Cherokee Phoenix


Published July, 30, 1831

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We present to our readers this week a particular statement relating to the imprisonment and treatment of the Missionaries. We hope every citizen of Georgia who may see this statement, will attentively consider the measures which the state had thought proper, in its sovereign pleasure to pursue. It becomes, also, the people of the United States to bear in mind that this is the 'humane policy' of the General Government, ' these the measures which the present administration is now openly abetting.


The editor of the New York Advocate and Journal supposes that there has been no little partiality used in the treatment of the missionaries by the Georgia Guard. He wishes to know why the missionaries of the American Board had ten days notice given them 'c. and no such notice sent to the Methodist missionary. 'Besides, why was Mr. Trott, the Methodist preacher put in chains?'

The editor of the Advocate will be satisfied as to his last enquiry when he reads the statement this day published. It will there be seen that they have all been put in chains. As to the other inquiry it is sufficient to observe that the Missionaries of the American Board were first arrested without any ten days notice, but they were discharged by the Superior Court in Gwinnet County, on the ground that they were agents of the Government. After this discharge it was highly necessary that they should have some kind of notice that another arrest was contemplated.


We understand from good authority that but a small amount of the annuity ( not more than $200 we presume) has been drawn by individuals, and that the Agent is not likely to receive any more customers. We understand also this mode of paying the nation's money is quite profitable to whiskey dealers.

We should like to know, from the agent or from some other person who is capable of enlightening us on the subject, what will be done with the money when it is ascertained fully that the Cherokees will not receive it in the manner proposed? Congress has appropriated it for the use of the Cherokees, not as a boon, but as an instalment due to the Cherokee nation. The Cherokees have designated the manner in which they will receive this money. The agent has refused to comply. Now what will be done with the money? In what way will the design of Congress be complied with? A question to be answered.




July 11, 1831

DEAR SIR,- Transactions of a public nature may be publicly stated. If you esteem the facts contained in this communication as worthy of publication, it is at your disposal.

You already know that I was arrested last Thursday evening by a small detachment of the Georgia Guard, under command of Sergeant Brooks. He inquired the state of my family, and , when informed that Mrs. Worcester was still confined to her bed, expressed regret that Col. Nelson was not present, to whom, he said, he was under orders to bring me, at Mr. Hick's, ten miles distant. when I solicited the privilege of remaining with my family till morning, he complied, leaving two men to guard me. Through their kindness I was exempted from a close watch during the night, as I slept in my own room below, and my guard in another above stairs.

In the morning we joined Mr. Brooks at Mr. Tarvin's and rode to Mr. Hicks's, where Col. Nelson, with others of the guard, was waiting our arrival. I requested Sergeant Brooks to mention to Col. Nelson the state of my family, which he promised to do. Whether he fulfilled his promise I do not know, but I am certain he had not spoken to Col. Nelson, when Mr. Thompson inquired of him whether I was going on to Head Quarters, and he answered, Yes. Perceiving that the matter was decided, I said no more. After eating, I was ordered behind the baggage wagon. Thus far I had received none but kind treatment, nor heard an improper word from either of the guard, except that Mr. Brooks indulged his propensity to profaneness. We had proceeded from Mr. Hicks's about three miles, when we met the Rev. Mr. McLeod, superintendent of the Methodist mission, and Rev. Mr. Wells, teacher of the school at Chattoogy. At the request of Mr. Trott, and by permission of Col. Nelson, they rode on some distance in our company. In the course of conversation Mr. McLeod inquired of Mr. Trott whether he had been chained the preceding night. Mr. Trott answered, Yes. Mr. McLeod then asked if it was according to law to chain a prisoner who manifested no disposition to escape. Mr. Trott relied that he thought not, but said that he supposed we ought not to blame those in whose care we were for such treatment, as they had orders, ' were obliged to follow them. To this Mr. McLeod replied, 'It seems they proceed more by orders, than by law.' At this expression some of the guard took offence, and one of them reproached Mr. McLeod for it, who, in reply, asserted the right of freedom of speech, provided he said nothing amiss, and added, 'If I have said anything wrong, I am in your power, you can arrest me.' Several of the guard replied, and a few words more had passed on each side, when Col. Nelson rode up to inquire what was going on. Being told of the expression which had given offence, he asked Mr. McLeod where he resided. He replied, 'In Tennessee.' The Col. then, with a curse, ordered him to 'flank off.' Mr. McLeod, turning his horse, said, 'I will if it is your command;' but added, hastily, as he afterwards said, 'You will hear from me again.' He was then riding away when the Col. ordered him to dismount, and lead his horse along after the guard, which he did. The Col., then inquired of Mr. Trott if he was 'one of their circuit riders,' and, on being answered in the affirmative, had his horse taken from him, and ordered him forward with us.- A tremendous torrent of curses was now pouring upon us,chiefly from the mouth of Sergeant Brooks. Others of the guard indeed joined him in too great a degree, but the profaneness and obscenity of Brook's language could not be exceeded by anything which the most depraved and polluted imagination could conceive. Not only the person who had given the offence, nor only the prisoners, but all missionaries, all ministers of the Gospel, and religion itself, were the subjects of his railing. We were happy in taking to ourselves the consolation afforded by the words which he tauntingly repeated, 'Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.' For a short distance Mr. McLeod was compelled by Brooks to keep the centre of the road, through mire and through water, but afterwards, with the rest of us, allowed bore liberty.

