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His Speeches in the United States Congress on the Indian Question, as 
Representative and Senator of Georgia; His Official Corres- 
pondence on the Removal of the Gherokees during his 
two terms as Governor of Georgia, and later as 
United States Commissioner to the 


Together with a Sketch of His Life and Conduct while holding many 

Public Offices under the Government of Georgia and 

the United States, prior to 1827, ind 

after 1841. 



. „ ,190J , , 


Publishers — New York 


•vo, (•J^ t<s :> 


Wymeekuey Jones DeRenne 




9 7 ^. 3 c J 

1-9 5 r 


This history of the removal of the Cherokee Indians 
from Georgia is taken from two volumes ]\ISS. in my pos- 
session, entitled : 

"Incidents connected with the life of Wilson Lumpkin, 
illustrated from selections from his speeches and official 
writings, written and compiled by himself in the seventieth 
year of his age, 1852." 

These volumes are such as were used for deeds and 
mortgages, and contain thirteen hundred and seventy-five 
pages of closely written matter, some of which are on mis- 
cellaneous subjects. 

The writing is very clear and distinct, and there are 
hardly any erasures or corrections. 

The first volume has an introduction, addressed to his 
children ; twelve chapters ; two notes, and an appendix. 

The appendix contains a lengthy article on religious 
matters, a letter to the Sarepta Association and a letter to 
the Rev. George Lumpkin. There is also an index to his 
letters. I have omitted the introduction and the appendix, 
and have only given extracts of the first two chapters, in 
which are many philosophical reflections and good advice 
to young people. The other chapters are given in full, 
except Chapter IX, entitled: "Executive Correspondence," 
which is wholly devoted to minor correspondence on peni- 
tentiary matters, and therefore not interesting. 

The title, the introduction, the contents of the twelve 
chapters, and the notes, are in his own handwriting. 

The second volume has ten chapters, commencing with 
Chapter XIII. 

Chapter XIX, entitled: "Continuation of senatorial 
service, embracing a number of speeches and remarks on 

the floor of the Senate, on a great variety of interesting 
subjects, with frequent notes and comments by the author." 

Chapter XX, entitled : "Continuation of senatorial 
service, speeches and remarks on deeply interesting sub- 
jects, together with frequent notes and comments by the 

These two chapters, together with Chapter XXII, 
which is wholly devoted to family history, are left out as 
irrelevant to the subject. 

It also has an appendix, containing three notes : A 
statement about the Hon. Wm. H. Crawford ; a criticism 
and answer to Gov. Gilmer's "Georgians;" which are in- 
cluded. It is almost entirely in his handwriting. 




Chapter I. Including the Period of His Infancy, Up pagb 

to His Eighteenth Year 9 

Chapter II. Including the Period from 1801 to 1812, 
Being 12 Years of Variegated Active 
Life, Embracing the Commencement of 
His Public Life 13 

Chapter III. Including Six Years of Active Public and 
Private Life. The First Congress in 
Which He Served, Etc., Including the 
Period Between 1812 and 1818 20 

Chapter IV. Including the Period from 1818 to 1824—6 
Years — A Period of Active Service and 
Much Interest ... 31 

Chapter V. Including the Period from 1824 to 1830 in 

Congress, and Other Official Stations . 36 

Chapter VI. Including a Period of Two Years, 1830 and 
1831, Congressional Duties, Speeches, 
Etc 49 

Chapter VII. Including the Period from 1831 to 1836, 
Embracing the Period When Governor 
of Georgia, Executive Messages, Inaug- 
ural Addresses, Etc 89 

Chapter VIII. Remarks on Various Matters of Public 

Interest ...... 181 

Chapter IX. ExecutiveCorrespondenceof 1832. 
Omitted. (See Preface. ) 

Chapter X. Executive Correspondence of 1833 .... 196 

Chapter XI. Executive Correspondence of 1834 .... 233 

Chapter XII. Official Letters, 1835, 300 


Page 54, line 20, for 1892, read 1802. 

Page 268, line 22, for Foote, read Foot. 

Pages 276, 277, 278, 287 and 289, the name D. R. Mitchell is printed 
as it occurs in the manuscript, in every instance, but it is probab- 
ly Mrritten by mistake for D. B. Mitchell. 

Page 3 7, line 14, for Gieu, read Guieu. 

Page 350, line 3, for council, read counsel. 


I am a native of Virginia, and was born in Pittsylvania 
County, January 14th, 1783. When I was one year old my 
father removed to Georgia, and settled in that part of the 
state then known as Wilkes, now Oglethorpe, County. My 
parents were of English descent on both sides, and Vir- 
ginia the birthplace of them and their ancestors for several 
generations past. My mother's maiden name was Hopson. 
My parents had ten sons, and only one diughter. Eight 
out of the ten sons, as well as the daughter, lived to form 
matrimonial connections and rear families of children. I 
was the second son, and called after the husband of my 
father's only sister, Col. John Wilson of Pittsylvania 
County, \' irginia. My father, John Lumpkin, was amongst 
the first settlers of Oglethorpe County, who, with his 
father, George Lumpkin, settled on Long Creek in the 
year 1784, and encountered all the difBculties and dangers 
of settling a wilderness, far removed from a dense popula- 
tion, and well cultivated fields, exposed, too, to frequent 
depredations from hostile and savage Indian neighbors, so 
far as to force them and their frontier neighbors to erect, 
and live within the enclosed walls of a rough, but strong 
built fort, for several of the first years of their sojourn in 

Aly father had a good business education, wrote well, 
and was active and ready in the transaction of various 
brarchcs of business. Blessed by nature with a fine com- 
manding person, upwards of six feet high, and perfectly 
erect in his carriage, naturally fluent in speech, polite, 
courteous and exceedingly popular in his deportment, 
and social intercourse with others. Rather excitable in his 
temperament, yet he had sufficient command of his feelings 
to control his temper, when his judgment deemed it to be 
proper and expedient to forbear. During a long public 
life, in various important countv offices, few men ever 
maintained a more uniform popularity, although some- 
times censured and blamed as a public oi^cer, yet upon 
due investigation, he never failed to rise higher in the pub- 
lic esteem. He was for many years an acting magistrate, 
or justice of the peace, in the County of Wilkes. After the 
creation of Oglethorpe County he w^as for many years a 
Judge of the Inferior Court. Was a member of the Legis- 


lature which passed the rescinding act of the Yazoo Fraud. 
A member of the convention which formed the present 
Constitution of Georgia, was elected a JefTersonian Elec- 
tor of President and Vice-President, was for many years 
Clerk of the Superior Court of Oglethorpe County — besides 
in various minor public trusts, too tedious to mention. 
These different positions always brought within the reach 
of his family a knowledge of many local public matters 
which were not admissible to many of the rising generation 
of that day. In his house were always found more newspa- 
pers, books and reading than was common to families of 
that period in similar circumstances ; in other respects few 
men retain so large a share of popularity, through life, in 
their respective spheres, as he did. From the first settle- 
ment of the County to this day, he and his immediate de- 
scendants have maintained as much character and influence 
in the County of Oglethorpe as has fallen to the lot of any 
other whatever. My mother was a woman of great 
strength of mind, deeply imbued with the religion of the 
Bible, with which Book she was so familiar as to need no 
concordance to find any passage of Scripture which she 

At a very early age I paid great attention to all that 
was said by grown people, especially the aged. I have 
often sat quietly, when a small boy, at my mother's feet, 
and heard her detail, the hazardous scenes through which 
my maternal uncle, Col. Joseph Hopson, passed during the 
War, in Morgan's Rifle Corps, in which he served in a 
captain's command. 

My father being Clerk of the Superior Court of Ogle- 
thorpe County, I had frequently in my school days, at 
times when at home, been put pretty closely, for weeks to- 
gether, to copying various writings appertaining to the 
Clerk's office, which greatly enlarged my stock of informa- 
tion upon various subjects, particularly the forms of vari- 
ous legal instruments, and the Statutes of the State upon 
which they were predicated ; indeed I had by this time be- 
come quite familiar with most of the laws of Georgia, and 
could readily draw up in due form all such instruments a? 
deeds of conveyance, bills of sale, mortgages, wills, &c., 
and was often called upon to perform such services by the 
honored, and felt amply rewarded for my labor by the kind 
words of praise and approbation which I generally re- 

From sixteen to eighteen, my time was devoted to the 


Clerk's ofifice, or to laboring; in and superintending- my 
father's farm ; which period I had access to books in which 
I became deeply interested, and availed myself of every 
hour of time which could be spared from business. In his- 
tory, I read Josephus, Rollin, Plutarch, Gibbon, Hume and 
many other useful books. Rlackstone I had been reading 
before, but it now became more and more interesting as I 
.discovered how it was connected with, and had sprung 
/rom, the history of the past. I read Smith's Wealth of 
Nations, Vattel, and Paley's Philosophy with deep interest, 
and then became an unwavering convert to the principles 
of free trade. This course of reading, study and reflection, 
connected with the fact of being a great deal in the society 
of some gentlemen of liberal education, and extensive in- 
formation, caused me to mourn over my own ignorance 
and want of a liberal and regular education. My acquire- 
ments in these two years enlightened me to see and feel 
my want of learning. My eyes were opened to a glimpse 
of the vast field of science and literature, necessary to be 
explored, in order that a man may be prepared for the 
greatest usefulness to his fellow men. My desire for 
knowledge was intense, but everything like hopeful aspira- 
tions after it was often completely checked, from my want 
of means to embark in any thing like a regular course of 
learning. I ignorantly believed that it was wholly impossi- 
ble for me under all the existing circumstances to become 
a highly educated man. I did not see then how I could at- 
tempt such a course. All this I now know was ignorance, 
and if I at that time could have believed that I should 
have accomplished the little I have done, I should cer- 
tainly have accomplished a great deal more than I have. 
Therefore I say to the young — Try — patience and perse- 
verance in well doing rarely meets with a negative. Pre- 
vious to this time, for several years, I had intended to pre- 
pare as well as I could, and finally become an attorney-at- 
law, and perhaps at the proper time to embark in politics. 
But when about eighteen years of age the humble estimate 
I put upon my acquirements and talents caused me, as I 
then thought, decisively to make up my mind to abandon 
all idea of engaging in pursuits of ambition or worldly dis- 
tinction. And I at once determined, youth as I was, to 
seek felicity in the connubial state, and in a correct and vir- 
tuous discharge of all those duties devolving on so im- 
portant and responsible a situation. Believing as I then 
and now do, that the nearest approach which this world 


affords to Paradise is to be found in rural life, in the midst 
of virtuous and well conducted family organizations, 

"But happy they ; the happiest of their kind 
Whom gentle stars unite, and in one fate 
Their hearts, their fortunes, and their beings blend." 

Sufifice it, for the present, to say on this head of my dis- 
course, that I married the wife of my choice, three years 
and upwards younger than myself.* That we lived to- 
gether nineteen years, when it pleased God to take her to 
that "house prepared for her in heaven, not made with 
hands, but eternal." She had all the merits of a faithful good 
wife, and the time we lived together did but endear her 
the more to my heart. She was the mother of five sons 
and three daughters. Three of the sons had been com- 
mitted to the tomb before her departure. The other five 
children are still living. 

^Elizabeth Walker. 


The three first years of my married Hfe were devoted 
with untiring energy to improving my circumstances, and 
adding to the comforts of my humble home. I had good 
productive land to improve, and a few negroes to help me 
do the work. I lost no time from my domestic duties, ex- 
cept in the discharge of citizenship, or those which apper- 
tained to my Church of which I had become a member. I 
did, however, occasionally do heavy jobs of writing for my 
father, who still held the office of Clerk of the Superior 
Court, an 1 a portion of the twentieth and twenty-first 
years of my age was spent in teaching school, in a house 
built by my neighbors near my own residence. 

Before the school year closed I had upwards of forty 
scholars, and was perhaps one of the most popular teachers 
in all the county around. But with the close of this school 
terminated my being a school master. 

"A man's heart deviseth his way; but the Lord direct- 
eth his steps." I was now about to launch into a field for 
which I had to some extent been trained, and which I had 
voluntarily, and as I thought forever, abandoned. On the 
first Monday in October, 1804, I was elected a member of 
the Legislature of Georgia by a vote of the people oi 
Oglethorpe County, extraordinary for its approach to gen- 
eral consent. I was thus, without the slightest seeking on 
my part, transferred by the popular voice from my school 
house to the halls of legislation. 

Upon taking my seat in the Legislature, I felt that I 
was a novice, the youngest man in all the Legislature. 

