have advanced to a certain stage of progress, containing 83 native young men, 35 of whom are members of the Mission Church. The whole number of native church members connected with the mission is 170.
China and Siam.- The only missionary which the Society has in China, is Rev. Elijah C. Bridgeman, he has not been long there, and has been engaged, so far, mainly in acquiring a knowledge of the language. A printing press has been sent out to his aid, ' a printer, Mr. S. W. Wells of Utica, is expected to go out in the course of a few months. The missionary at Siam. is Rev. David Abeel, formerly of this city.
Mission among the Cherokees.- This mission has been greatly embarrassed in consequence of the proceedings of the State of Georgia, and the refusal of the National Executive to afford protection either to the missionaries or Cherokees. The consequence is, that two of the missionaries, Messrs. Worcester and Butler, are in the Georgia Penitentiary, and most or all of the others, except a few females, have removed into those parts of the nation not claimed by Georgia. As this subject is of great importance to the public, both in civil and religious point of view we subjoin a considerable extract from the Report, embracing a succinct view of the history of the persecutions endured, and the present state of the mission.- The number of church members connected with the mission, exclusive of the missionary families is about 230. Many of the schools have been broken up, and of course the number of children is greatly diminished.
Extracts from the Report.
It was stated in the Report of last year, that the missionaries have been driven from Carmel, Hightower, Haweis, and New Echota, by the Georgia guard. The missionaries at the former places, after having been once arrested and discharged by order of the Court in Gwinnett County, Ga. thought it expedient, when they were threatened with a second arrest; to remove their families out of that portion of the Cherokee territory over which Ga. claimed jurisdiction. On this point the committee, when consulted, left them to act according to their own conviction of duty, as citizens of the United States and missionaries of the Lord Jesus Christ.
* * * * Messrs Worcester and Butler were arrested and brought to trial before the Supreme Court of the State of Georgia, sitting in Gwinnet County, on the 15th of September. The Jury in their verdict, declared them guilty of residing in that portion of the Cherokee territory claimed by Georgia, contrary to the laws of that State, and on the following da they were sentenced to four years imprisonment at hard labor in the Penitentiary of that State. Nine other persons were sentenced to the same punishment by this Court;--one of them was a preacher of the Gospel, of the Methodist denomination, and four others were professors of religion. On their arrival at the Penitentiary, pardon was offered to them, on condition that they would promise not again to reside in the Cherokee country. With these offers all complied except Messrs. Worcester and Butler, who were accordingly thrust in prison, where they have remained to the present time. Mrs Worcester and Mrs. Butler, still remain at New Echota, and retain possession of the mission premises.* * * *
Messrs. Worcester and Butler, on their trial before the Superior Court of Georgia, had the aid of good legal counsel, who urged in their defence, as a bar to the indictment, that the Cherokee country was not within the jurisdiction of Georgia, and that their arrest and trial under the laws of that State were contrary to the Constitution, Treaties, and Laws of the United States. They therefore determined, with the approbation of the Prudential Committee, to appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States. Measures were accordingly taken to bring their case in due form before that tribunal.
In the meantime, as the Missionaries entered the Cherokee country with the express sanction and protection of the Executive of the United States, the Committee, in accordance with the instructions of the Board at its last annual meeting, forwarded a memorial to the President, containing a full statement and injuries to which the Missionary property in the Cherokee Nation had been and were subjected, together with the circumstances connected with the arrest and imprisonment of Messrs. Worcester and Butler, and praying that the power of the Executive might be interposed to protect the Missionaries in their labors from further molestation and violence, and that the Attorney General of the United States might be instructed to commence a suit against the offending officers of the State of Georgia for the arrest and imprisonment and other injurious treatment of the Teachers and Missionaries. In violation of the Treaties and Laws of the Union, and their rights as citizens of the same.
