Cherokee Phoenix


Published June, 4, 1831

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We little thought when we were remarking last week on the Post Office reform in this place, that we should be able so soon to publish additional facts in regard to the means employed to effect the great object of the State of Georgia and the present administration of the General Government. The surmises of some that the removal of Mr. Worcester from the Post Office was but to pave a way for his arrest have turned out to be well founded, as will be seen from the following order of Col. Sanford addressed to each of the Missionaries under the care of the American Board, and the letters of Governor Gilmer to Messrs. Thompson and Worcester, which we have been permitted to publish.

SCUDDERS', May 28th 1831

Sir- After the receipt of the enclosed letter, ten days will be allowed you, to remove out of the unsettled limits of the State. If found residing within it, after the expiration of that time, you will be subject to arrest and to such punishment as the Law shall direct in case of illegal residence 'c.

Your ob't Serv't


Comm'r. G. Guard.


Sir,- Sufficient evidence has been obtained from the Government of the United States to convince the courts of this State that the missionaries employed among the Cherokees by the American Board of Foreign Missions are not its Agents, and therefore not exempted from the operation of the law forbidding white persons to reside among the Cherokees without license. In continuing so to reside you must have known that you were acting in violation of the laws of the State. The mistaken decision of the Superior Court upon this subject in the late case determined in Gwinnett County has enabled you for a time to persist in your opposition to the humane policy which the General Government has adopted for the civilization of the Indians, and in your efforts to prevent their submission to the laws of Georgia. However criminal your conduct in this respect may have been, I am still desirous that you should have an opportunity of avoiding the punishment which will certainly follow the continuance of your present residence. You are therefore advised to quit it with as little delay as possible. Col. Sanford the Commander of the Guard will be directed to cause to be delivered to you this letter, and to enforce the laws if you should persist in your disobedience.

Very respectfully yours 'c.




Sir,- It is a part of my official duty to cause all white persons residing within the territory of the State, occupied by the Cherokees to be removed therefrom, who refuse to take the oath to support the Constitution and laws of the State. Information has been received of your continued residence within that territory, without complying with the requisites of the law, and of your claim to be exempted from its operation, on account of your holding the office of Post Master at New Echota.

You have no doubt been informed of your dismissal from that office. That you may be under no mistake as to this matter, you are also informed that the Government of the United States does not recognize as its agents the missionaries acting under the direction of the American Board of Foreign Missions- Whatever may have been your conduct in opposing the humane policy of the General Government, or exciting the Indians to oppose the jurisdiction of the State, I am still desirous of giving you and all others similarly situated, an opportunity of avoiding the punishment which will certainly follow your further residence within the State contrary to its laws.- You are therefore advised to remove from the territory of Georgia, occupied by the Cherokees. Col. Sanford the Commander of the Guard will be requested to have this letter delivered to you, and to delay your arrest until you shall have had an opportunity of leaving the State.

Very Respectfully Yours 'c.



The reader will perceive from the letters of Governor Gilmer, that the General Government is leagued with Georgia in carrying this unheard of persecution against the missionaries. They are determined to remove them for the purpose of preventing their opposition to the humane policy of the General Government for civilizing the Indians. May we be delivered from such civilization-we want none of it. If the missionaries must be punished, would it not be as well to punish them, at least, for some plausible reasons. Instead of barely making gratuitous assertions against them, let them be taken ' tried upon the charge of 'opposing the policy of the Gen. Gov. and exciting the Indians to oppose the jurisdiction of the State.' Such a course would be a little more becoming.

Whether the missionaries will think it best to remove is more than we can say. We think it probable, however, that some of them will. Dr. Butler is already under an arrest. And as to Mr. Worcester, against whom there seems to be the greatest animosity, there has not been a single moment since the passage of the Georgia law that he could have removed. And now it is impossible for him to remove if he is so disposed to do. Mrs. W., on account of ill health, has been unable to leave the house for the last eight months, and at this time she is utterly unable to leave her bed. She cannot be removed without exposing her life to immediate danger. It will be seen that Mr. W. has but ten days notice.

The Post Office at Spring Place is yet occupied by Mr. Byhan, but we understand that arrangements are in progress to have him displaced, and we presume it will be done shortly. In order to effect this, the Post Master General will have to do one of three things. Either to bring in a white man from the states, or to alter the mail routes, or to discontinue the office and the mail route from Head of Coosa to Spring Place. To do the last would be to close the only channel through which we can carry on our correspondence and forward our paper to our subscribers. We may be mistaken, but we cannot suppress our fears that this course will be pursued. Many acts of reform equally as astonishing as this would be, have been done. We are prepared to hear almost anything.

We could wish that this were the end of our account of the progress of oppression, but it is not. The following note will speak for itself.


June 1st 1831


Dear Sir, The Georgia Guard, under the command of Col. Nelson, are now here with four prisoners, Messrs. Elliott and Dennis, white men citizens of this nation by marriage, and the Rev. Mr. Trott, also a white man, who are charged with a violation of the Georgia law, in living in this nation by its allowance and laws. The other is, Mr. John West, a young Gentleman, and a Cherokee, who is charged with the high crime of using insolent language to the Guard. These four I saw last night under Guard, chained together in pairs and fastened with locks. Mr. David Vann, a member of the Cherokee Senate, and Thomas Woodard are also arrested, but not chained, who are not allowed to know the reason of their arrest until they arrive at Headquarters, 70 or 80 miles from their respective residence. The Guard is still in pursuit of other men. They have a waggon (sic) along, in which they have a drum, on which they beat, and a fife to make martial music.

Your friend, JOHN RIDGE.

Hail Columbia happy land!

We have few additional facts to state. Mr. Trott is a Methodist Itinerant Missionary, under the direction of the Tennessee Conference. We understand he is not allowed to ride, and that he is indeed chained every night.- The Rev. Mr. Clauder, Moravian missionary, was also arrested Tuesday morning and kept under guard about two hours and then discharged ;on his claiming the privilege of having ten days notice.-- The Guard arrived in this place Tuesday evening and put up at their usual quarters. On Wednesday morning a file of men, seven or eight in number, went to Mr. M'Coy's and arrested him while he was at Breakfast-they also went to Mr. Hick's but did not find him (he being not at home) after making a particular search in the house. When Mr. M'Coy was taken to the Commander it turned out that he was arrested for presiding, as President, over a meeting of individuals in this place a week or tow since-Mr. Woodard was also imprisoned for a similar act. They were both discharged. As matters now go, it will soon become dangerous for anyone to open his mouth and utter his opinions.

We will not enlarge upon this subject. He who reads will understand.- To our Cherokee readers we say, have patience and forbearance. Cultivate good feelings even to our enemies. Let the public see that we are for peace and that we use none but peaceable measures to assert our rights. We do not yet suffer as others have suffered. Many have suffered death for opinions sake- we have not yet come to that.


N. B. Since writing the above, we are informed the Guard passed by Springplace and arrested Mr. Jos. Vann. Mr. V. is a native, and we presume is as ignorant of the cause of this arrest as the others were. There is nothing wanting but a court of inquisition to complete the tragedy.