Bat at this my first session as a member of the Legis- 
lature, I became somewhat familiar with legislative and 
executive affairs. At the close of this session, my applica- 
tion had been such that I was perfectly familiar with parlia- 
mentary order, as administered in the Legislature of Geor- 
gia. And the presiding officer of the House was Abram 
Jackson, of Burke, (bro. to our distinguished Gen. James 
Jackson) and a man of more than ordinary qualifications 
for the station with which he was honored. At this time 
Gov. Milledge filled the Executive chair, with ability and 



At this period of our Republic Mr. Jefferson filled the 
Executive chair of the Union, and the popularity of his 
principles and administration was such, that there was no 
such thing as an open avowed organized partv opposed to 
him and his Republican administration. At this day, we had 
had no avowed Federal party in Georgia. Political parties 
fifty years ago in Georgia, and indeed long since, turned 
more upon popular leaders — more on men than on meas- 
ures. Mr. Crawford and Gen. Clark were at this time per- 
sonal enemies, and each of them had a controlling influence 
over a considerable portion of both branches of the Legis- 
lature, while perhaps a majority of the members, like my- 
self, desired to keep aloof from the personalities of these 
gentlemen. Mr. Crawford and his friends, with whom I 
was the most intimate, were in the habit of calling Gen'l 
Clark and his friends the Federal party, and accused Gen'l 
Clark and some of his leading friends (truly) of having 
held office under John Adams, the elder ; moreover, they 
alleged that Clark and his friends were connected with and 
participated in the odious, corrupt, hateful, and abomina- 
ble Yazoo Fraud — perpetrated through the instrumentality 
of the corrupt Legislature of Georgia, in the year 1795 — 
which transaction, though rescinded, and expunged from 
the records of the State, cannot be thought of by men of 
my age without a blush of deep mortification and regret 
that the integrity of their beloved State should ever have 
been thus tarnished. Upon the other hand, Gen'l Clark 
and his friends claimed to be the direct descendants of 
the principal leading Whigs of the Revolutionary War, in 
the Southern States, and of having gained our State from 
the mother country, as well as the savage foe. 

They gloried in the name of Washington, the Father of 
his Country, and alleged that he brought Mr. Adams into 
the Presidency, as his successor, and that the revolu- 
tionary services and patriotism of Adams himself, con- 
nected with the confidence reposed in him by Washington, 
had led them to accept office under his administration ; and 
that they were not selected for office on account of their 
present affinity with Federalism, but on account of their 
distinguished Whig connections of the Revolution. Truly 
and indeed, Clark and most of his leading friends of that 
day professed to be, and in many respects sustained well, 
the character of real Democrats, if not Red Republicans. 

In regard to the Yazoo Fraud, the facts are these, as 
the records of the county will still show : neither Clark nor 


any other man in Georgia has ever been promoted to high 
office, who. in any tangible way whatever, participated in 
bringing about that despicable transaction, either directly 
or indirectly. Gen'l Clark and many other individuals, who 
seem never to have had any thing to do with the infamous 
transaction until the Legislature had consummated their 
crime, afterwards became purchasers of scrip or lands 
purchased by the speculators under the fraudulent act of 
the Legislature. For my own part, I always condemned 
even this distant connection with the infamous transac- 
tion. Yet many men of honor and great integrity of 
character in Georgia reasoned differently, and considered 
their second hand purchases fair and legitimate. For 
many years the validity of the titles of the speculators was 
litigated before the highest judicial tribunals of the coun- 
try, and the opinion of many of the ablest legal men of the 
country was in their favor. Indeed Congress, after Geor- 
gia had transfered her right to the land to the Federal 
Government, passed liberal compromise acts, under the 
provisions of which the litigation was finally adjusted. 
Gen'l Clark at various times conversed with me on the 
subject of the Yazoo Fraud, and always expressed the 
strongest indignation against the corrupt and fraudulent 
transaction, and seemed to feel justified in purchasing 
back, upon the best terms he could, an inheritance of which 
he had been unjustly defrauded. Gen'l Clark, and his 
friends, professed to consider their opponents in the light 
of a combination of mere office-seekers, destitute of all 
fixed political principles. The leaders were composed 
chiefly of lawyers, who could with great facility, with our 
then scattered population, govern the politics of the State. 
Up to this time, and for many years after, there had 
been no organized division of parties on general politics. 
All aspirants to office professed to belong to the Repub- 
lican party. We never had more than one State ticket for 
Electors of President and Vice-President, until General 
Jackson became a candidate for the presidency. Lender 
this state of things, on my entrance into the Legislature 
of Georgia, I imbibed a disrelish to becoming a partizan to 
either of the factions. I had much respect and real regard 
for the leading men on both sides, and appreciated their 
courtesy and kindness to me. But I did not participate in 
the prejudices of either. At the close of the session, I re- 
turned to my family and constituents, to render an account 
of my stewardship, and was very generally greeted with 


kindness. On the first Monday in January following, with- 
out my being consulted on the subject, I found myself ap- 
pointed a magistrate of my district, the Inferior Court at 
that time being the appointing power. I sincerely regret- 
ted the mark of confidence, but the people of my neighbor- 
hood and district would not listen to any apology or ex- 
cuse tending to declination. I felt myself bound to accept, 
and accordingly forthwith entered upon the duties of my 
new office. I held the office for some years, and believe 
gave very general satisfaction. But I now state in candor, 
and in truth, thrt from that day to this I never have filled 
an office, in which I oftener found myself embarrassed, and 
at a loss how to proceed. You who live in Georgia, at this 
time, will please to suspend your surprise, while I give you 
some account of the then existing state of things. And 
first, at that distant period, some magistrates felt morally 
and conscientiously bound to do their duty. They felt that 
they were conservators of the peace of society — in their 
spheres, they felt bound to execute the laws. They were 
measurably destitute of those valuable books of forms, 
now in the hands of every one. The Statute laws of the 
State had not then been extended to one-half of those 
cases of litigation and controversy which from time to 
time arise in society. The magistrate in those days had 
but little of what is called precedents before him. I had 
read Blackstone, I knew something of what is called com- 
mon law ; but had to exercise due caution how I referred to 
such authority, when in the presence of my brethren of the 
same Bench. I had to act as parson in solemnizing the 
bands of matrimony. I had to counsel both plaintiffs a'«id 
defendants, when, in a strait, it was difficult to obtain legal 
advice, for lawyers were not so plenty then as to make 
it necessary to ride double. Each one then could afford 
himself a horse. I had to write deeds of conveyance, bills 
of sale, mortgages, marriage contracts, wills, memorials 
to the Legislature and to Congress, articles of agree- 
ment — of copartnerships — and to give advice to all my 
neighbors, in regard to legal matters — indeed the time I 
occupied this office I consider the most memorable of my 
whole life. The most useful part of my labors in this office, 
however, must be attributed to my success as a peace 
maker — before I relinquished the office I was able to effect 
amicable settlements between contending parties, and re- 
store peace and harmony, without resorting to the law in 
most Crises, and in all practicable cases I invariably pur- 


sued that course. For several years I continued to serve 
in the Legislature of Georgia, with the general approba- 
tion of my constituents, and I trust with somewhat im- 
proved qualitications to render them useful service. 

The Legislature of Georgia, at the periorl of which we 
are speaking, as hereinbefore suggested, was to a consid- 
erable extent composed of gentlemen highly qualified for 
the discharge of the important duty of legislating for a 
state destined to become conspicuous in our great con- 
federacy of states ; and the transactions growing out of the 
Yazoo Fraud had pretty nearly purged the state from 
political corruption in her counsels and government, and 
I should have enjoyed the privilege of a seat in the Legis- 
lature of Georgia very highly, but for faction and polit- 
ical strife, based rather upon personal considerations than 
that of vital and fundamental principle of government. 
Lvery man of experience knows the difficulty under oun 
system of government of being an official man, and at the 
same time keeping aloof from two contending parties. 
This was the position I had sought to maintain. I found 
things to censure and approve in both parties — I believed 
that both had equal claims to patriotism — and I could not 
in good conscience heartily enter into warfare for any 
man or set of men. I felt desirous that these strifes 
might cease. I desired no other motto than "God and our 

Under these considerations, in connection with the 
growing demand for all my time and services, being de- 
voted to my family, I withdrew from the bustles of public 
life^I thought forever ; but it was at best for a short time. 
By natural increase, in nine years my family, including the 
colored with the white, had increased three-fold — which 
added greatly to my charge, and little or nothing to the 
productive^^labor of my establishment. But by the industry, 
care and good economy of my wife, and my assiduous de- 
votion to my domestic aflfairs, when not actually engaged in 
public matters, we had enlarged and greatly improved. Our 
real estate was free from embarrassment and debt, and the 
way open to work for a living. Having spent my life in 
Georgia, and having seen but little beyond its borders, and 
often hearing the glowing descriptions of the great West, 
from the lips and pens of intelligent and gifted men, I be- 
came restless, and felt disposed to seek a better earthly 
paradise, and after much reflection on the subject, on the 
first of September, in the year 1811, in company with four 


Other gentlemen of Oglethorpe County, I set out for what 
was then considered the far West. We traversed what is 
now the States of Alabama and Mississippi, and took a 
general view of what is now considered the most desirable 
portions of those States, although the country was then 
chiefly occupied by the Indians. From Natchez to New Or- 
leans, we examined the Mississippi bottoms, and its ap- 
purtenances. We crossed the Mississippi and proceeded 
up the Red River about one hundred miles. Our return 
route was through Tennessee and Kentucky. We were 
almost incessantly traveling for near four months, and 
arrived at home just before Christmas. We examined 
everything of most interest, on the line of the route herein 
designated. It would be superfluous for me to refer to my 
old Note Book and Journal, which was faithfully kept from 
day to day, and is still preserved, in order to describe 
the country explored, its advantages and disadvan- 
tages, and the views which I then entertained, 
the conclusions to which I arrived. All this kind of infor- 
mation can now be derived from sources far more accurate 
and ample, and therefore more entitled to consideration. 
Suffice it for me to say that I returned home fully satisfied 
that, all things being taken into consideration, a better 
earthly country than Georgia, for the whole population, 
could not be found under the sun. And I think so yet. I 
have seen richer lands elsewhere than in Georgia. But 
her variegated soil, climate and productions, in connection 
with her advantages of water, commerce and population, 
are unsurpassed, and should satisfy any mortal man. 
Georgia is a favorable land to prepare for an abiding 
home. During this long and hazardous journey, through 
the wild wilderness and savage men of the forest, I was 
wonderfully preserved from fatal disasters. We not only 
penetrated and explored the land of the heathen, but for 
many days' travel ; on different parts of our route, we fol- 
lowed the trails and paths of the savage which were known 
at that time to be infested with bands of the most bloody 
robbers. We spent one day at the great Indian Council, 
held at Tuckabatchee in the Creek Nation, when not only 
all the tribes of the different nations of the Indians of the 
Southern States were represented, but a delegation of the 
Northern tribes, headed by the distinguished Chief Tecum- 
seh, were in attendance. We now know, that at that very 
council it was resolved by the Creek Indians to unite 
with Tecumseh and his Northern hordes in aiding the 


British in their anticipated war with the United States. 
Indeed, while 1 was yet in the wilderness, I heard of the 
death of Arthur Lot and his son, murdered by the Creek 
Indians, in the path which I had but recently traveled. 
And before, or just after my return home, I heard of the 
massacre of the inmates of Fort Mimms, near the junction 
of Alabama and Tombigbee rivers, a place where I had 
spent several days to recruit my stock of provisions. For 
during the greater portion of our journey we carried our 
subsistence on pack mules, attended by our servants. We 
observed all the time we were amongst the Creek Indians 
that they were unaccommodating, stubborn and insolent. 
We were watchful and guarded in all our movements, but 
entertained but slight apprehension of any serious danger. 


In June, 1812, the Congress of the United States de- 
clared war against Great Britain — which, if nothing else, 
rendered it entirely inexpedient for me to think of remov- 
ing with my family to the country which I had selected for 
that purpose. My country now being involved in war, I 
felt it to be my duty, regardless of my private interest, to 
give my best services to her ; and accordingly at the ensu- 
ing election, in October, the people of Oglethorpe County, 
in that spirit of kindness and partiality which they had uni- 
formly extended to me from early boyhood, again elected 
me to represent them in the Legislature of Georgia. It 
may be proper here to state that I never, at any season of 
my life, felt any taste or desire to engage in military life, 
I never had a taste for human slaughter, and therefore 
did not seek the glory of military fame. I continued to 
serve in the Legislature of Georgia for the two first years 
of the war, and took an active part in all those measures 
deemed necessary to meet the existing exigencies of the 
country. But without entering upon the details of my 
own particular acts, suf^ce it to say that I became con- 
vinced, from my intercourse and business connection with 
gentlemen from every part of the State, that the people 
desired to transfer me from a seat in the Legislature of the 
State to that of the Congress of the United States. I 
therefore became a candidate for Congress at the ensuing 
October election (by general ticket) in 1814. And I was 
elected the highest man on the ticket, except Mr. For- 
syth, who received a few more votes than myself. The 
delegation consisted of Mr. Forsyth, myself, Wilde. Alfred 
Cuthbert, Thomas Telfair, and Boiling Hall. Being elected 
more than a year before the time of entering upon the 
duties of my new appointment, afforded me time for the 
study and consideration of the various duties of the new 
station to which I had been called, and you may rest as- 
sured I endeavored diligently to make the very best use 
of the time thus afforded. Before I took my seat, the 
country was again restored to peace, by the Treaty of 
Ghent, entered into between the two belligerents. 