The President replied to this memorial through the Secretary of War, simply stating that as Georgia had extended her laws over the Cherokees, the various Acts of Congress providing a mode of proceeding in such cases, inconsistent with the State laws, became imperative and that he, therefore had no authority to interfere.
A writ of error was granted by one of the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States on the application of Messrs Worcester and Butler, and the case was brought up and ably argued on the 20th, 21st, and 23d day of February last, by Messrs. Wirt and Sergeant, in behalf of the plaintiffs in error. The decision of the Court was pronounced by Chief Justice Marshal on the 3d of March last. The Court exhibited at great length in a very lucid and convincing manner the nature and extent of the right of discovery, the original ground upon which different European powers laid claim to the continent, the manner in which the lands of the Indians have heretofore been obtained, the import and binding obligations of the treaties which have been made with the Indians, and the manner in which the Constitution of the United States and the Acts of Congress relating to the Indian affairs are to be understood. The laws of Georgia enacted within the last two or three years, extending the jurisdiction of that state over the Cherokee country, were also examined by the Court, and declared to be repugnant to the Constitution, Treaties and laws of the United States. The mandate of the Court was immediately issued, reversing and annulling the judgment of the Supreme Court of Georgia, and ordering that all proceedings on the indictment against the prisoners do forever surcease, and that the prisoners be and hereby is dismissed therefrom.
A motion was made on the 17th of March in the Superior Court of Georgia by Messrs Chester, Underwood and Harden, the counsel for Messrs Worcester and Butler, that the mandate of the Supreme Court of the United States be received and entered upon the records, and that a writ of habeas corpus be issued to bring the prisoners before the Court, for the purpose of their discharge in obedience to said mandate. After this motion had been argued, the Court refused to obey the mandate of the Supreme Court, or to discharge the prisoners. The Court refused to allow the motion, or the decisions of the Court upon it, or any matter relating to the case, to be entered on its records.
On the 4th of April the principal counsel for the prisoners addressed a letter to the Hon Wilson Lumpkin, Governor of the State of Georgia, enclosing the decision and mandate of the Supreme Court of the United States, and the doings thereon in the Superior Court of Gwinnet County, praying that he would exercise the power entrusted to him as Chief Magistrate of the State, and discharge the prisoners. To this application Governor Lumpkin refused to answer in writing, but gave a verbal denial.
A memorial to the President of the United States was prepared by the counsel for the prisoners in their behalf, praying him to interpose his authority for enforcing the decision of the Court; but after consideration, it was deemed inexpedient to present it in the state of the case. It was also, after consultation with the friends of the Board and of the Indians in Congress, deemed inexpedient to petition that body on the subject during their last session. The case will probably be brought before the Supreme Court again at their next term, when they will take such measures as in their wisdom they shall think best, for enforcing their decision.- It must be left to Providence to decide how this painful business shall terminate, and what shall be its influence on the Indians, and on our own government and country. In the meantime, the Missionaries and their bereaved families are earnestly commended to the continued prayers of the members of the Board and its patrons and to the merciful care of the Great Head of the Church.
During the year, Messrs Worcester and Butler, while separated from their beloved families and labors, condemned to an ignominious punishment, and shut up in a Penitentiary with felons, have been placed in a most trying situation, requiring great fortitude, and a firm reliance on the faithfulness of their covenant God and Savior. They have, without doubt, shared largely in the sympathies and prayers of the churches throughout the land, especially of the Cherokees; and it ought to be a case of devout thanksgiving in their behalf that they have been so full satisfied as to their duty, have possessed so much contentment and peace of mind, and enjoyed so many manifestations of the Divine presence and favor, and have had so much spiritual enjoyment.--Nor should it be noticed with less gratitude that they have been enabled so well to maintain the Christian character and to exhibit in all the trials and sufferings to which they have been subjected by the officers of the State of Georgia, that meekness and benevolent forbearance which the Gospel requires. It is believed that in all their correspondence there has not been one word which indicates an angry, unforgiving or vindictive spirit.
