Cherokee Phoenix


Published March, 5, 1831

Page 3 Column 3a



We have before us the Georgia 'Athenian' of the 15 ult. which contains; copied from the Milledgeville Journal, two bulletins of the Commander-in-chief (Col. Sanford) of the Georgia army, addressed to the Governor. The first relates to the affair, a brief account of which has already been furnished by Col. Nelson. The one we now allude to confirms that account and gives a particular description of the manner of the `attack', and the complete, triumph of the Guard by stabbing with bayonets an old man who had raised 'his valorous arm' in opposition. It is indeed amusing to set down and read this pompous Military display in words, even admitting that all the particulars therein contained are correct. We doubt whether Count Diebitsch would make a greater display in describing a victory over an army of fifty thousand Turks. We intended to have furnished this bulletin to our readers this week, and to state some reports which are circulated in contradiction, but as we have since seen in the Athenian a letter from an intelligent gentleman in Gainsville, and giving, to us, a very satisfactory account of this affair, we have concluded to defer it until next week, and publish with it the counter statement. The reader then can judge who tells the truth.

The other letter we insert below. The `tone and spirit' exhibited in this letter are not so outrageous as the other, yet it is equally as unbecoming a high minded and generous man. If it is true (and of that we have not disposition to make a denial) that the smallness of their number, or otherwise their weakness prevents the Cherokees from resisting him, it does not come with a good grace from any man in Col. Sanford's condition to say so. It is morally certain, if the Cherokees were strong and Georgia weak, the latter would no more think of extending her jurisdiction over this territory, than she would of subjecting England to her laws. Let not the Indian be abused, trampled down, scorned, and laughed at because he is small. Let it not be supposed he is awed into silence merely because a gray headed Tennessean was stabbed nearly to death. Let not injustice be done to his motives, because he will not take up the why which has lain buried for the last forty years, and which he has agreed and given his pledge that it should lie there forever. The Cherokees are for justice and they are trying to obtain it in a peaceable manner, by a regular course of law. If the last and legitimate tribunal decided against them, as honest men they will submit and 'the agony will be over.' Will Georgia be as honest and submit to her own (U.S.) Courts?--'Disquietude.' This single word is sufficient to show the grand motive in extending the laws of Georgia over the Cherokees. Col. Sanford seems to rejoice that there is an 'increasing disquietude.' But no more of this at present.

Col. Sanford to Governor Gilmer.


(?) 20, 1831

His Excellency George R. Gilmer,

SIR-It is with feelings of the most unfeigned satisfaction, that I communicate to your Excellency that the command despatched to the Lower Mines has returned to the encampment, without encountering any obstacle in its progress or having had occasion, in any instance, for the exercise of its authority. The country through which their route lay was all quietness ' submission, ' their reception, if not welcome, has been, at least, friendly and respectful. I doubt not, but intelligence of the decisive and energetic conduct at the Ford, has contributed mainly to this desirable result; ' I hope its recollection will still continue them in a course thus conducive to their happiness, and their welfare. I am aware, however, that whatever may be appearances, there is at this time, an extreme repugnance to our jurisdiction, ' nothing, in my opinion, prevents its violent manifestation, but the paucity of their number and the imbecility of their power. Conscious of their own impotency, they look forward with hope and confidence to the Supreme Court, for an arrest of our proceedings upon these premises. They are still deluded with the belief of the success of their application, and that Georgia will be compelled to recede from the position she has assumed. Should, however, its decree be averse to their pretentions, the agony is over; 'aye and forever.' Their Chieftains, rather than longer submit to our dominion, will look to a region, where they can without trouble or molestation exercise their own.- This event will probably take place, happen what will, if Georgia be only true to herself. The operation of her laws is attended with daily increasing disquietude in their ranks, and with utter dismay in those of their counsellors.



The object for which this military band was created by the last legislature was to defend the gold mines and to assist in enforcing the laws of the State. We considered their duties few and simple, and we thought we understood them, until they came and arrested Mr. Martin without a written precept, and without even alleging a charge. This put us in the dark, and we are utterly at a loss to account for such unprecedented proceedings. It is reported that a similar course will be pursued against other persons, such as the white men who have not taken the oath of allegiance. We shall soon know, however, how it will be. We hear may reports of what they intend to do-if half what we hear were true, it would be bad enough.