When I arrived at Washington, in the latter part of 



November. 1815, to enter upon my duties as a member of 
Congress, I then first beheld the Capitol of the country — 
the mansion of the President and other public buildings, 
undergoing repairs, having been blown up, and greatly in- 
jured by the vandal hands of the enemy during the war — 
Congress had necessarily to transact its business in anoth- 
er building, temporarily prepared for the purposes. Al- 
though peace had been restored to the country, this Con- 
gress met under circumstances of great responsibility, re- 
quiring a degree of patriotism, wisdom and statesmanship 
equal to any which had ever preceded it. The debt of the 
United States, liquidated and unliquidated, was not less than 
one hundred and thirty millions of dollars. The country 
had but little specie, and the paper circulation was not only 
deranged, but was to a great extent worthless — so little 
confidence was placed in the Bank bills then in circulation, 
that you could scarcely travel from one state to another, 
without the bills of the state in which you were journey- 
ing. The time had now arrived for changing and adjust- 
ing all the Legislatures of the country from, a w'ar to a 
peace establishment. The experience gained during the 
war had unsettled and changed some of the former fixed 
and settled opinions of many of our distinguished states- 
men. Our little Navy had fought itself into popularity and 
favor. The dreadful state of the currency of the country 
had produced conviction on the minds of many that the 
finances of the country could not be managed successfully 
without the aid of a National Bank. The sufifering of the 
country for the want of many of the necessaries of life, 
during the war. when our commerce was cut ofif, caused 
home or domestic manufactures of every kind which had 
sprung up during the war to have very many strong 
friends in Congress, who were disposed not only to en-' 
courage but to protect those infant establishments from 
foreign competition, by laying heavy duties upon imports. 
There was another class of statesmen, who had always 
belonged to the old strict construction school of politicians, 
who although in favor of encouraging manufactures, by 
laying high revenue duties on foreign imports, because 
necessary to raise money to pay the debts of the nation, 
did not concur in the policy of legislating for the express 
object of encouraging any one branch of industry, in pref- 
erence to, or at the expense of, another. They then, as 
now, denied the constitutionality of a protective tariff. 
Nor was the tarifif of 1816 passed principally to protect, but 


incidentally to encourage manufactories, and raise money 
to pay the debts of the nation. All at that time desired 
the increase and prosperity of domestic manufactures, 
with a view to the independence of the country, in time of 
war as well as peace. But many, then as now, protested 
against the constitutionality of a protective tariff designed 
to enrich individuals, or sections, at the expense of other 
sections, or individuals engaged in different pursuits. I 
voted in favor of the tariff of i8i6, for the purpose of rais- 
ing money to pav the public debt. And to avoid a resort 
to direct taxes for that purpose, and with kind feelings to 
that interest, at the time I was pleased at the incidental 
encouragement which it afforded. Popular favor at this 
time was loud and strong in favor of the Federal Gov- 
ernment prosecuting various works of internal improve- 
ment with a view to the common defence and general wel- 
fare of the country. It had been seen, during the progress 
of the war, then just terminated, that for the want of 
roads, and other practical improvements, to facilitate 
transportation from one point to another, the country had 
suffered immense loss of both men and money. The army 
as well as the munitions of war, including subsistence for 
the army, very often had to perform a long, hazardous and 
circuitous route (for the want of a direct road) which cost 
the government a vast amount of money, often accom- 
panied by the most serious disasters. The transportation 
of a barrel of flour one hundred miles sometimes cost 
more than the purchase of three barrels. Under all the 
circumstances existing at this time, many of the members 
composing this Congress, who had hitherto acted with the 
old Republican party of the country, and who professed 
the faith of the Virginia and Kentucky resolutions of 1798 
and '99, manifested a strong disposition to favor meas- 
ures of a liberal and latitudinarian character. It is difficult 
for the most enlightened men of the present generation 
to review the proceedings of this Congress without doing 
much injustice to many of the prominent actors on that 
theater. Many members of this Congress, who with Jeffer- 
son and Madison at their head, had zealously contended for 
the most strict construction of the Federal Constitution, 
for state sovereignJ:y and state rights — who had denied to 
Congress the power to charter a United States Bank — to 
foreign imports — or by constructing and carrying on a sys- 
tem of internal improvements by the Federal Govern- 
ment, were now found with Mr. Madison at their head, 



more or less sustaining- and encouraging- a latitudinarian 
policy which they had hitherto repudiated and condemned. 
Mr. Madison, in his annual messag-e to this Congress, 
says: "In the absence of the precious metals, it devolves 
on the wisdom of Congress to provide a substitute which 
shall equally engage the confidence, and accommodate the 
wants of the citizens, throughout the Union. And, if the 
operation of the State Banks cannot produce this result, 
the probable operation of a National Bank will merit 
your consideration." On the subject of manufactures he 
says : "Under circumstances giving a powerful impulse 
to manufacturing industry, it has made among us a prog- 
ress, and exhibited an efficiency which justify the belief, 
that with a protedioyi, not more than is due to the enter- 
prising citizens, whose interests are now at stake, it will 
become at an early day not only safe from competitions 
from abroad, but a source of domestic wealth, and even of 
external commerce. In selecting the branches more espe- 
cially entitled to public patronage, a preference is obvi- 
ously claimed by such as will relieve the United States 
from a dependence on foreign supplies, ever subject to cas- 
ual failures, for articles necessary for the public defence, 
or connected with the primary wants of individuals." Mr. 
Clay, now Speaker of the House of Representatives, and 
who had not long before returned, as one of the successful 
negotiators of the Ghent Treaty, was at the time, emphati- 
cally the great Magnus Apollo of the great Republican 
party, and most efficiently and successfully supported all 
the most important policy and recommendations of Mr. 
Madison. Moreover, he was sustained by a number of 
gentlemen who have long since distinguished themselves 
as the first statesmen of the age. On this list vou will find 
the names of Calhoun, Lowndes, Forsyth, Wilde, Ingham, 
Yancey, Middleton, Judge McLean, of Ohio, &c., &c., be- 
sides a host of talent in the opposition rarely equalled, 
and never perhaps surpassed. Indeed this Congress was 
very highly distinguished for talent, genius and political 
experience. Besides those named, there were Timothy 
Pickering, Daniel Webster, John Sergeant, Wm. Gaston, 
Grosvenor of New York, Philip P. and James Barbour, of 
Virginia, John Randolph, of Roanoke, and his half brother, 
Henry St. George Tucker, ShefTey, Judge Nelson, Gov. 
Tazewell, Gov. Pleasants, Wm. Roane, and Wm. A. Bur- 
well, all of Virginia, R. M. Johnson, and Gov. Desha of 
Kentucky, T. B. Robinson, of Louisiana, Hulbert and 


King of Massachusetts, Hopkinson of Philadelphia, Wm. 
Pinkney of Maryland, Nath'l Macon of North Carolina, 
Gov. Bibb of Georgia, Wm. R. King of Alabama, besides 
a great number of highly talented individuals, not enumer- 
ated in this list. But my principal object is to evince, that 
it should be no matter of surprise that such men as Madi- 
son, Clay, Lowndes, Calhoun, and their followers, should 
have succeeded in incorporating a National Bank, have 
laid the foundation for a protective tariff, and have pre- 
pared the way for the Federal Government to enter on a 
system of internal improvements. The measures on these 
several subjects, however, were not consummated without 
a most vigorous opposition — such men as John Randolph, 
P. P. Barbour, Wm. A. Burwell, Nath'l Macon, and many 
others, opposed these measures on constitutional grounds, 
and they were aided and strengthened by the violent por- 
tion of the old Federal party, who still sought to embar- 
rass any administration of the government, called Repub- 
lican. Yet in all the proceedings of this Congress, I can 
now more clearly see than I then apprehended, that pre- 
liminary steps were taken, and the way was preparing, for 
what has since been called the era of good feelings under 
the administrations of Mr. Monroe ; there were many men 
in this Congress disposed to blot out from the book of 
remembrance forever political strife, and join in the cry, 
"we are all Federalists — we are all Republicans." In this 
Congress, I often felt myself embarrassed and at a loss, to 
determine on the path of duty — I was a Democrat, by na- 
ture, and a Republican from principle, education and all 
the intimate associations of my past life. I was not then 
sufficiently acquainted with all the historical facts con- 
nected with the formation of the Federal Constitution, and 
with the history of the state governments, touching their 
Federal and Constitutional union, to enable me independ- 
ently of all testimony except records, to form opinions for 
myself on controverted constitutional points. I now saw 
many of the old leading Republicans, who had once op- 
posed National Banks, Protective Tariffs, a system of 
internal improvements by the Federal government, &c., 
&c., pleading for the expediency and necessity of these 
measures. While Macon, Randolph, P. P. Barbour and 
others adhered to their old Republican faith, under these 
circumstances and under the impression that nothing else 
presented to my mind could save the country, I voted for 
the charter of the National Bank, as well as for the Tarifif 



of 1816. But I have \ong; since repudiated these votes, be- 
lieved myself to be better informed, and have been firmly 
resolved that no necessity whatever should ever induce 
me to contribute my mite to the enlargement of the 
powers of the Federal Government one hair's breadth be- 
yond the limits of the Constitution. I have long believed, 
and that belief is constantly confirmed by passing events, 
that the consolidating tendency of the Federal Govern- 
ment is the great rock upon which our glorioits union of 
states will be sundered to fragments. In attending to the 
business and debates of this Congress, an ample oppor- 
tunity was afforded me to listen to many of the ablest 
parliamentary debates which have ever taken place in this, 
or any other country. Here the intellectual power and 
oratorical ability of the greatest men might be daily com- 
pared and contrasted. Here for the first time, and they 
in all the glory and bloom of manhood, I witnessed some 
of the greatest speaking efforts of Clay, Calhoun, Web- 
ster, Randolph, Pinkney, Lowndes, Sergeant, Forsyth, 
Hopkinson, Barbour, Sheffev, Gaston. Grosvenor, Hub- 
bard, Mills, &c., &c., &c. 

This first Congress in which I ever served broke the 
scales and opened the book in which is recorded the act- 
ings and doings of statesmen, politicians, and partisans ; 
and although I have read much and studied more, on the 
subjects therein revealed, I have long since despaired of 
ever reaching to the end of the chapter. Man is man ; 
and with all the ennobling endowments which fall to the 
lot of those who are the most highly favored, yet we be- 
hold a compound of good and evil — marks of depravity, 
like dark spots on the sun, may at times be seen without 
the aid of a telescope. I beheld in my countrymen tal- 
ents, patriotism, experience, and wisdom, with a little 
spice of selfishness, wherever I turned. I then thought, 
and think still, that Nathaniel Macon was the wisest and 
best man, in Congress. John Randolph was the Ishmael 
of the House — as independent, and I believe as honest, 
as Mr. Macon, but not so prudent or wise. He cried aloud 
and spared not — he exposed the political sins of all the 
prominent public men of the country — and after occupying 
three days in one Congressional speech, he declared he 
had only arrived at the threshold of his subject. Mr. Ran- 
dolph in his speeches talked about everything, and con- 
fined himself to nothing in particular. Yet he never 
failed deeply to interest his entire audience from the be- 


ginning to the end of his speeches — even when they were 
extended over three Congressional days. The appearance 
of the man, his peciihar shrill voice, his original manner, 
the ease with which he commanded the very word which 
was best suited to inforce his idea, his deliberate, thought- 
ful appearance, his distinct articulation — all, all combined 
to make him the most extraordinary man of the age. 

At that early day I learned enough of the character of 
Mr. Calhoun's mind to see that if you admitted the pre- 
mises which he laid down, his powers of logic, analogy 
and condensation were such as to make him wholly irre- 
sistible ; which induced me from that time, throughout my 
long and intimate acquaintance with him, to examine fully, 
before I assented to his premises. He excelled all other 
men in concentrating and condensing thought. A perspic- 
uous speaker and writer, and yet always concise, ambitious 
of fame, but still more so of integrity of character, and 
the honor and glory of this country, Mr. Clay's oratory 
exercised an influence over his audiences unequalled by 
all competitors. The same words used by him, if used by 
any other man, would have fallen vastly short of produc- 
ing the same eflfect. I then viewed Mr. Webster as the 
young giant of Federal strength, and time has proved 
that I was not mistaken. Mr. Lowndes was the most ac- 
complished statesman of his age, and as a high-toned, 
courteous, unassuming gentleman, unsurpassed. Had his 
life been spared he would have been called to the Presi- 
dency by general consent. He stood unrivalled in the con- 
fidence and aflfections of all. 

