Cherokee Phoenix


Published August, 31, 1833

Page 3 Column 2d



The following statement of Col. Duke in defence of the charges which we alleged against him, of committing an outrage on a Cherokee woman, is partly confirmed by himself, but wholly denies the criminal attempt on the woman, which we stated he had made, and pronounces the Editor, in his preface to this statement, of charging him with a base and malicious falsehood. That part of his communication is inadmissable, it being written in a language unfit for the public eye, but the statement of facts, as he calls them, is contained in the part admitted. If it was true, that the women drew by the ends, some bank bills from his pocket book and envelope, without taking either of these, and from within his pocket, in open day light, and unseen; as an officer of the peace, it would have been Col. Duke's incumbent duty to have had these Indians legally arrested and punished, without so unmercifully treating them as set forth by his statement. We fear the most credulous, will doubt his version of the story, but the development of truth being the object of our labors, we are willing to give to our readers both sides of the question.




On Friday, the 5th day of July, as I was travelling about one and a half miles from the New Echota Ferry, Murray County, I called at an Indian house immediately on the side of the road.- Two Cherokee women and three of four children were setting near the door, eating apples. I tied my horse to a fence or stake near the door, on entering the house the women both arose and offered me their seats, I sat down immediately in the door and commenced eating some of the apples, which were near me in a basket. After having remained n the house some fifteen or twenty minutes, I felt in my pocket for my handkerchief, and could not find it, I then felt for my pocketbook, and on examination, found that there had been stolen from it eighteen dollars, which were in bills placed in lengthwise, and ends out of the pocketbook, and both which were in the outside pocket of a frock coat, and very large. I immediately charged the woman who had given me her seat, as she had retired immediately behind me. I showed her a piece of paper in which the money was partially enveloped, and gave her to understand she had my money, which by their actions (I suppose, they both denied). I told them I would return over the river to Esq. Tarvin's and get a warrant, which had no effect in causing them to give me the money. I then searched a basket of calico which set near the woman I suspected, and at the bottom found my handkerchief. I then struck her four or five times with a whip, which caused her to throw me the money which was rolled up closely. I then went to my horse, and a view of leaving, but was followed by the other woman, who caught my horse by the bridle and held it until I struck her twice with the whip, she then let go, and I left immediately. On Sunday thereafter, I again passed the house on my return, in company with a young man from Augusta, Geo. when I came to the house, the woman who had taken the money was absent but another Cherokee woman was there who spoke English. She asked me what I had whipped that woman for the other day. I informed her I whipped them for stealing my money, and taking hold of my horse by the bridle, to which she replied they intended returning it to you. I then reigned my horse around for the purpose of leaving, when to my surprise the woman who I had whipped, threw at me with a stick and struck me, I then alighted from my horse, and gave her ten or twelve severe cuts with the whip, the other woman entreated me to desist, and I rode off with the gentleman above mentioned.