It is due to Charles E. Mills, Esq. keeper of the Penitentiary to mention that Messrs Worcester and Butler, as prisoners, have been treated with great kindness. Their tasks have not been severe. They have been allowed to see their friends and to correspond with them as freely as the regulations of a prison could be expected to permit, and every indulgence seems to have been granted them which could be expected in such circumstances for promoting their personal comfort.
Their health during most of the year has been good. Mrs. Worcester and Mrs Butler visited the prison last Fall and had an interview with their husbands, and were expecting to repeat the visit the present autumn. They have daily read the Scriptures and prayed with the prisoners confined in the same building with themselves, with much religious conversation. They have also held stated religious services on the Sabbath, and during the last four or six months all the prisoners have been assembled, and Mr. Worcester has been required by Judge Mills, the keeper to preach to them one half the day. A spirit of inquiry has, to some extent, been awakened among the prisoners. A number have broken off their iniquities, temporarily at least, and a few, it is hoped, have been savingly and permanently benefitted.
During the year, the missions at Hightower and Carmel have been much exposed to injury. The former station was violently seized by the Georgia Guard, a portion of whom have been quartered there the most of the year. The produce of the fields, which was ungathered at the time they took possession last fall, has been consumed or destroyed, as have been also the fowls and swine belonging to the mission. Early in the winter, it was stated by persons connected with the Georgia Guard, that all the stations situated in the portion of the Cherokee country claimed by Georgia, would be taken possession of, and rented or sold for the benefit of that State. Mrs. Worcester and Mrs. Butler were also informed that they must leave the premises at New Echota and Haweis, and in case of their delaying to do so, the Guard would be sent to eject them, and their families. It was, however, though inexpedient for them to remove until force was actually applied. They have been suffered to remain unmolested to the present time.
According to the laws of the State of Georgia, surveyor have been sent into the Cherokee country; the division of it into lots is now nearly completed, and the Lottery by which these tracts are to be distributed among the citizens of Georgia, is to be drawn about this time. Much effort has been made during the year to induce the Cherokees to enroll as emigrants, and the places of all such as have been enrolled have been rented or sold to white men who are filling the country. The Cherokees have generally been much united, ' notwithstanding they have been so harassed and distressed, they have still almost unanimously resolved not to remove, until driven from their country by force. Recently, when an Agent of the Government appeared in their Council and proposed to them to meet commissioners for the purpose of making a Treaty for ceding their lands, they unanimously rejected the proposal without debate. It is said, however, the people are becoming somewhat divided; --some after having their wrongs and grievances laid before the people of the United States without redress, and despairing of being reinstated in their rights, supposing that ultimate removal will be unavoidable, and that it is expedient for them to make the best terms they can, without protracting a wasting and unsuccessful opposition. The great body of the people, however, it is believed, including most of their intelligent and influential men are still determined to test the question fully, whether they can obtain a redress of their wrongs, and be reinstated in the rights and immunities which they formerly enjoyed and which have been guarantied to them and their posterity by numerous Treaties, by the Government and People of the United States.
[From the Journal of Commerce, of this Morning.]
American Board of Missions.- We should have stated yesterday, in our notice of the proceedings of the Board, that the number of missionary stations under its care is 55; ordained missionaries 68; physicians not ordained 1; printers, 3; teachers, 17; farmers and mechanics, 20; females, married and unmarried, 125; making a total of 237 laborers in heathen lands, dependent on, and under the direction of the Board.- There are also four native preachers, 30 native assistants, 1257 schools, 59,786 scholars. The printing presses at different stations have sent forth about 14,200,000 pages of Bibles, Tracts, 'c. during the year, and from the beginning of the operation, of the Board, about 61,000,000 pages, in eleven different languages. Eight ordained missionaries and their wives,--one male and three female teachers and a printer,--are about to proceed to different fields of labor in heathen lands, and five other missionaries and a printer are expected to sail in the former part of the next year.