Cherokee Phoenix


Published March, 24, 1832

Page 4 Column 2a


The Imprisoned Missionaries.- The Rev. William Patton, of this city, being on a Southern tour for his health, has addressed a letter to the Editors of the Observer, giving a very interesting account of a visit he made a fortnight since, to the Missionaries imprisoned, without crime, in the Penitentiary of Georgia. He was freely and kindly admitted by the keeper, and was moved to tenderness on meeting with his Christian brethren to find them clad in the same garments with the felons with whom they are incarcerated. On the Sabbath they were dressed in coarse white linen pantaloons, a coarse cotton shirt, a coarse dark colored woolen roundabout or jacket with comfortable shoes and stocking, all of them bearing the prison marks.- They had no look of conscious guilt. Their eyes were bright ' cheerful. Mr. Worcester is engaged in preaching a course of sermons upon the moral law. His text on the day of Mr. Patton's visit, was the sixth commandment 'Thou shalt not kill.' 'Seldom,' says Mr. P. 'have I heard a sermon with which I was so much delighted. It was plain, discriminating, instructive, and practical. He showed a mind strong and penetrating, well disciplined and richly furnished. He manifested great moral courage in his open and plain rebuke of sin.- Whilst he evinced a deep devotion and resolute attachment to the holiness and authority of God's law, he mingled the tenderest regard for the souls of the prisoners--who were very attentive.' After the services of the morning, Mr. Worcester proceeded to hear his bible class, consisting of 15 or 20 of his prisoners. 'I attended him,' says Mr. P, 'and was affected deeply when I saw him patiently instructing these ignorant men.' He takes great pains with them, is very patient and kind, and Mr. Butler is likewise diligently employed in promoting the spiritual welfare of the prisoners. The demeanor of these gentlemen is meek,cheerful, and submissive; and like Daniel, their oppressors have no accusation against them, except it be for the firm yet unoffending discharge of their duties as Missionaries of the religion for which their Divine Master was put to death. In the afternoon, Mr. P. also attended their services, and took a part in the exercises. The rattling of the grates and doors, and the clanking of chains and the approach of evening, reminded the visitor that the prisoners were now about to be committed to their cells. He turned aside to see the little place where his Christian brethren slept. They have no beds; and five blankets is all the bedding allowed to the two. As Mr. P. turned away, 'the iron entered his soul.' What had these men done to merit this? Nothing but preaching the Gospel to the Indians, and refusing to comply with the unconstitutional requirements of Georgia and President Jackson.