NEW ECHOTA: JAN. 26, 1833
We present to our readers below the correspondence of Messrs. Worcester and Butler in relation to their pending case in the Supreme Court, against the State of Georgia, which has resulted in their liberation from their confinement in the penitentiary.
The position in which Georgia had placed herself against these worthy men, we had always believed was a useless one; her resistance even with the bayonet, had the case been prosecuted, would not have invalidated the decision of the Supreme Court. The decision of this high court, touching the rights of the Cherokees, is by no means weakened, by the discharge of the Missionaries from their confinement. If the United States were as intent at the preservation of their primary tribunals as they are at a revolution, the decision of the Supreme Court would be sustained, and the rights of the Cherokees as a nation would be protected according to treaties.
It will be seen that these Missionaries have made no concessions to the State of Georgia by accepting of their release, for while they avowed the justice of their cause in the face of Gov. Lumpkin; the case could be borne no longer, he ordered their discharge.
NEW ECHOTA, Cher. Na. Jan. 23, 1833
Mr. E. Hicks,- Editor of the Cherokee Phoenix.
Sir,- The following communications of Dr. Butler and myself to Messrs. Wirt and Sergeant and to the Governor of Georgia are at your disposal,
PENITENTIARY, MILLEDGEVILLE, Jan. 8. 1833.
HON. WM. WIRT AND HON. JOHN SERGEANT,
GENTLEMEN, We write to inform you that, by considerations of a public nature with which you are already familiar, we have been led to the conviction that it is not expedient, under existing circumstances, further to prosecute the case in controversy between the State of Georgia and ourselves, in the Supreme Court of the United States. It is our desire, therefore, that you make no motion on our behalf before that Court.
You may expect a further communication for us in a few days. In the mean time we are,
with great regard and esteem,
yours very truly
[Signed] S.A. WORCESTER,
PENITENTIARY, MILLEDGEVILLE, Jan. 8, 1833
To His Excellency WILSON LUMPKIN,
Governor of the State of Georgia,
Sir,--In reference to a notice given to your Excellency on the 26th of November last by our counsel, in our behalf, of our intention to move the Supreme Court of the United States, on the second day of February next for further process in the case between ourselves individually as plaintiffs in error, and the State of Georgia as defendant in error, we have now to inform your Excellency, that we have this day forwarded instruction to our counsel to forbear the intended motion, and to prosecute the case no farther. We beg leave respectfully to state to your Excellency, that we have not been led to the adoption of this measure by any change in views in regard to the principle on which we have acted, or by any doubt of the justice of our cause, or our perfect right to a legal discharge, in accordance with the decision of the Supreme Court in our favor, already given; but by the apprehension that the further prosecution of the case under existing circumstances injurious to our beloved country.
We are respectfully yours,
PENITENTIARY, MILLEDGEVILLE, Jan 9, 1833
To his Excellency Wilson Lumpkin,
Governor of the State of Georgia.
Sir- we are sorry to be informed that some expressions in our communication of yesterday were regarded by your Excellency as an indignity offered to the State or its authorities. Nothing could be further from our design. In the course we have not taken it has been our intention simply to forbear the prosecution of our case, and to leave the question of the continuance of our confinement to the magnanimity of the State.
We are yours respectfully,
[Signed] S.A. WORCESTER
From the Federal Union
By Wilson Lumpkin, Governor and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of this State, and of the Militia thereof.
To CHARLES C. MILLS, Esquire, Principal Keeper of the Penitentiary.
WHEREAS at a Superior Court, held in and for the county of Gwinnett, at the September Term 1831, Samuel A. Worcester and Elizur Butler were convicted of illegal residence within the Territory of this State, then inhabited almost exclusively by Cherokee Indians, and such other persons as were unfriendly to the rights and interest of the State:- Whereupon they were sentenced to four years confinement in the Penitentiary of this State.
And whereas sound policy has, since the confinement of said persons, induced the constituted authorities of this State to provide by law, for the legal settlement of the unoccupied part of said Territory, by a free white population-and having provided for the organization of said Territory into counties of suitable form and size for the convenience and regular administration of public justice, and the due execution of the laws of the State. And the Legislature being assured at their late session, that under existing arrangements, which were daily going into execution, the country would shortly contain a sufficient number of well qualified inhabitants, to carry fully into effect these several objects-did therefore repeal the law under which the said Samuel A. Worcester and Butler were convicted and sentenced as aforesaid:
And whereas the said Samuel A. Worcester and Elizur Butler have made known to me, that they have instructed their counsel, William Wirt and John Sergeant Esquires, to prosecute the case which they had though fit to institute before the Supreme Court of the United States against the State of Georgia, no further; but have concluded 'to leave the question of their continuance in confinement to the magnanimity of the State.'
And moreover, taking into consideration the earnest solicitude for the release of these individuals, which has been communicated to me, in the most friendly and respectful manner, by many of the most distinguished friends of the State, residing in various parts of the Union-amongst whom are many of those who have sustained the State and her authorities throughout this unpleasant controversy. And also taking into view, the triumphant ground which the State finally occupies in relation to this subject, in the eyes of the Nation, as has been sufficiently attested, through various channels, especially in the recent overwhelming re-election of President Jackson, the known defender of the State throughout this controversy. And now believing as I do, that not only the rights of the State have been fully and successfully vindicated and sustained in this matter, but being assured as I am, that the state is free from the menace of any pretended power whatever, to infringe upon her rights, or control her will in relation for this subject. And above all other considerations the magnanimity of Georgia being now appealed to-I therefore, as the organ of the State, feel bound to sustain the generous and liberal character of her people.
Whatever may have been the errors of the individual-whatever embarrassments and heart burning they may have been instrumental in creating-however mischievous they may have been in working evil to the State, to themselves, and the still more unfortunate Cherokees-and whatever may have been the spirit which has influenced them to the course they have pursued, and however obstinately they may have adhered to the counsels of their employers, aiders and abetters, yet the present state of things is such, that it is enough-that they may submit the case 'to the magnanimity of the State.' They shall therefore go free.--And know ye, that for and in consideration of all the forgoing circumstances, and many more which might be enumerated-I have thought proper to remit, and do, in virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution, hereby remit the further execution of the sentence of the Court against the said Samuel A. Worcester and Elizur Butler, and order that they be forthwith discharged.
In testimony where of, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the Ex. Department to be affixed, this fourteenth dy of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-three, and of American independence the fifty-seventh
By the Governor:
Rholom A. Greene, Secretary.