Another circumstance occurred during the day, not within my observation, but which I learned from Rev. Mr. Thompson. I have mentioned that Rev. Mr. Wells was in company with Mr. McLeod. When Mr. McLeod was arrested, Mr. Wells took his horse, and was going away in an opposite direction from us, when he met Mr. Thompson. He then turned, intending to follow Mr. McLeod, and offer his service in anything which occasion might require, particularly in case of his being released. After riding a few miles they came up with the guard. When Col. Nelson saw Mr. Wells following, he ordered him, with a threat, to ride out of his sight, either before or behind. Mr. Wells made no reply, but fell back a little, and followed on. Col. Nelson dismounted, cut a stick, made up to Mr. Wells, and gave him a single blow on the head. Mr. Wells then said that he had a right to travel the public road, and should to it.- Accordingly he persevered, and rode on till he came to a house where he had been requested by Mr. McLeod, through Mr. Thompson, to stop.

When we were within a few miles of our stopping place, Mr. McLeod solicited from Col., Nelson the privilege of riding, on account of severe pains in his hips and knees; but the Col. returned answer, that Proctor thought he could not walk at first, but afterwards got along very well.

Near night we arrived at Maj. Dawson's, about 22 miles from Mr. Hicks's. When about to lie down for the night, the prisoners were chained together by the ankle, two and two.

It may be proper here to state, that Mr. Trott had been arrested on Wednesday at Two-runs, and taken to Dawson's on horseback and thence marched on foot to Hicks's on Thursday, and back again on Friday. Proctor was taken on Tuesday. The first night he was chained by the ankle only. The second and third he was chained by the neck to the wall, as well as by the ankle to Mr. Trott. On the way to Hicks's and back to Dawson's, he was chained to the wagon. This severity, I suppose, was occasioned by his having made resistance when he was taken, and afterwards attempted to escape.- But to return.

Some time after we had lain down another detachment arrived with Dr. Butler as prisoner. He had been arrested the evening before, and had fared worse than any of us. After crossing the river three or four miles from home, a chain was fastened by a padlock around his neck, and the other end to the neck of a horse, on which one of the guard rode, while he walked. In this way they proceeded for some time after it had become so dark that he could see no obstacle which might be in his way, the horse walking with a quick step, and he liable at every moment to fall, and thus to be dragged by the neck till the horse should stop. When he had walked as he supposed between four ' five miles after he was chained, he was permitted on representing his danger to ride behind the saddle his chain being still fastened to the neck of the horse. In this situation the horse fell, with both his riders under him, and in such a position that none of them could rise, till others of the guard could come,ascertain their position by the sense of feeling, and roll the horse over. Dr. Butler was considerably in jured, but the guard more, having as he supposes, two ribs broken. After this Dr. Butler was no more chained to the horse. The rest of the way that night he was suffered to ride, while one of the guard walked. They arrived at lodgings about midnight, 14 miles from Dr. Butler's. After they lay down, Dr. Butler was chained by the ankle to his bedstead. On the next day they had 35 miles or more to travel. The prisoner was permitted to ride much of the way, while different individuals of the guard walked. He had a chain around his neck, not, however, fastened to the horse, but at his own disposal. In chaining him the guard professed to act not according to their own inclination, but under strict orders.

