Cherokee Phoenix

From the Macon (Geo.) Telegraph

Published August, 11, 1832

Page 4 Column 2b

From the Macon (Geo.) Telegraph

War in Georgia.- We have just learnt (sic) that hostilities are now, and have for the last five or six weeks, been waging on the northern part of our western frontier, and that it is of actually a war of invasion. Most of our readers have, we suppose, heard the Poney Club. This association, consisting of from one hundred and to two hundred members distinguished by a disregard of law, and a surprising tact at acquisition, had pushed their operations until scarcely a poney worth 20 dollars was left in the Cherokee country; and the club itself must have died of famine had it not determined to forage in Alabama. From the latter State, Ponies, horses and cattle were taken in large numbers, and being transferred through perhaps twenty depots before sold, recovery was seldom practicable; and, as no receipts were given, the owners were left to whistle for their property. Nor was this all.

The poney club corps having settled so numerously in neighborhoods as to be able to elect constables and justices of the peace from their own body, if any member was seen marauding, process against him could be seldom obtained, he was sure to be discharged by exculpatory affidavits of his comrades, and not infrequently the unfortunate plaintiff was committed or bound over on fictitious charges by officers of the peace actually fugitives from justice at the moment. In short, there was no recovery of property by law, nor punishment of the heritors. The Poney Club, composed of persons, fugitives from other States, was virtually exempt from the operation of our statutes, while it issued the ministered arm of justice to crush those it had injured.

The Alabamians, are however a spirited and sagacious people, and resolved on getting that satisfaction through their own enterprise which our tribunals could not afford them. They formed themselves into a society under the cognomen of Suckers or Seekers, and to the number of about thirty, commanded by

Gen. Lynch, invaded their territory, observing however, the greatest respect towards it persons and property, except the members of the Poney Club. The latter they seized whenever discovered, sometimes whipping them soundly on the spot, and at others taking them into the Indian country and placing them into the hands of the aborigines, who are said to leave seldom an inch of sound skin on the posterior part of the body between the ankles and the neck. As yet the consequences have been most salutary to our State, whipping being in all cases followed by immediate emigration. Only one instance of loss of life was as yet happened. An Alabamian having been promised the restoration of some cattle stolen from him, was on his way to the spot at which restoration was to be made; and was met on the road by the thief attended by a Poney Club constable to take the claimant into custody on a factitious charge.

The claimant was accompanied by several persons, one of whom was Mr. Goodwin of Alabama. Knowing Goodwin to be resolute and of great bodily strength, the chief cocked his gun, and was in the act of bringing it to his shoulder, to shoot Goodwin, whose back was towards him, when the latter, admonished of his danger, wheeled suddenly, fired, and lodged a load of buckshot in the body of the chief, who instantly was dead. This was in Carroll County. Goodwin went to a neighboring gold mine, and stopped all night in expectation of a visit next day from the Poney Club. About twenty of them headed by the same constable, appeared. With his gun on his shoulder, Goodwin commanded them to halt, threatening with instant death the first man who moved foot or hand. They tamely obeyed; on which Goodwin looked up to them, and tapped the constable on the shoulder, informing him that his presence was wanted at the house, in which the sheriff of the county (who had been sent for) took him into his custody on criminal writ issued at the last term of the Superior Court. The rest of the Poney Club made a certain retreat.