But the digression from my subject would be inadmissi- 
ble for me to speak of P. P. Barbour, Forsyth, Sergeant, 
Hopkinson, Gaston, Grosvenor, Pleasants, Pinkney, and 
scores of others, whose distinguished abilities won for 
them, more or les^ the admiration of the country. The 
measures of this Congress, whether wise and politic or 
not, certainly acted temporarily as a charm upon the coun- 
try, and an unparalleled degree of prosperity ensued. In 
less than two years, every product of the country was en- 
hanced in value, and our great Southern staple sold in 
Augusta at upwards of thirty cents per pound. 

But for one unwise and indiscreet measure, the acts of 
this Congress would have received the general approba- 
tion of the country. I allude to the act of changing the 
compensation of members of Congress from a per diem 
allowance to that of a salarv. It was at that time six dol- 


lars per day, and was changed to fifteen hundred dollars 
per annum, without regard to the number of days in act- 
ual service. I thought the principle of the change from a 
per diem allowance to a stated salary wrong, and there- 
fore, with the whole delegation from Georgia, voted 
against it, at every stage of its progress. But it was passed 
by a small majority, and became the law of the land. Per- 
haps no law which has ever passed Congress produced so 
general an excitement throughout the whole land. Editors 
of newspapers, of all parties, people of every grade and 
condition, denounced the law. Those who voted against 
the law, but received the compensation under it, were 
even worse than those who voted for it, inasmuch 
as they were the receivers of stolen goods, &c. This ex- 
citement was headed all over the United States by ofifice- 
seekers, and demagogues, and zealously kept up until 
after the next Congressional election in all the states, and 
resulted in an almost entire change of members of Con- 
gress, throughout the Union. Mr. Forsyth of Georgia 
was the only re-elected member. For myself, I was so 
conscious of my innocence in deserving the slightest 
blame in the matter, I felt assured that the people would 
justify my conduct, and re-elect me, and thereby take oflf 
any reproach which the excitement had improperly at- 
tached to me. I therefore sufifered my name to go out as 
a candidate for re-election — remained quietly at home, 
rather disgusted at so unexpected and undeserved an at- 
tack, and treated my active opponents with silent con- 
tempt. The result of the election, however, satisfied me 
that error may temporarily triumph over truth, and that 
vice, as well as virtue, has its triumphs. I was beaten by a 
small vote, but had a much higher vote than any of my 
old colleagues, except Mr. Forsyth — and all the old dele- 
gation were candidates, except Mr. Hall. 

The most violent opposition to my re-election came 
from a quarter where I had least expected it. It was 
from the intimate personal friends of the Hon. Wm. H. 
Crawford, to whom I had from my boyhood been person- 
ally and politically strongly attached, as well as my family 
relations and best friends. I suspected at the time this 
opposition to me originated with Mr. Crawford himself, 
but in this I might have been mistaken, for I still have his 
letter written to me on the subject, in which he says he 
voted for me himself, and advised all with whom he con- 
versed on the subject to do the same. My principal reason 


for suspecting Mr. Crawford was founded on a piece of 
history, which I feel it my duty here to give. During the 
session of Congress, upon which I have so long dwelt, I 
found from my intercourse and acquaintance with all the 
public men of the country, as well as with citizens from 
every quarter of the Union, attending at the Capitol on 
business — that the public opinion of the country, with un- 
paralleled unanimity, had concentrated on Mr. Monroe as 
the successor of Mr. Madison, at the approaching Presi- 
dential election, which was to come off in the fall of 1816. 
Mr. Monroe's long career of popular services, commencing 
with the Revolutionary War, and running through near 
forty years, he having filled many of the most distinguished 
and important offices of the country, both at home and 
abroad, and especially the vigor and ability with which he 
had served the country, during the recent war, then but 
just closed, pre-eminently pointed to him as the patriot 
and sage of the country most entitled to the next Presi- 
dency. But notwithstanding all this, during this session 
of Congress the managing politicians in such matters 
determined to hold a caucus, to be composed of the Re- 
publican members of both Houses of Congress, for the 
purpose of nominating a candidate for the Presidency. As 
the time drew nigh for the meeting of the caucus, I was 
perfectly surprised and astonished to find so many of my 
political friends and associates in favor of nominating Mr. 
Crawford, in preference to Mr. Monroe, for the Presidency. 
I told them I desired to see Mr. Crawford President of the 
United States, but that it was altogether premature to put 
him up in opposition to Mr. Monroe, who was known to 
be the choice of the country. I said that if Mr. Crawford 
was selected by the caucus, the people would overwhelm 
such a proceeding with a voice that could not be resisted. 
Finding me altogether ungovernable by party leaders on 
the subject, a distinguished friend from Virginia, the Hon. 
W. A. Burwell, divulged to me the whole secret. The ob- 
ject was, for Mr. Crawford to be nominated in caucus, 
which would place him in advance of all other aspirants for 
the Presidency, as successor to Mr. Monroe. Mr. Craw- 
ford was known to be a man of too much sagacity to allow 
his name to be run for the Presidency in opposition to Mr. 
Monroe, under the then existing state of public feeling and 
opinion. 'Vhe gentleman named observed that if Mr. 
Crawford could only get the caucus nomination, when it 
was communicated to him, he would of course decline the 


honor, in favor of Mr. Monroe, which act of patriotism 
and unanimity would place him far ahead of Adams, 
Clay, Calhoun, and all others, as rivals in the succession to 
Mr.' Monroe. 

I then gave it as my opinion to all the gentlemen with 
whom I conversed on this subject, that the course they 
were pursuing, although not so intended, was of all others 
the best calculated to destroy Mr. Crawford's future politi- 
cal prospects. That it would have a tendency to unite and 
combine the influence of all other rivals and aspirants for 
the Presidency against Mr. Crawford. 

He being thus prominently put forth, as a mark, at this 
time, all others would unite to put him down first, and 
then scufile among themselves for the ascendency. These 
my opinions were not withheld from Mr. C, but freely 
and fully communicated to him in person, and he professed 
to concur with me fully on every important point. I at- 
tended the caucus and voted with an open ticket for Mr. 
Monroe, and he received the nomination by a majority of 
a few votes only over Mr. Crawford. It has long since 
been demonstrated that my views on this subject were en- 
tirely correct, and if my advice and wishes had been fol- 
lowed, I now believe that Mr. Crawford would have been 
President of the United States before his death. But what 
I am here recording taught me some new lessons in politi- 
cal tactics which I shall scarcely forget in this life. Fail- 
ing in a re-election to Congress, I cherished a spirit of 
submission to the public voice, which has never failed to 
console me through all the vicissitudes of political life. I 
felt strong and confident in the rectitude of my whole 
conduct in regard to the compensation law passed by Con- 
gress, and for which I had been rejected by the people. 
Moreover, I did not entertain the shadow of a doubt but 
that ''the sober, second thought of the people" would re- 
verse these decisions, and do me ample justice. And it is 
now a matter of recorded history, in the transactions of the 
public afifairs of Georgia, that the whole delegation, my- 
self included, who were thus censured without a just cause, 
have, from that time to this, been amongst the most pop- 
ular men in the state, and have enjoyed the public confi- 
dence, with a stability rarely equalled. These circum- 
stances connected with my own history did much to estab- 
lish and confirm my faith in relying on the people, be- 
lieving them not only capable of self government , but of 
wise self goveryimeyit. For the want of correct informa- 


tion, the people are often misled, and commit gross errors. 
But they are not too proud to correct their own errors, 
and when their interest requires the correction. The great 
body of tax paying people are neither office holders nor 
officeseekers, and will never be the willing tools of selfish 
demagogues — officeholders, and officeseekers. When the 
unofficial tax payers see their error in regard 
to any public matter, they promptly to the right about 
face, and consider it no degradation of honor to change 
their opinions upon proper evidence. 

Therefore, it is vain for any political trickster to expect 
to retain the confidence of the people by management 
and deception. He who wants the confidence and support 
of the people must serve them, with honesty and fidelity. 
And in situations of public trust he will often find himself 
called to the discharge of duties which he can see at the 
time will subject him to censure, and distrust, until the 
public can be informed of the whole grounds upon which 
he acted. But in such cases, let no man's heart fail him — 
truth is mighty and will prevail. After serving out my 
Congressional term in 1817 and 1818, I returned to my 
family and home in Morgan County, to which place I had 
removed my family, previous to going on to Congress. I 
had sold my possessions in Oglethorpe County, and pro- 
cured some line farming lands in Morgan, with a renewed 
resolution to abandon public life, and devote my whole 
energies to my domestic duties, as a private citizen. 

My first farming and planting operations in Morgan, 
the year 1818, was attended with great success — although 
a year of drought, I made a fine crop, and sold it at very 
high prices. I was much pleased with my change of resi- 
dence, and still more so with my change of public for 
pleasing private employment. 


Without any previous notice — and entirely unsought 
and unexpected on my part — in the fall of 1818, President 
Monroe sent me through the Post Office a commission 
and instructions, as United States Commissioner, to run 
out and superintend the designating of the treaty lines of 
the Treaty made with the Creek Indians, at the Creek 
Agency on Flint River, in January of that year. With re- 
luctance to leave my domestic afifairs, after due considera- 
tion, I determined to accept the appointment, and imme- 
diately proceeded to make the necessary preparations. 
Having first to notify the Executive of Georgia, as well as 
the Creek Agent, of my appointment, and request the 
proper authorities to appoint their respective Commission- 
ers to attend me, in designating and marking the lines ac- 
cording to the Treaty — after having accomplished this 
business, and reported the same to Washington — I was 
gratified by being highly complimented by the Secretary of 
War, for the ability and economy with which I had dis- 
charged the troublesome duties committed to my charge. 
I was liberally compensated for the discharge of those 
duties ; besides I had the satisfaction of gaining a great 
deal of useful knowledge and information connected with 
the Indian character and our relations with the Indian 
tribes generally. Although I had seen and known some- 
thing of Indians and Indian character from early boyhood, 
yet I may consider this my first regular schooling, in 
relation to and study of our Indian relations, and the 
policies of the states and the United States towards them. 
And at that time I had no presentiment of the time and 
labor I was destined to spend in connection with the 
afifairs of this aboriginal race. From that time forward 
they became a more interesting object of my solicitude. 

In Februarv 1819, a Treaty was entered into, at Wash- 
ington, between J. C. Calhoun, Secretary of War, and the 
Cherokee Indians, by which a considerable acquisition of 
land was obtained, and I was again commissioned, and dis- 
charged the duties of Commissioner, as herein suggested 
and pointed out, in regard to the Creek Treaty, and this 
was my second lesson, with a different tribe of Indians, in 



regard to our Indian relations. Toward the close of this 
year, all my earthly plans were revolutionized by the 
death of my beloved wife. If I were to make the attempt 
to exhibit to others my reflections and the state of mind 
for months after the death of my wife, it would be a fail- 
ure. I feel that it was a portion of the past too sacred 
and afiflictive for me to dwell upon. SufBce it to say that 
about one year after the death of my wife I felt that 
some change in my daily avocations had become neces- 
sary to my mind and body, to my usefulness to my fam- 
ily, as well as to society. Under this pressure, I yielded to 
the desire of the people of Morgan County, and was again 
elected a member of the Legislature of Georgia. This 
service in the Legislature extended my acquaintance to 
the new men of Georgia who had entered on public life 
since my last association with that body. Moreover, I dis- 
covered a strong disposition, on the part of most of the 
then leading men of Georgia to see me in a more extended 
and conspicuous sphere of public service. But I am mis- 
taken, if my own private feelings and desires were not all 
averse to mingling with the strifes of political life. The 
leading men of what was then called the Clark party were 
particularly kind and courteous to me, and some of them 
occasionally ventured to express their feelings of dis- 
pleasure at my being left out of Congress, by the extra- 
ordinary exertions of the leading men of what was called 
the Crawford party, Gen'l Clark, who was then Governor 
of Georgia, was exceedingly courteous, respectful and 
friendly to me ; which in some few instances caused mem- 
bers of the other party to manifest some want of cordiality 
towards me. Up to this time, our state parties in politics 
had not been defined by a division on principles. All 
parties in Georgia claimed to belong to the great Repub- 
lican party of the Union. By this time I had sufifiicient ex- 
perience, and knowledge of the political history of parties, 
and had studied, and heard discussed, by the ablest men of 
the country, the true meaning of every controverted article 
of the Federal Constitution, so far as to have settled down 
firmly and immovably in the doctrines of Jefiferson and 
Madison, as laid down in the Virginia and Kentucky reso- 
lutions of 1798 and '9. Moreover, I was now able to dis- 
cover, that although we had no Federal party in Georgia, 
that we had many more Federalists than I had heretofore 
supposed. And further, that while these Federalists, of the 
old Hamiltonian stamp, were dispersed and scattered 



amongst both parties, yet the majority of them were in the 
Clark ranks. This last fact I regretted, because my per- 
sonal attachments were every day becoming stronger for 
this party. They were my most devoted friends, and were 
more congenial to my Democratic feelings than the other 
party, who embraced the largest share of the aristocracy 
of wealth. I was not however entirely satisfied with the 
political complexion of either of these state parties, and 
after the close of this session returned to my family, in- 
tending to remain in private life. But it was only a few 
months before I received a commission from the President 
of the United States, authorizing me to superintend the 
designating and marking the treaty lines of the Treaty 
with the Creek Indians, entered into at the Indian Springs, 
in January, 1821, and to lay out the Indian reservations, 
therein provided for. About the same time the Governor 
issued his proclamation, convening an extra session of the 
Legislature for the purpose of providing for the survey 
and distributions of the lands embraced in the Treaty re- 
ferred to. And thus it became necessary for me promptly 
to resign my seat in the Legislature, or to decline the ac- 
ceptance of the office of United States Commissioner just 
tendered to me. Under all the circumstances I considered 
it my duty to resign my seat in the Legislature, and acted 
accordingly, and proceeded immediately to the discharge 
of my duties, under my late commission from Washington, 
and in due time accomplished my work to the entire satis- 
faction of the Government, as will appear by the official 
correspondence of the War Department, which I have still 