On Saturday morning, as we were crossing the river, Mr. Thompson stood on the bank, waiting to speak to us when we reached it. Col. Nelson and sergeant Brooks were in consultation on the side which we had left. Brooks then called across, giving orders that no one should be allowed to speak to either of the prisoners privately, and that no letter should be delivered to them or by them without being first examined.

Proctor was now permitted to ride his own horse, which had been made prisoner with himself. His chain was fastened around his neck, and left at his command. Dr. Butler was left unchained. The journey of the day was about 35 miles. When we had travelled a considerable distance, we were permitted, through the kindness of some of the guard, who themselves walked in our stead, to ride four or five miles. For this kindness, we were afterwards told, they were bitterly cursed by Brooks. Afterwards Mr. Trott being about to fail, the Cherokee was dismounted, and Mr. Trott placed on the poney. Towards evening Mr. McLeod's feet had become so sore, that he could scarcely walk, and solicited the privilege of riding, which some of the guard would readily have granted, but Brooks interfered, and with much cursing compelled him to walk on. Afterwards, however, perhaps seeing the difficulty with which he walked, he directed Mr. Trott to dismount, and placed Mr. McLeod on the poney. Col. Nelson was not with us.

We passed the night at Mr. Lay's. All except the poor Cherokee, were excused from wearing chains, Corporal Glenn, who had the charge of us, orders to chain us, remarking that he had received no and had not, himself, any disposition to do it.

The Sabbath did no give us rest, till we had travelled 22 miles, which brought us to this place. Mr. McLeod, being utterly unable to walk, was mounted on the poney, having blanket and a bag of clothing for a saddle, and a rope halter instead of a bridle. On the way Mr. Trott was allowed to ride several miles in the wagon. Doctor Butler and myself were favored by the kindness of two of the guard with a ride of two or three miles. Arrived at camp Gilmer, we were introduced to this house, Brooks remarking as we entered, 'There is where all the enemies of the state of Georgia will have to land;-there and inn hell.'- Another prisoner, Mr. Samuel Mayes, was introduced at night.

Tuesday, July 12. Our prison, when we entered it, presented no very pleasant appearance. The floor was sufficiently dirty, and there was little air or light, and a very unpleasant smell. all these evils we have in a good measure remedied, so that our dwelling is comparatively comfortable. The want of air and light, we have supplied in some degree, by enlarging some holes already made through the daubing of the wall, and making others new, no man forbidding us. True the floor is rough, but we contrive to sleep on it soundly enough. We have no chairs, bench or table, but these are not indispensable. We have plenty of wholesome food and good water, and a sufficient supply of blankets for the night. We have no chains to wear- Proctor's was taken off on his being put in jail. Under the care of a merciful Providence we all enjoy good health. Though not at liberty, we dwell in peace, and with peace of conscience we are contented.

Yesterday, Mr. Thompson and Mr. Wells arrived, and requested an interview with us. Mr. Thompson was admitted, but Mr. Wells was refused. The restriction is still maintained, that no person shall converse with us privately, nor any letter be sent away unexamined.

Before yesterday noon Mr. McLeod had sent a line to Col. Nelson, (Col. Sanford is absent,) requesting an interview. This morning Col. Nelson sent for him, and after a while he was dismissed, but not allowed to return and bid us farewell.

Wednesday, July 13. We remain in the same place, not knowing how long we are to remain or what is to befall us hereafter. With confidence we commit our cause to Him who judgeth righteously, and cheerfully await the event. I speak of those particularly who are missionaries. If we are, as we think we are, in the path of duty, though we suffer here, we shall rejoice hereafter.

I will now close this communication. Of what yet awaits us I may give you an account at some future time.

Your affectionate friend.



July 18, 1831

DEAR SIR,- I closed a communication to you last Wednesday of considerable length, which is still in my possession, but which you may receive hereafter.

Last Thursday night a white man by the name of Nellum was added to our number. He was arrested for residing in the prohibited territory without a license. He said he was on the way hither for the purpose of obtaining license, and was tarrying for a day with his mother on the way when he was arrested. You know that the law makes no provision for license to be given since the first of March, and of course would subject Nellum no less than the rest of us to the penalty enacted. However, after being detained till yesterday, which was the sabbath, he was set at liberty, I presume on the ground of his intention to take the oath of allegiance.

Saturday evening we sent a request to Col. Nelson, of which the following is a copy.

