Cherokee Phoenix


Published October, 1, 1831

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We have barely time this week to say, that nine of the prisoners sentenced by Judge Clayton to confinement in the Penitentiary, were pardoned by the Governor, and have returned to their families. They were, however, given to understand, they must leave the bounds of Georgia, or would be liable to another arrest. None entered the walls of the Penitentiary as prisoners, except Mr. Worcester and Dr. Butler. Some of those who had received pardon, the next day, by permission, went in to see and take leave of their friends the missionaries; and requested the privilege of saying to them a few words, that they might carry some message from them to their families, but were not permitted to speak to them. They only exchange a look, and left them performing their allotted labors both at the same wheel.


The following letter from the Secretary of War to Governor Gilmer was produced as evidence that missionaries were not agents of the Government.



4th May, 1831

DEAR SIR- Your letter of the 20th April, has reached me. You enquire if persons usually denominated missionaries-those who are engaged in instructing the Indians, within the limits of the Cherokee Nation, are considered at this Department in the character of Government Agents. The course which heretofore has been pursued, will serve to explain your enquiry.

Congress impressed with the necessity of awakening the Indians, within our limits, to some course of instruction which might tend to improve their condition, early as March 1819, granted 10,000$ (sic) a year for this object, under the appropriation head of 'civilization of Indians.'- This sum has been apportioned out, annually to certain missionary societies, who have employed, and sent their young men to engage with these people in a course of instruction.- They are in nothing answerable or amenable to the Government, except to the extent that other citizens of the country are answerable.- Our agents can order them from the nation, for causes of objection, or misconduct, arising under the Laws of the United States, which regulate trade and intercourse with the Indians. Their right to remain is merely passive. The entire agency of the Government, in this respect is but incidental to the right to carry into effect the appropriation, made for civilizing the Indians. To carry out the intention of Congress in reference to this appropriation it is not necessary that schools should be kept within the limits of the Nation; the children might be educated without those limits, and the design of the appropriation be fully answered. Such however was the policy and course of the Government, and that policy has been accordingly continued.

It is the desire of the Executive to prevail on our Indians peaceably to remove from their habitations within the States, and retire west, where they can be protected to better advantage. The reasons which are connected with it, have been repeatedly and fully explained. Any person then resident amongst the Indians, who seeks to undermine, and to prevent this obvious course of policy, so desired by the reflecting part of the community, and so advantageous to the Indians, is in pursuit of a course which cannot receive sanction here, and which when known, will be promptly remedied by compelling such person from his residence amongst them. Authority to remain in an Indian Country, being merely a permissive one, that permission will not be continued to any who are acting in opposition to the kind wishes and charitable designs entertained by the Government towards our Red brothers. I would beg leave then to suggest to you, as better course from time to time, as you may be informed, information might be given to the agent of the Cherokees, of the misconduct and interference, by any person residing in the Indian Country, that he may report all the facts. The necessary steps to effect a removal can then be taken. I do not mean as to infractions of the Laws of your state, because those are matters for the exercise of your own jurisdiction and powers. I make the suggestion for reasons which you will appreciate. All excitement possible to be prevented should be avoided.- As much has been said of the judicial authority of Georgia when exercised within the Indian Country, it would be preferable, I think, to exercise it in cases only which are without the reach of other remedies.

The enclosed paper (A) will show that there are only two superintendencies within the Cherokee Country which receive any portion of the $10,000$ (sic) fund. The one a Moravian; the other a Baptist establishment.- the Seven instructors under the Boston Missionary board, are proceeding upon their own resources.

Paper marked (B) is enclosed to show you, that the principles asserted in this letter, of denying the right of residence within an Indian Country to such as oppose the views and policy and course of the Government, is the same, which was adopted under the last administration, and which the agents to the Indians in Feb. 1829 were required to have executed.

The other papers enclosed (C'D) are sent merely for the purpose of informing you of the origin of those Schools, which has since been continued amongst the Indians, Congress until 1819, made no appropriation.- Then $10,000$ (sic) were given, and it has been continued ever since.

With great respect.

(Signed) J. H. EATON.

To his Ex. GEO. R. GILMER,

Gov. of Georgia.


Milledgeville 17th May 1831

I certify that the foregoing letter is a true copy of the original of (sic) file in this office.


Secretary Ex. Dept.


Milledgeville 17th May 1831

I certify that Miller Grieve is Secretary of the Executive Department.