This was an interesting and rather hazardous mission, 
but I do not consider it of sufficient importance to enter 
upon its details. Although I have advanced something be- 
yond the proper place. I deem it proper, in connection with 
my public labors herein referred to, to state, that on the 
9th of Oct., 1818, I received a commission, authorizing me 
to run out and plainly mark the line dividing Georgia and 
Florida, but after I had proceeded to some extent in my 
preparations to perform that duty, I was instructed to sus- 
pend my operations, on account of the apprehended dan- 
ger of hostile Indians ; and various causes intervened to 
prevent my ever being instructed to discharge that duty 
afterwards. The circumstances of that duty, however, 
having been assigned me, and the instructions which ac- 
companied my commission, caused me thoroughly to in- 


vestigate the subject oi that controverted Hne, and has 
made it a famiHar subject with me ever since. 

And I think to the present day it is a matter of some 
surprise, that such a controversy should still remain sus- 
pended, and unsettled. 

In this connection, I deem it proper further to state that 
I had so performed the various duties heretofore assigned 
me as United States Commissioner as to induce the then 
administration of the Federal Government to desire to 
continue my services in connection with the Government 
in some situation suited to my supposed qualifications. 
Therefore, upon the acquisition of Florida from Spain, I 
was informed from an official source in Washington, that 
in the organization of a Territorial Government for Flor- 
ida I could have any office in the gift of the Executive of 
the United States, and was requested to consider the sub- 
ject, and to communicate to Washington the result of my 
reflections on the subject. 

This circumstance led me to leave home on the 13th of 
April, 1818, for the purpose of examining portions of Flor- 
ida, more especially Pensacola, which I had been induced 
to believe possessed such extraordinary advantages, as a 
seaport, that it would not only become a commercial 
rival of Mobile but of New Orleans also. I took my tour, 
examined portions of Florida, especially Pensacola, con- 
sidered the whole subject, and resolved not to leave Geor- 

But to return from this digression to the regular chain 
of my narrative, up to the close of the year 1821. It is 
proper to state that I had now married my second wife, 
and I will here add we have had three sons and one daugh- 
ter. Two of the sons are numbered with the dead, 
and one son and the daughter still survive, as 
well as their mother. This change in my domestic afifairs, 
and the particular situation of my family, rendered it im- 
perative on me, as I then conceived, to leave public afifairs 
to the guidance of others, and to devote my best energies 
to the interest of my family and such social and citizen 
duties as devolve on men in private life. And to this plan, 
deliberately formed, I spent several years with great suc- 
cess as a farmer, or planter, with good land, and the neces- 
sary labor and other appurtenances, with one important 
exception — which was the want of health in my family. 
We were annually and seriously afflicted with bilious fev- 
ers, and chronic diseases produced from their effects. Our 



afflictions were caused no doubt from our particular loca- 
tion — rich lands, with extensive swamps in the neighbor- 
hood, the whole neighborhood of rich lands having been 
cut down, and brought under cultivation, in the short space 
of a few years. This was the only place that I ever en- 
joyed the pleasure and advantages of cultivating a soil, as 
rich and fertile as I desired ; and but for the afflictions 
suffered in my family and person, I never should have left, 
for I was pleased and content with the society and situ- 
ation, as well as the soil. 


From the close of the year 1821 to the commencement 
of the year 1824, I had taken no active part in the poli- 
tics of the country, although I had kept myself fully in- 
formed of all the passing- political events of the country, 
both by reading and some correspondence. The contest 
now became warm and exciting, upon the approaching 
Presidential election, who should be the successor of Mr. 
Monroe. Among the many aspirants, Mr. Monroe, at his 
second election to the Presidency, had been elected with- 
out opposition, and parties had to a considerable extent 

It was called the era of good feeling, and Mr. Monroe 
had treated many distinguished men of the old Federal 
party with distinguished marks of kindness and confi- 
dence. This new state of things, I then thought, and still 
think, had to a considerable extent influenced some of 
the measures of his administration into what may be 
termed a departure from the doctrines of the Republican 
party, in the days of Jeflferson. The candidates for the 
Presidency finally settled down upon Gen'l Jackson, J. Q. 
Adami^, Wm. H. Crawford, and Henry Clay. I well 
knew that Mr. Crawford would receive the vote of Geor- 
gia, by an overwhelming majority. But I well knew at the 
same time that the then state of Mr. Crawford's health 
wholly disqualified him from being able to discharge the 
duties of that high office. Moreover, I was well advised 
that the state of his health, if nothing else, would prevent 
the possibility of his being elected. And further, I was 
fully satisfied that the vote which would be thrown away 
on Mr. Crawford would prevent an election by the people, 
or their electors. I felt confident, that if Mr. C.'s name 
could be withdrawn from the contest, that Gen'l Jackson 
would be elected by the people. 

At the beginning of the year 1824. I apprehended the 
result which actually took place in the election of Mr. 
Adams to the Presidency, by the House of Representa- 
tives, when Gen'l Jackson was known to be the choice of 
the people by a very large majority. Under these circum- 
stances, I exerted all the influence I possessed in favor of 



Gen'l Jackson's election, and was a candidate on the 
Jackson Electoral ticket, before the Leg^islature, who then 
elected the Electors in Georgia. I received 45 votes, Mr. 
Crawford's Electors 90. Therefore my minority was one- 
third of the state, with which I was well satisfied ; under 
the conviction that I was right, and that it would be ad- 
mitted everywhere, at no distant day. This contest identi- 
fied me more fully with the Clark party — who acted with 
me in the support of Gen'l Jackson — both parties still 
claiming for themselves the title of True Republican 
Party, as Jackson and Crawford had both been long iden- 
tified with that party. In the following year, 1825, the 
Legislature of Georgia, a majority of whom were Craw- 
ford, or at this time more commonly called Troup men, 
passed a law creating a board of public works, with a view 
of entering ,on a systematic plan of public works, by the 
improvement of our river navigation, and the construction 
of canals, or railroads, as might be thought most advisa- 
ble, upon due investigation, and scientific examination. 
This Board consisted of six members, who were elected 
by the Legislature. 

The Governor was made Ex-Officio President of the 
Board, and entitled to a voice in all matters which might 
come before the Board. The Governor was authorized to 
select and appoint a competent State Engineer, with a 
salary of $5,000. The Board were directed immediately 
after their organization to elect one of their number to 
accompany the Chief Engineer in making a reconnoissance 
of the state, with a view to the improvements contem- 
plated, and upon this individual member devolved not only 
the duty of accompanying the Engineer, but the procuring 
of the necessary laborers, as chainmen, choppers, &c., to- 
gether with tents, subsistence, &c. ; consequently the re- 
sponsibility of the whole of the financial disbursements 
and the comfort of all concerned, to a great degree, de- 
pended on this member. The political party with which 
I was acting, although in a decided minority, were hon- 
ored by this Legislature by election of three members in 
that Board. The Governor being President of the Board, 
gave the contract, as he should have done, to the dominant 
party. I was one of the individuals elected as a member 
of this Board, and upon its organization, without ever 
having exchanged a word with any person whatever on 
the subject, upon balloting for the individual member who 
should accompany the State Engineer, &c., to my surprise. 


I received six votes out of seven — everyone except my 
own, which was cast for another gentleman. I felt the full 
force of the confidence reposed in me, from a source so 
highly respectable, as well as the great responsibility 
thus suddenly and unexpectedly placed upon me. But 
however weighty I felt the task to be, I did not shrink from 
its undertaking — unprepared as I might be, I resolved to 
try what I could do. I conferred freely with the other 
gentlemen of the Board, as well as with the Governor, on 
every subject which then occurred to me in connection 
with the duties which lay before me, and gratefully re- 
ceived the kind advice and instructions of the Governor. 
Although Governor Troup and myself had sometimes dif- 
fered in regard to both men and measures, I have always 
esteemed him as a patriot and statesman of the highest 
order. And this intimate connection with him in public 
matters of great importance to the State, from first to last, 
did but confirm my favorable opinion of his stern integ- 
rity and high intellectual ability. I deem it unnecessary 
for me to enter upon the details of my discharge of this 
important duty, but will mention that while thus engaged 
in the Indian country (now Cherokee, Georgia), under the 
instructions of Governor Troup, I visited most of the 
leading men of the Cherokee people, with a view of induc- 
ing and preparing their minds, as far as practicable, for an 
entire removal from the limits of Georgia, to the west of 
the Mississippi. And although they were at that time 
very generally averse to leaving Georgia, I have long 
since seen the benefits which resulted from my intercourse 
with these Cherokees at that time. I had for many years 
felt a deep interest in what was to be the ultimate fate of 
these people, and this intercourse deepened my interest 
and solicitude for their welfare, and fixed upon my mind, 
in an abiding manner, the devising of some practical plan 
for their removal, as I was well aware that no permanent 
prosperity awaited them while they remained in their 
present location. In the course of this year I made the 
acquaintance, and spent some time at the houses, of 
Charles Hicks, then principal chief, the Rosses, the Vanns, 
the Ridges and Boudinot, the Adairs, the Rod- 
gerses, the McNairs, &c., &c. In the course of my labors 
in this part of the country I received a letter from Gov- 
ernor Troup which is still preserved, and although so 
highly complimentary to myself, I feel that delicacy does 
not forbid, my giving a short extract. 


The letter invites me, if my strength and other duties 
will allow, to repair to tiie point where the Commissioners 
were then engaged in running out the line between Geor- 
gia and Alabama, and render them all the aid in my 
power, and in the close of the letter he says — "My apology 
for proposing thus to add to your labors, already great, 
is, that I know that wherever you are, you will be use- 
ful." But anxious as I was to obey this call, other duties 
that could not be dispensed with utterly forbid my joining 
the Commissioners as requested. But to return to the sub- 
ject of my more immediate duties connected with the 
Board of Internal Improvements. My acquaintance with 
Mr. Fulton, the gentleman selected as Chief Engineer of 
the State, afforded me an interesting opportunity of gain- 
ing much useful information on the subject in which I had 
now embarked. He was a Scotchman by birth and educa- 
tion, though he had spent most of his life, (till past the 
meridian) in England. He had been but a short time In 
this country, and was rather aristocratic in his feelings, 
and austere in his manners — he had but little of the suavity 
of our Democratic nobles. However he had seen more, 
read more, and knew more, upon all the subjects apper- 
taining to his office than the Governor and all the Board 
put together. I soon discovered that he had found out 
we were all novices on the subject of our immediate enter- 
prise. However, he knew we were capable of scrutinizing 
his conduct, and could not very readily be imposed upon. 
I endeavored to draw from him all the information I 
could, and my child-like, unassuming manner of doing it 
was flattering to his vanity, and soon placed me pretty 
much in the character of a learner or pupil, and gave me 
free access to what reading he had on the subject, as well 
as free answers to all my numerous inquiries. 