Col. Ch. H. Nelson,

Sir,- If it be consistent with necessary regulation, it would be a high gratification to some of your prisoners, if Mr. Trott and Mr. Worcester might be permitted to hold a meeting tomorrow evening at some place where such of the guard and of the neighbors as are disposed might attend. If the favor can be granted, be so kind as to give us an answer as soon as convenient. We wish to be understood that we should all greatly desire the privilege of attending.





The note was returned to us with the following answer written on the outside.

We view the within request as an impertinent one. If your conduct be evidence of your character and the doctrines you wish to promulgate we are sufficiently enlightened as to both. Our object is to restrain, not to facilitate their promulgation. If your object be true piety you can enjoy it where you are. Were we hearers we would not be benefited, devoid as we are of confidence in your honesty.

(Signed) C.H. NELSON

After dark we were at supper.- The door of our prison was thrown open to give us light. Several of the guard came and stood by the door, and one of them commenced insulting us, and me in particular with such language as made it appear that even Serg. Brooks could be equalled in filthiness of conversation one or two others joined him. Such men do not consider that they are paying us a compliment by taking it for granted that profaneness and obscenity are torture to our ears. Afterwards some of them cam ' lay down by our door for the apparent purpose of disturbing our rest by their talk. One reechoed several times from the mouth of Brooks, 'Fear not, little flock.'


July 25

I am now on my way home; and having to tarry a little time here, I resume my narrative of recent events.

On Monday, the day of my last date, Mr. Thompson ' Mr. William Rogers arrived with a writ of habeas corpus, requiring Col. Nelson to present us before the inferior court of Gwinett County, at Lawrenceville. Supposing that we should probably be taken away the next morning, and should have to walk, Dr. Butler delivered his saddle bags to Mr. Thompson to be carried for him to Lawrenceville. We were afterwards informed that, after Mr. Thompson had already got beyond the line of Camp Gilmer, while tarrying a little at Scudder's inn, Col. Nelson, being there, ordered one of the guard to search the saddle bags saying that he would see how much matter they contained for the Phoenix. Accordingly they were thoroughly but vainly searched. col. Nelson said afterwards that he had another object in searching them, which, however, he did not explain. This was done in presence of Mr. Thompson, Mr. Rogers and Mr. Scudder.

In justice to the individuals composing the guard, it may be proper to say that while we were in jail only two or three individuals offered us any insult, most of them treated us with civility, and some with kindness.

It was not till Thursday morning that we were relieved from our confinement. The reason afterwards assigned was that Col. Sanford, who did not arrive till Wednesday evening, had important evidence in his possession. This I suppose must have been a letter from the Secretary of War, stating that missionaries were not agents of the Gen. Government, and one from the Post Master General informing the Governor of my dismissal from office. On Thursday morning we were all furnished with horses, and set out towards Lawrenceville, Instead, however, of being presented directly before the court to which the writ of habeas corpus was made returnable, we were brought before a justice of the peace on the way, and all of us by him delivered over into the hands of a constable for jail, with the understanding that the Constable should wait on the Col., till he could appear with us before the inferior court.- At nine o'clock in the night we arrived at Lawrenceville. Friday was spent in endeavoring to collect the justices of the court; and not till near noon on Saturday were we at length brought before them for a hearing. In the meantime, on Saturday morning, Dr. Butler was seized with a violent and dangerous attack of bilious colic, and although by prompt and vigorous medical aid, he obtained relief, but was far from being able to attend court. Proctor, also, was too sick to attend.

I shall not attempt to describe the proceedings of the court, which appeared to be no less singular than the attitude in which we were presented before them- in the hands of a constable to be committed to jail, and yet in the hands of Col. Nelson to be presented before a habeas corpus court. It is sufficient that the decision was against us all. We all gave security for our appearance at the next term of the Superior Court, except the poor Cherokee, how was anew committed to jail.

Doctor Butler and myself, as well as Mr. Thompson, remained at Lawrenceville till this morning, and experienced from some of the citizens various acts of distinguished kindness, which we shall bear in grateful remembrance.

With much esteem I remain your sincere friend,


Mr. BOUDINOT,- We have seen a communication addressed to you by Mr. Worcester under the several dates of July 11th, 12th, and 13th, and another under the dates of July 18th, and 15th and testify that the facts contained in these communications, so far as they related to ourselves individually, or came under our observation, are strictly correct.



P.S. New Echota, July 28, Since I closed my communications I have not had opportunity to see my late fellow prisoners, except Dr. Butler, or their testimony would have been added to the above. It can be procured if any of the facts are questioned.