NEW ECHOTA SEPT.3, 1831
Mr. McLeod's letter.-The letter of the Rev. Mr. McLeod to the editor of the Western Weekly Review, detailing the circumstances of his arrest by the Georgia Guard, we publish merely as a confirmation of what has already been related to the public in this paper.
We think it must be pretty evident about this time that the Cherokees are really attached to their country and homes. What has not been attempted within the two last years to induce them to forsake the 'graves of their fathers'? Everything except open force. It was supposed by most of the firm friends of the Indians that it was impossible for the Cherokees to withstand the oppressive measures of the General Government and the State of Georgia-they supposed that they would be compelled to remove as soon as they were made to understand that they would receive no protection. But their fortitude and energy have grown with the increase of their oppression.- They are determined to cling to their homes until forced away, or their rights acknowledged by proper tribunals. In the meantime, they will continue, as they have done, to urge those rights upon the consideration of the American people.- They will continue to call upon the executive and Congress of the United States for that protection which has been solemnly promised to them in better days, whether those high authorities will hear or not. It is highly desirable that Congress should meet the question honestly-come to some decision, either acknowledge the treaties, or declare them null and void, as the President has done. The Cherokees wish the question settled soon some way.
On the second Monday of this month the Superior Court of Gwinnett County, Ga. commences its session, when ten white men will be indicted for the crime of residing within the limits of the Georgia charter without taking the oath of allegiance. Penalty-not less than four years hard labor in the Penitentiary. The following are their names; J. A. Thompson, F. Thompson, Thomas Gann, J. F. Wheeler, J. J. Trott, S. A. Worcester, E. Butler, S. Mayes, A. Copeland, and Edward Delosier.
LETTER OF THE REV. J. THOMPSON TO THE GOVERNOR OF GEORGIA.
Brainard Mission C. N.
August 13, 1831
To his Excellency George R. Gilmer, Governor of the State of Georgia.
Sir.- A communication from your Excellency dated May 16, enclosed in one from Col. J. W. A. Sandford of the 28th, was delivered to me by a member of the Guard on the Sabbath morning of the 29th of the same month. Several causes have prevented an earlier reply. From Col. Sandford's letter, I learned that ten days would be allowed me in which to comply with your Excellency's advice to remove beyond the territory of the Cherokees claimed by the State of Georgia. The feeble health of my family, their exposed situation in consequence of attempts made to enforce in this nation laws recently enacted by the Legislature of Georgia, together with some other considerations, in my view, rendered a change of residence expedient. Accordingly shortly after the reception of your Excellency's communication, my family was removed to this place. In adopting this course, I could not however recognize the right to require such a step of me as existing in the authorities of the State over which your Excellency has the honor to preside. To another power I suppose myself amenable while a resident in this Nation, unless a decision at variance with my present views shall be made by the proper tribunals. The reason why I continued my residence at Hightower since the first of March, with a 'license,' will, after the foregoing statement be sufficiently obvious. The 'evidence obtained from the United States government,' of which your excellency makes mention, as sufficient to convince the Courts of the state of Georgia, 'that Missionaries are not agents' of the General Government was not necessary to produce conviction in my own mind on that point. Although the aid and sanction of that body have been extended to us, in better days, and although their protection is now greatly desired; yet I feel no particular disappointment or regret, upon learning that we are not considered by them as their agents.* Your Excellency is pleased to represent me as opposed 'to the humane policy which the General Government has adopted for the civilization of the Indians.' I am sensible of feeling no opposition to any 'policy' which aims at accomplishing the above object. And I am certain that I have no inclination to stay the progress of that 'policy' which has been pursued by the General Government for the civilization of the Indians ever since the Revolution, I could wish that the counsels of Washington and Jefferson and of others, on this subject, were indelibly engraven on the memory of my countrymen. I believe too, that Missionaries are still pursuing the course to which they have been recommended by the General Government; ' that no counter instruction from that source have been received through the proper channels. The method and object of our Missionary labors remain unchanged, if changes have occurred elsewhere, so that if we may now be represented to the public as opposed to measures whose object is the civilization of the Indians, or as culprits deserving severe punishment, I trust the time is not very far distant when an unseen Hand shall wipe aspersions like these from our character.
With sentiments of high regard, permit me to subscribe myself, Your Excellency's obedient Serv't
*In regard to missionaries being agents of the General Government I would be understood as expressing only my own opinion. Others may, or may not differ from me.