Although the day of rail roads was in the embryo state 
at this time, the subject had produced a spirit of inquiry, 
both in England and this country, and although but a 
few miles of rail road were then known to the world and 
those destitute of iron, or steam engine — constructed of 
wood, and propelled by animal force — yet I at that time, 
after full investigation of the subject, became fully satis- 
fied that even wooden rail roads, with mule and horse 
power, should be preferred to any canal which could be 
constructed in middle and upper Georgia. After laborious 
and instrumental examination of the country, from Mill- 
edgeville to Chattanooga, it was the opinion of Mr. Fulton 


and myself that a rail road could be located to advan- 
tage between the two points above named, but that a 
canal was impracticable. It is a very remarkable fact too, 
that the route selected by Mr. Fulton and myself, a large 
portion of it then in an Indian Country, and but little 
known to civilized men, should in its whole distance have 
varied so slightly from the location of our present rail 
roads now in operation. It proves that our examinations 
were faithful, and our judgments have been sustained by 
all the qualified persons who have come after us. My opin- 
ions were communicated to Governor Troup at this time, 
and will sustain my foregoing statements on this subject. 
From that time to this I have looked to rail roads as 
the great and leading work to promote the best interest 
of the country, and have upon all fit occasions, whether in 
private or public life, contributed my best aid to the pro- 
motion of the rail road cause. This year's labor in the 
public service induced me to believe, that if I had a seat in 
Congress I could effect something exceedingly im- 
portant, not only to Georgia, but to the whole Union, on 
the subject of the Indian policy of the United States. I 
was rather impressed with the belief that it was my par- 
ticular mission, instrumentally, to do something to relieve 
Georgia from the incumbrance of her Indian population, 
and at the same time benefit the Indians. Under these cir- 
cumstances, in the fall of 1826 I became a candidate for 
Congress, and was elected in October, as a Representative 
from Georgia, to a seat in the 20th Congress of the United 
States. I endeavored to make the best use of the interven- 
ing year between my election and entering- on my ofificial 
duties at Washington. I reviewed all that I had read and 
known, connected with the history of Georgia, as well as 
the Federal Government. I studied as far as I had the 
means the vprious subjects of general interest which I 
was apprised must necessarily engross my attention as a 
member of the approaching Congress. And to use a com- 
mercial term, I was well posted on every item connected 
with our Indian relations. As well as I could, I arranged 
my private and home affairs, preparatory to entering 
vipon my Congressional duties. 

Before, however, I enter upon what transpired at Wash- 
ington during the first session of the 20th Congress, it !s 
necessary for me to advert to the then existing political 
complexion of the country in Georgia, as well as the 
Union. The reader will recollect that in the Presidential 


contest for the successor to Mr. Monroe I not only 
supported Gen'l Jackson in opposition to Mr. Crawford, 
but that I was a candidate on the Jackson Electoral ticket, 
and received only one-third of the votes of the state, on 
that ticket, and that the Crawford Electors received, two- 
thirds of the votes of the State. But now, at the close of 
the year 1827, we find Georgia almost unanimous in the 
support of Jackson for the next President, precisely 
where I was two years previously, and I was now ap- 
plauded for what I had then been condemned. The only 
annoyance which I felt touching- this change of public sen- 
timent was to be found in the fact that some of the ofifice- 
seeking leaders of the old Crawford party were not con- 
tent with being received as equals into the Jackson ranks, 
and immediately aspired to the leadership of the old origi- 
nal panel of the Jackson party. Indeed some of the most 
violent defamers of Gen'l Jackson heretofore, seemed, nov^' 
that the mind had changed, to consider themselves the 
original and best Jackson men of the country, and upon 
all occasions were endeavoring to thrust themselves be- 
tween Jackson and his old friends who had borne the heat 
and burthen of the day. 

Such conduct made me feel sometimes, "Lord, what is 
man that thou art mindful of him ?" But it is due to these 
men that the apology for their change should be fairly 
given. Although they had contributed largely, but indi- 
rectly, to the election of John Q. Adams to the Presidency, 
and thereby effected the defeat of Gen'l Jackson, upon 
trial they soon discovered that the administration of Mr. 
Adams would not be sustained in Georgia. Mr. Adams, at 
every step of his administration, from his inaugural to his 
farewell address, proved himself to be a genuine Federal- 
ist of the old school, his father's own legitimate son. a 
man "not to be palsied, by the will of his constituents," a 
consolidationalist at heart — holding in contempt the rights 
and sovereignty of the states. But for the want of nerve, 
he was ready to carry out the doctrine of force — brute 
force — on the sovereign States. His controversy with 
Governor Troup, of Georgia, upon the subject of the In- 
dian Springs Creek Treaty, and the transactions growing 
out of that Treaty, had rendered Mr. Adams peculiarly ob- 
noxious to the people of Georgia, for no true hearted 
Georgian, not blinded by prejudice, whatever might have 
been his former political associations, could fail to sym- 
pathize with Governor Troup in this controversy. He was 


contending for the sovereign constitutional rights of the 
states, against Federal usurpation. And he contended for 
these rights with an unwavering ability and integrity 
altogether Roman. After the argument was exhausted, in 
this controversy. Governor Troup resolved that Georgia 
"would stand by her arms" rather than yield to oppression. 
Let it be recorded "that Georgia did." If this Roman spirit 
had been maintained in Georgia, up to the present day, 
no fears of the perpetuity of our Federal union would now 
harrass the timid imaginations of compromising sub- 
mission politicians and office-seekers. Public men would 
not dare to yield the birth rights of the people, and say it 
was the best we could get. No, our controversies should 
be settled on the principles of Troup and Jackson— ask for 
nothing but what is right, and submit to nothing wrong. 

Previous to going on to Congress in 1827, I had fully 
matured my own plan of operation in regard to our Indian 
relations. Our state controversy connected with the Creek 
Indians had now terminated, by the entire acquisition of 
the whole of the Creek lands within the limits of the State, 
and a final adjustment of the subject of all the conflicts 
with the Federal Government. But the state of affairs 
was far different, in regard to the Cherokees, who still 
occupied the whole of the northwestern part of Georgia, 
which is still known as Cherokee, Ga,, embrac- 
ing some five or six millions of acres of the best 
lands within the limits of the State. This state of things 
rendered it obvious to all well informed discerning men, 
that the resources of Georgia could never be extensively 
developed by a well devised system of internal improve- 
ments, and commercial and social intercourse with other 
portions of the Union, especially the great West, until this 
portion of the state was settled by an industrious, enlight- 
ened, free-hold population — entitled to, and meriting, all 
the privileges of citizenship. Moreover, a portion of the 
Cherokee people, composed mostly of mixed breeds and 
white bloods, had advanced in all the various arts of civili- 
zation to an extent that rendered it altogether impractica- 
ble to enforce the Laws of the United States passed by 
Congress for regulating intercourse with Indian Tribes 
within the United States, and for governing and restrain- 
ing such tribes. The Cherokees at this time had their 
own written and printed Constitution, and code of laws, 
by which they had declared themselves to be a free and in- 
dependent state and people, claiming, at the same time, 


the guarantees, illegally and imprudently made to them 
by treaty stipulations on the part of the United States, to 
protect them in the peaceable and quiet possession of the 
country now occupied by them, to them and their heirs 
forever. By this state of things, the Cherokees claimed 
the right to govern themselves independently of all other 
governments whatsoever. The government of the United 
States claimed the right of enforcing her intercourse laws 
for the government of the Indian Tribes. And Georgia 
had now extended her criminal laws and jurisdiction over 
all that portion of the State on which the Cherokees were 
still located. And the laws of these three different govern- 
ments, intended to operate and govern the same people, 
and on the same territory, were in their execution fre- 
quently found to be in conflict with each other, and the 
different governments liable to daily collision — neither 
yielding to the other the right of exclusive, or superior, 
jurisdiction. The intercourse laws of the United States 
prohibited any man from settling in any Indian country, or 
trading and traflficking in any article whatever, with any 
Indian, unless, under a special permit, or license, obtained 
from the legal authority of the United States, as provided 
for by law. The Cherokee authorities, in total disregard 
of the authority of the United States — 

Resolved, to suffer no man to settle in their limits, atid 
traffic and trade with their people, without first obtaining a 
permit or license to do so from the Cherokee authorities. 
The Georgia law extended her criminal jurisdiction, over 
her Cherokee Territory — 

Provided, amongst other things — That every white man 
residing in the CheroKee part of Georgia should take and 
subscribe an oath to support the Constitution and laws of 
the State of Georgia ; and in case of neglect, or refusal, to 
do so, said delinquent or delinquents should be liable to 
be indicted and convicted for a misdemeanor, and sen- 
tenced to confinement in the penitentiary of the state for 
a term not exceeding seven, and not less than one year. 
And under this law, seven missionaries were sent to our 
state prison, and gave rise to the persecution and abuse of 
Georgia by Northern fanatics — of which I shall have occa- 
sion to dwell more at large hereafter. Although I had 
marked out a course for myself in relation to Indian af- 
fairs, I felt it to be my duty, on my arrival at Washington. 
to seek a conference and consultation with the Georgia 
delegation, including the Senators from the State, which I 


attempted, and in part succeeded in doing. But I had not 
proceeded to the entire development of all the views which 
I entertained on the subject, before I very plainly saw that 
my worthy colleagues suspected me of a desire to take 
the lead in a measure which might become popular at 
home. They said my plan, proposing that Congress 
should make provisions by law, for procuring a suitable 
country for the permanent location of all the then remain- 
ing remnants of the different tribes of Indians in all the 
states, would give some strength to the proposition, but 
they h^d no idea that the subject would be seriously enter- 
tained at that time, or during the administration of Mr. 
Adams. However, some of them admitted my attempt 
would do no harm, while others seemed to think it would 
produce unnecessary excitement. By this courtesy to- 
wards my colleagues, I felt relieved from the necessity of 
further special consultation, and therefore determined to 
rely on my own judgment, and the help of the Almighty. 
In the organizations of the committees of the House I 
was placed on the committee "'on Indian Affairs," and on 
the 13th day of December, 1827, introduced the following 
resolution : "Resolved, that the Committee on Indian Af- 
fairs be instructed to inquire into the expediency of pro- 
viding, by law, for the removal of the various tribes of In- 
dians who have located within the States or Territories of 
the United States to some eligible situation, west of the 
Mississippi River," which resolution was referred accord- 
ingly. This was the first attempt ever made by any mem- 
ber of Congress with a view of carrying out the plan of 
collecting and colonizing the various remnants of Indian 
tribes still remaining in a number of the states to some 
suitable location west of the Mississippi River. This in- 
cipient step was taken by me with a view to the whole 
ground connected with our Indian relations. 

First, I admit I had in view relieving my own state 
from the incunibrance of her Indian population, and, with 
her, all the other states in like condition. Secondly, I was 
anxious to better the condition of the Indians, by placing 
them beyond the jurisdiction and control of the state gov- 
ernment, and where the Federal Government might, un- 
molested by state authority, carry out its benevolent de- 
signs of preserving and civilizing the remnant tribes of the 
original race. Moreover, I wished to place the Indians in 
a permanent home, where the missionary efforts of all 
pious and good men — Churches, Christian Associations — 


might have a permanent field of labor, to carry out their 
good designs of Christianizing and civilizing a most inter- 
esting heathen people. I even extended my hopes to the 
day when the Indian people might become an interesting 
and worthy member of our great confederacy of states. 

I succeeded in imparting my views to a majority of the 
committee to whom the subject had been referred, so far 
as to obtain as favorable a report on my resolution as I 
could have desired, under all the circumstances, at that 

The committee recommended the appropriation of 
fifteen thousand dollars, to defray the expenses, and ena- 
ble three commissioners, to be appointed by the President, 
to examine and explore the country west of the Mississ- 
ippi, and to ascertain and report, whether a suitable coun- 
try could be procured for the purposes set forth in the 
resolution above referred to. This report, after full dis- 
cussion, and much opposition, was finally sustained by 
Congress, and full provision made for carrying it into ef- 
fect. I am convinced however upon this, as is the case 
upon almost every difficult, new and complicated measure 
which comes before Congress : that a great deal more 
was done, by quiet and unobtrusive efforts, in private 
circles and intercourse with influential individuals, than 
was affected by congressional display, long and exciting 
speeches, &c. I bestowed much labor in conferring freely, 
first, with my committee, then with the members from 
those states who had a deep interest in the subject, as well 
as my own. Indeed much of my time was spent in en- 
deavoring to give success to this measure, while I en- 
deavored faithfully to attend to every duty which devolved 
on me as a member of Congress ; and there were many 
important measures brought before this Congress. 

My observation and experience had taught me, that no 
one member of Congress could assume to take special 
charge of more than one important measure at a time, 
without incurring the imputation of assuming too much. 
Therefore I often remained silent upon other subjects, 
even when I desired to take vn active part, that I might 
be more favorably attended to, on this Indian subject. If 
any should hereafter take the trouble to examine Con- 
gressional journals and documents, embracing the time of 
which I am writing, it will be seen that shortly after I 
had introduced this subject to the attention of Congress, 
and it was seen, that its importance was attracting much 
attention : 


That several ' other members of Congress, in states 
deeply interested in the subject, as well as one of my col- 
leagues at least, followed in my footsteps, and introduced 
resolutions embracing the very matter contained in my 
resolution, and had them referred to the same committee, 
which served to amuse the committee, as it gave them no 
additional labor — they were behind time — a few days too 
late. The stand I had taken upon this svibject often 
brought me into direct personal and corresponding inter- 
course with many of the best informed men of the coun- 
try, upon all subjects connected with our Indian relations. 