While we are upon this subject we cannot, perhaps,do any better than present to our readers the following circular of one of the officers. We publish it as it came from the author, ' without commenting upon it, only we beg leave to repeat a sentence. 'I am directed to expel the Poney club from the Cherokee Territory, no white family being allowed to remain on said land unless of GOOD CHARACTER as to HONESTY.' Now has the Club been rooted out of the territory? Have they not rather been introduced into the nation? Who rented some of those improvements abandoned by emigrants? Where is Philpot and some of his colleagues?


To all and every person or persons, who may be occupied in digging for Gold, Silver, or other Metals, in that part of the State of Georgia, in the occupancy of the Cherokees. They are hereby requested to cease digging and Retire to Their Homes, as I have been appointed by the Agent of the State; Col. J. W. A. Sanford, to Enlist a company of men to Guard said mines I have accordingly done so, and shall proceed to SIXES, and station myself there This coming week, and scour the Al-le-too-nee, and other branches containing Gold Immediately Thereafter. I therefore do Hope and Trust, that no person either white or Red, Will be found hardy enough to Resist, the Troops and authority of the State, as We have power, in the event of Resistance to call out any number of The Militia of Georgia, that may be needed to expel all such Intruders.- I am also directed to aid and assist in carrying the Law of the State into effect, and also to Protect the Indians, in their Persons and Property, from the aggressions of Bad White men, and I am directed to expel the Poney club from the Cherokee Territory, no White Family being allowed to remain on said Land unless of Good character as to Honesty.- I therefore shall expect the hearty cooperation of all good men Red and White, as I am equally Friendly to both, and desirous for their welfare. We therefore come as Friends and protectors and not as enemies to Good People. We therefore wish to keep up a Friendly Intercourse with Them, in all Legal and right ways.

I am with Great Respect


Comdg. Geo. Guards.


Copy of a letter from a member of Congress to the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, dated.


26th Jan. 1831.

DEAR SIR- Your favor of the 13th inst. came safe to hand by this day's mail, and I will hasten to answer it. I am enjoying good health and hope these lines may find you likewise in health.

Your Delegation are doing the best they can for your people, and have had their memorial presented to Congress by Judge Hemphill from Pennsylvania, as perhaps you will see before these lines reach you. The State of Pennsylvania is taking a very lively interest in memorializing Congress in your behalf-they are praying Congress to interfere and protect the Indians in their rights agreeably to former treaties, and several of the Eastern States are petitioning in the same manner. I do hope the question will come up again before we break up. I have no doubt but there are many that voted for the bill that are ashamed of their votes at this time. I for one, am prouder of my vote than any vote that I ever gave. I would rather be beaten and never see another Congress while I live, than to have voted for that Bill; but upon that subject I never will dread the consequence while I enjoy the same opinion with the people of the Western District that I now do. I have always believed that I represented an honest people, while that is the case I have nothing to dread from giving an honest vote. I do not, nor never did believe that there was one spark of honesty in that whole measure; it was nothing but a speculation by the Government. We have a bill reported to Congress by Mr. Davis of South Carolina to repeal the 25th section of the Judiciary act, which is neither more nor less than to separate this Union. If that bill was to pass we would not be one moment longer a Union. I do believe that the object of this attempt is to give the State of Georgia a chance to oppress your people, and to prevent the General Government from protecting them. That section is the keystone to this Government and everything that holds the Government together.

I have taken all the pains in my power to make your Delegation acquainted with the members. I have taken and gone with them to members' rooms and introduced them to a great many members, and I find a great difference in the language used about the course pursued towards your people that was last winter. Your Delegation are very popular with the members generally, except a few Jackson worshippers, and they have nothing to say or to do with them. I do trust in God that there is honesty enough in Congress to do you justice before it is too late.

I was bred and born in Tennessee, and have fought under General Jackson, and voted for him for President, but I never will vote for him again. If I were never to see another Congress I would retire to private life with a clear conscience, that I have acted honestly towards God and my country. The letters that I receive from my District are very flattering. The truth is I am not the least alarmed about the success of my next election, the Jackson question notwithstanding.

I am of opinion that we will do but little good during the present session. We are still engaged in Judge Peck's trial, but I hope we will close it in a few days; then I expect we will spend the remainder of the session principally in debates on questions that have been introduced, viz. the repeal of the 25th section, and the striking out John Randolph's salary. These questions will take up much time, but I do believe that there are a majority in Congress who have a wish to do something for your people before we leave here. I must close by requesting you to tender my best respects to your Brother Lewis and Mr. Vann, and accept the assurances of my best wishes.

I remain your friend and Obedient Servant.