I conferred freely with the officers of the government 
who had charge of these affairs at Washington. Indian 
Agents from every quarter sought my acquaintance, and, 
with few exceptions, embraced and patronized my views, 
with zeal and energy. And Indian missionaries, and agents 
of missionary societies, conferred freely with me on the 
subject. About this time, I made the acquaintance of that 
zealous and able missionary of the Cross, the Rev. Isaac 
McCoy, who lived and died, after many years of toil and 
suffering, zealously engaged in the work of Indian civili 
zation and Christianization. From my first acquaintance 
with this good man. to the day of his death, I found him 
an able auxiliary in the cause of Indian reform, &c. The 
first session of the 20th Congress was brought to a close 
near the end of May, 1828, and on my return to my home 
and constituents, I was received with kind and approba- 
tory greetings from my constituents, wherever I met 
them. There seemed to be a general desire that I should 
continue to serve them in the next Congress. I therefore 
became a candidate for re-election to the next Congress, 
and at the October election following was again elected 
to Congress, by a highly flattering vote, and in Decem- 
ber following was at my post in Washington, prepared to 
enter on the duties of the 2nd session of the 20th Con- 
gress. I was pleased with the tenor and tone of the Presi- 
dent's Message on Indian Affairs, as well as the report of 
the Secretary of War, Governor Barbour, of Virginia, on the 
same subject. In every important particular, these docu- 
ments coincided with my own views, and sustained the 
ground which I had occupied at the previous session. The 
report of the Commissioners who had been appointed to 
examine the country west of the Mississippi and ascertain 
if a suitable country could be obtained for the emigration 
of all the Indians from the States, was highlv favorable in 


every respect, a sufficient and good country could be pro- 
cured, and on the most reasonable terms. It seemed as if 
nothing was wanting but immediate legislation to con- 
sununate the views of the friends of emigration. But we 
still found many serious obstacles in the way over and 
above the zealous opposition of our open and determined 
opponents, in both Houses of Congress. Many of the 
members of Congress, from states the most deeply inter- 
ested in the success of Indian emigration, seemed reluctant 
to cast their weight and influence into a policy which had 
originated with others, and in bringing about which they 
had in no way participated. Although they dared not op- 
pose these measures, many resolutions were introduced, 
and many inquiries for further information on this subject 
made, which were calculated, if not designed, to retard and 
procrastinate efficient legislation on the subject. More- 
over, during the recess of Congress, the Northern fanatics, 
male and female, had gone to work and gotten up thou- 
sands of petitions, signed by more than a million, of men, 
women and children, protesting against the removal of 
the poor dear Indians, from the states where they were 
located, to the west of the Mississippi. These petitions 
often denounced my own beloved Georgia as the head- 
quarters of all that was vile and wicked in her intercourse 
with Indians ; and to finish the picture, in these petitions 
we were denounced as slaveholders. Books and pam- 
phlets were written and circulated extensively, by North- 
ern ministers, and some missionaries of the Cross, misrep- 
resenting and perverting every fact connected with this 
Indian subject. 

The more civilized portion of the Indians, too, had been 
put to work, aided by the noble feed lawyers, to crush or 
stay this policy of Indian emigration. 

This, moreover, was the short session of Congress, and 
must necessarily terminate its session on the 4th of March. 
Under all the circumstances, the friends of emigration 
found it was not practicable to consummate all the legisla 
tion which they desired during this session, and there- 
fore endeavored to obtain such legislation as might here- 
after have a favorable bearing on the subject, by providing 
everything which justice and right demanded in favor of 
the Indians, and by amending the intercourse laws, &c. I 
was mvself much gratified to find that the number of my 
able co-operators in this Indian policy was constantly in- 
creasing, and enlarging. ]\Iy support was now altogether 


a different thing to what it was when I put this ball in 
motion. For then, as was said by a certain man, on a 
different occasion, I stood solitary and alone. I now per- 
ceived that the Indian subject was destined to become the 
great subject of the day. And knowing as I did, that 
Gen'l Jackson would be in the Presidential chair at the 
next session of Congress, and that his general views coin- 
cided with my own on the subject, I felt measurably con- 
tent to exercise that degree of patience which the circum- 
stances with which we were encompassed seemed to de- 
mand. However, no time was to be spent in idleness, nor 
did I spend any in that way. I availed myself of every op- 
portunity to make myself perfectly familiar with every- 
thing which appertained to Indian history in this country. 
I was not content with tracing the policy which had been 
preserved by the Federal Government in relation to Indian 
affairs, from first to last, but I exaniined thoroughly the 
policy of all the colonial and state governments towards 
the Indians. I examined the transactions of the Federal 
and state governments, when they had either acted in 
concert, or had come into conflict, in relation to Indian 
matters. Further, I read and examined writers on the 
laws of nations, to find all that I could, bearing on the 
subject, and carefully examined the judicial decisions of 
our ablest judges, on all subjects where Indians were con- 


During the recess between the 20th and 21st Congress, 
I haa full time, and used it faithfully, to mature my views 
on every important point connected with our Indian rela- 
tions and policv, and to procure all the detailed informa- 
tion which might become necessary at the next session of 
Congress, to sustain me in support of the measure which 
I had resolved to urge upon the action of the next Con- 
gress, in favor of Indian emigration. I was fully apprised 
that the conflict would be severe and hazardous, but at the 
same time my confidence was strong, based upon the con- 
viction that I was laboring in the cause of humanity, and 
to promote the best interest of the Indian, as well as the 
white race. Thus fortified, I took my seat in the 21st Con- 
gress, on the 7th of December, 1829, and was again ap- 
pointed a member of the Committee on Indian Afifairs, to 
which was referred that part of the President's Message, 
connected with Indian afifairs, as well as sundry resolu- 
tions and memorials connected with the same subject. 
And after great labor and research on the part of a por- 
tion of said committee, in which I bore a large share, on 
the 24th of February, 1830, we made an elaborate report to 
the House, on the subject of Indian affairs, through our 
chairman Mr. Bell, of Tennessee, accompanied by a bill to 
provide for the removal of the Indian tribes still remain- 
ing within any of the States and Territories, and for their 
permanent settlement west of the River Mississippi, which 
bill was read the first and second time, and committed to a 
Committee of the whole House on the State of the Union. 
And at the very threshold, the most violent opposition 
showed itself, to the views embraced in the report of the 
Committee. Mr. Buchanan, of Pennsylvania, moved the 
printing of io,oco copies of the report and Bill, for circu- 
lation in the country. The opposition used every effort 
and stratagem which the rules of the House would per- 
mit to suppress the printing and extensive circulation of 
the report. But after taking the yeas and nays, on the 
various questions raised, with the intent of defeating the 
printing and circulation, the motion of Mr. Buchanan was 
sustained, and the report extensively circulated through- 
out the countrv. 



It would require a volume to give a fair and full report 
of all that transpired during this session of Congress in re- 
lation to this subject. I cannot attempt such a work as 
the details of all that was said and done, in and out of 
Congress, either for or against the measure, while it was 
pending before Congress. 

Suffice it to say the report of the committee was sus- 
tained by Congress, and the bill for the emigration of the 
Indians became the law of the land, against as powerful 
and formidable opposition as ever has been overcome in 
Congress upon any great subject which has agitated that 

Although disposed, from various considerations, to give 
a pretty full view of the part which I acted in connection 
with this subject, during this session of Congress, I deem 
it best and most appropriate for me to pass over much 
the greatest portion of my labors, in and out of the halls 
of legislation, and in the committee rooms, and give 
some of the remarks and speeches made by me on the floor 
of Congress during the pendencv of these Indian ques- 
tions before that body. I submit them as reported and 
published at the time in the public journals of the country; 
and first I will go back to the report of the proceedings of 
the House of Representatives, of February 20th, 1828. 

The unfinished business of the bill making appropria- 
tions for the Indian Department was called up, and the 
question being on the motion made by Mr. Vinton, of 
Ohio, that no Southern Indians should be removed north 
of the line of latitude of 36 degrees and 30 minutes, and 
no Northern south of that line, 

Mr. Lumpkin rose and said, 

Mr. Chairman : It is always with reluctance that I rise 
on this floor, to submit any remarks of mine. When I look 
around and see the intelligence by which I am surrounded, 
I cannot haA^e the vanity to enter the list of competitors 
for the eclat or distinction which will be awarded to him 
who makes the greatest display of words on this floor. 

Nor am I disposed to take a part in the discussions of 
this House, with a view of encouraging the manufacture 
of congressional speeches. I consider that of speech mak- 
ing one branch of Domestic Manufacture, or of the Ameri- 
can System, if you please, sir, which does not require en- 
couragement or protection. It has already arrived to a 
maturity which can enter into fair competition with any 
country whatever, with a fair prospect of success. But, sir. 



I stand so connected with this subject, in several points 
of view, that I cannot shrink from addressing the commit- 
tee on the present occasion. 

The two very distinguished gentlemen from Ohio. (Mr. 
Woods and Mr. Vinton) who have consumed so large a 
portion of the time of this committee in displaying and ex- 
hibiting their opposition to the extinguishment of Indian 
title to lands, and to the removal of the Indians to some 
eligible situation west of the River Mississippi, and have 
introduced such a mass of foreign matter into this dis- 
cussion, that they will excuse me, in my present state of 
health, for declining to follow them in all their labored 
arguments and details upon this subject. 

The best refutation which can be presented to all these 
gentlemen have said upon this important and interesting 
subject will be found in the fact that they stand opposed 
to the wisdom, and experience, and benevolence of the 
whole country. In opposition to all their opinions, doc- 
trines, and reasoning, I will place those of James Monroe, 
J.C.Calhoun, James Barbour, and a host of others, who are 
experienced and distinguished statesmen and patriots, and 
who have long deliberated and reflected upon the subject 
of our Indian policy and relations. Thes3 distinguished 
individuals have arrived at the same results : that the only 
hope of saving the remnant tribes of Indians from ruin 
and exterm.ination was to remove them from their present 
abodes, and settle them in a permanent abode west of the 
Mississippi River. 

The views of all our Indian Agents, so far as my 
knowledge extends, coincides with the friends of the emi- 
gration plan, and, with very few exceptions, we find the 
benevolent and pious missionaries, who have long labored 
for the benefit of this unfortunate race, decidedly in favor 
of the emigrating plan. 

One respectable denomination of Christians have me- 
morialized the present Congress on this subject, and urged 
with much earnestness and ability the results of their la- 
bors and experience, in favor of the emigrating plan , 
v.'-hich is the only plan by which the Indians can ever be 
considered permanently located and settled. 

Sir, these opinions of wisdom, experience, and piety, I 
present as a reply to the voluminous details of the iwo dis- 
tiiiguished gentlemen from Ohio, (Mr. Woods and Mr. 
Vinton). If the committee, or the country, ask for any 
further reply to the remarks of these gentlemen, I will 


refer to the remarks of another gentleman from Ohio, 
(Mr. McLean) the honorable chairman of the Committee 
on Indian Affairs. His pertinent and very appropriate re- 
marks must be impressed upon the recollection of every 
gentleman who was present yesterday when he delivered 

That gent'eman, with all his known vigilance and assid- 
uous attention to the local interest of his immediate con- 
stituents, when his duty requires it. enters upon the 
business of national legislation with a liberal dignity of 
purpose which embraces the general interest of the whole 
country. And upon this occasion, the brief view which he 
took of this subject, and the mformation which he sub- 
mitted to this committee, is to my mind sufficient of itself 
to obliterate all the labors of his two colleagues. Sir, the 
remarks on this subject, submitted by the Chairman on In- 
dian Affairs, reminded me of the saying of the wise man of 
antiquity. "Words fitly spoke?i are like apples of gold, in 
pictures of silver y Gentlemen deny that the policy of this 
government is settled in relation to the question of Indian 
emigration. I am of a different opinion. Mr. Monroe's 
administration marked out the plan, and recommended its 
adoption in strong terms. 

The present administration has continued to urge upon 
all fit occasions the views of its predecessors upon this 
subject. Congress, I admit, have never sanctioned the plan 
to the full extent which it has been recommended by the 
Executive Government. Nevertheless, many acts of legis- 
lation might be cited which were based on the execution of 
this plan. Look at the various appropriations of money 
to extinguish Indian title to lands within the states, and to 
provide for their removal, and settlement, west of the River 

It is true, I am myself in favor of legislating upon a 
more extended and comprehensive plan upon this subject, 
and with a view to general legislation upon this subject, at 
an early day of the present session I introduced a resolu- 
tion which was adopted, "instructing the Committee on 
"Indian Affairs to inquire into the expediency of providing 
"by law for the removal of all the remnant tribes of In- 
"dians, within the limits of any of the States or Territories 
"of this L^nion, to ;-omc eligible situation west of the River 

The report of the Committee in answer to this resolu- 
tion has long since been made to this House, and is alto- 



gether favorable to tlie objects embraced in the resolution. 
As a member of the Committee on Indian Affairs, I was, 
however, disposed to go much further than a mere favora- 
ble report. I was disposed to make ample provision for 
carrying into full efifect the emigration plan, and did ac- 
cordingly submit a report and bill to the Committee, in lien 
of the report which was made to the House. But the ma- 
jority of the Committee preferred the report made to the 
House, and I felt it my duty to acquiesce. 

But that the time has arrived when this Government 
must change its policy in relation to the Indians appears 
to me so plain, so clear, and self-evident, that I cannot see 
any reason for delay or hesitation. 

From the commencement of this Government, that is, 
from the adoption of the Constitution of the United States, 
this Government has assumed and exercised an almost 
unlimited control over the Indian Tribes settled within our 
boundaries. It has assumed and exercised the right of leg- 
islating for them, in all their most important interests. 
We have taken the guardianship of them, and treated them 
as minors, orphans, and persons who were incapable of 
managing their own estates. 

And the exercise of this power has heretofore been 
recognized as legitimate, and has been acquiesced in by the 
Indians, by the states, and by foreign nations. 

But, sir, the day has already arrived when this state of 
things cannot longer exist. The inefficient course pursued 
by this Government, in matters in which one of the states 
has a deep interest, as well as the Indians, has weakened 
the confidence of the Indians, as well as the state, in this 
Government to an extent which has disposed all the par- 
ties in interest to look to their own sovereignty for a rem- 
edy of the evils under which they are, and have been labor- 
ing, "for lo, these many years." 

It is known to every gentleman of this Committee that 
my allusions are directed to the existing state of things, as 
they now exist between the State of Georgia and the 
Cherokee Indians and the Government of the United 

It is a subject, sir, which, after all that has transpired. 
I cqn but approach with reluctance, but as one of the rep- 
resentatives of that State, and a member of the Committee 
on Indian Affairs, duty impels me to use every effort to 
draw the attention of the present Congress, and of the 
Nation, to the importance which is necessarily attached to 


this subject. I feel it to be my duty to warn this Committee, 
and the Nation, of the impending evils which must neces- 
sarily grow out of an imbecile course on the part of this 
Government. I deem it to be unnecessary to enter into all 
the details of the compact, entered into between Georgia 
and the United States, in the year 1802. The history of 
that transaction seems at last to be well understood, here 
and everywhere else. I know the subject is perfectly un- 
derstood by every member of the Committee on Indian 
Afifairs ; and I will avail myself of this opportunity to add, 
that I have the most entire confidence that every member 
of that Committee are disposed to do justice to Georgia, as 
well as to the Cherokee Indians. Indeed, from what we 
daily hear from members on this floor, I cannot doubt but 
what the long delayed rights of Georgia upon this subject 
have gained the attention of the representatives of the peo- 
ple of this nation, and that the cause of right and of jus- 
tice will no longer be urged in vain. 

In relation to the compact between Georgia and the 
General Government, entered into in 1892. I will briefly 
state, in a summary way, that whenever Georgia has urged 
the fulfilment of this compact, the United States has never 
denied the debt, but urged the plea of inability — alleging 
the Indian title would not be extinguished "upon reason- 
able and peaceable terms." Upon the other hand, Georgia 
has alleged, and continues to allege, that the very impedi- 
ments which lie in the way of extinguishment have been 
produced by the policy pursued by the United States. But 
I find, sir, that the feeble state of my health will not admit 
of my extending my remarks to many important details 
which I had intended to present to this committee. I will 
therefore again advert to this actual state of things in re- 
■ lation to the Cherokee Indians at the present time. 

The Cherokee Indians, who principally reside within the 
limits of Georgia, have, in the course of the past year, re- 
newed their often repeated declaration that they will 
never, no, never, relinquish their present possession. 
They have placed this declaration in a constitutional form, 
and with all the formality of a sovereign and independent 
state they have set up for themselves. They not only dis- 
regard Georgia and the rights of Georgia, but they act- 
ually enacted laws, and execute them, too, which are in 
direct violation of the laws of the United States. I have 
the highest authority for making this statement, which I 
will submit to the Committee. 



The Legislature of Georp^ia, at its last session, have ex- 
tended the jurisdiction of the criminal laws of that State 
over the Cherokee country, lyin^^ within the limits of 
Georgia, and have added the country to the former coun- 
ties of the State of Georgia. And in the state paper of 
Georgia, printed at the seat of government, (Milledge- 
ville,) I this day see the proclamation of Governor For- 
syth, notifying all persons whom it may concern of the 
provisions of the late act of the Legislature, and requiring 
obedience and respect to its provisions and execution from 
citizens and officers of every grade and description. 

Now, sir, what must be the result of this anomaly? Of 
three separate and distinct governments, exercising sover- 
eignty of jurisdiction under conflicting laws, enacted by 
three separate and distinct legislatures, over the same 
people, and at the same time, in some cases these 
three distinct sovereign legislatures have enacted laws 
upon the same identical subjects, which laws do not har- 
monize in their provisions. I will give you one or two 
cases, out of many which actually do exist, and are in daily 
conflict. The United States laws prohibit the introduction 
of spirits into the Nation, and if introduced by a citizen it 
is liable to confiscation, with all his packages of goods, 
&c., the one-half to the informer, and the other to the 
United States. The Cherokee laws prohibit the introduc- 
tion of spirits also, under a fine or penalty of one hundred 
dollars, and a forfeiture of the spirits, one-half to the in- 
former, the other half to the Treasury of the Cherokee Na- 
tion. The laws of Georgia do not prohibit the sale of spir- 
its in large quantities at all. And those who wish to retail 
procure a license from the County Court for that purpose. 
Another similar case I will present to the Committee. The 
United States law prohibits peddling m the Nation, or sell- 
ing merchandise at any other than the place designated by 
the agent, and annexes its fines and forfeitures for a viola- 
tion of the law. The Cherokee law authorizes any citizen 
to peddle or trade where they please in the Nation, on 
paying twelve dollars a year to the Treasurer of the Na- 
tion, and one dollar to the officer issuing the license. The 
laws of Georgia admit of no peddling without first obtain- 
ing a license, for which the applicant pays one hundred dol- 
lars a year, which entitles him to peddle and vend his goods 
anywhere within the limits of the state. 

This state of things cannot exist : something must be 
done, and the sooner it is done, the better. It is high time 


these unfortunate people should know their destiny plainly 
and positively. They should know precisely in what rela- 
tion they do stand to the United States, and in what rela- 
tion they do stand to the particular states in which 
they reside. A state of suspense is the worst of all cruelty 
that can be exercised towards this noble race of people. If 
they are to be resigned to the states and the state laws, I 
call upon this Congress to tell them so. If we determine 
vipon their emigration to the West, the sooner they know 
it, the better. That they may send their Calebs and 
Joshuas to search out and view the promised land, for situ- 
ated as t hey now are, and where they are, there is no rest 
for the sole an Indian foot. 

Sir, it is with the deepest regret that I have witnessed 
such ardent exertions to defeat the best and most reason- 
able plans which can be devised for the salvation of the 
poor, perishing, and afflicted aborigines of this country. 

I have been greatly surprised that any gentleman on 
this floor should assume a claim for himself, his constitu- 
ents, or for the section of the Union from whence he 
comes, a specific right to all that portion of our western 
wild. Sir, our unlocated territory, which lies out of the 
limits of the present states, is the equal and joint property 
of the Union, regardless of the latitude where it may be 
found. These lands are the property of the Nation, and I 
wish the most eligible portion of it to become a permanent 
home and habitation for the oppressed and afflicted sons 
of Ishmael. I trust, sir, we shall hear no more of sec- 
tional claims, when we have in view a great national object 
which must and will be efifected. 

My debility (occasioned by my late indisposition) is 
such, that I find my strength and voice fails. Much re- 
mains to be said, but I feel unable to proceed further. 
(Mr. Carson, of North Carolina, proposed to Mr. L. to 
move for the Committee to rise, report progress, and ask 
leave to sit again, with a view of affording Mr. L. an op- 
portunity of continuing his remarks. 

Mr. L. thanked him for his kindness, but observed that 
he would prefer yielding the floor to other gentlemen who 
wished to take a part in the discussion, and accordingly 
took his seat.) 

Here follows a speech made in May, 1830, reported in 
the following words : 



of the 


of Ga. 

In Committee of the Whole House, on the State of the 

Union, on the Bill Providing for the Removal of 

the Indians. 

Mr. Lumpkin rose and said : 

Mr. Chairman : My life has never been free from care 
and responsibility ; but, on no former occasion, have I ever 
felt more deeply impressed with a sense of that responsi- 
bility, to God and my cozintry, than I do at the present 
moment. The obligations which rest on me are common 
to every member of this House. The great importance 
which I attach to the decision of this House upon the bill 
now under consideration, does not arise from any appre- 
hension of material efifects being produced in relation to 
any one of the states who are interested. It is true, your 
decision will have a strong bearing on their interest ; but 
they have the capacity to some extent to take care of 
themselves. But to those remnant tribes, of Indians whose 
good we seek, the subject before you is of vital importance. 
It is a measure of life and death. Pass the bill on your 
table, and you save them ; reject it, and you leave them to 
perish. Reject this bill, and you thereby encourage de- 
lusory hopes in the Indians which their professed friends 
and allies zvell knoiv will never be realized. The rejection 
of this bill will encourage and invite the Indians to acts of 
indiscretion and assumptions which will necessarily bring 
upon them chastisement and injury, which will be deplored 
by every friend of virtue and humanity. I therefore call 
UDon you to avoid these evil consequences while you may. 
Delay is pregnant with great danger to the Indians ; what 
you do, do quickly, before the evil day approaches. 

I differ with my friend from Tennessee (Mr. Bell) in 
regard to Indian civilization. I entertain no doubt that a 
remnant of these people may be entirely reclaimed from 
their native savage habits, and be brought to enter into the 
full enjoyment of all the blessings of civilized society. It 
appears to me we have too many instances of individual 
improvement amongst the various native tribes of Amer- 


ica to hesitate any longer in determining whether the In- 
dians are susceptible of civilization. Use the proper means, 
and success will crown your efforts. The means hitherto 
resorted to by the Government, as well as by individuals, 
to improve the condition of the Indians, m.ust, from the 
present state of things, very soon be withheld from these 
unfortunate people, if they remain in their present abodes, 
for they will every day be brought into closer contact and 
conflict with the white population, and this circumstance 
will diminish the spirit of benevolence and philanthropy to- 
wards them which now exists. 

I might exhaust what physical strength I have, in reply- 
ing to the gentleman from New York (Mr. Storrs). He 
has consumed much of your time with his usual ability and 
ingenuity. It would require an entire speech to defend my 
own State (Georgia) from the many imputations cast upon 
her by that gentleman and otliers ; I must leave much of 
this for my colleagues and others who may follow me in 
this discussion. The gentleman's doctrines upon the sub- 
ject of state rights ought to be met and refuted ; severe 
censures cast upon our Chief Magistrate, and his subordi- 
nates in office, should be corrected as they deserve, and the 
Executive defended in his wise, virtuous, and candid course 
on this subject. But I shall leave much of this for others, 
and only incidentally pay my respects to the gentleman 
from New York, and proceed directly to the subject under 

The bill on your table involves but little that can be con- 
sidered new pri7iciple. The only departure from former 
principles and practice is to be found in that part which ex- 
tends greater security and benefits to the Indians. 

The whole of my policy and views of legislation upon 
this subject have been founded in an ardent desire to better 
the condition of these remnant tribes. At the same time, I 
freely admit, their interest alone has not guided my action. 
From the time I became a member of this House, the 
great object of my solicitude and labor has been, to relieve 
rll the states (especially my own) from the perplexities, 
heart burnings, conflicts, and strifes, which are connected 
with this Indian subject. 

The ground occupied by the gentleman from Tennessee 
(Mr. Bell) I shall not again travel over. I never have, nor 
never will, consume the time of this House by a speech of 
repetition. Nevertheless. I shall necessarily advert to 
many of the same points, with a view of corroborating 



what has been said by my friend from Tennessee in favor 
of the bill. As one of the Committee on Indian Affairs, I 
shall not be diverted from what I consider my duty in de- 
fending the measures submitted by the committee, by at- 
tempting to follow our opponents in their wide range of 
irrelevant matter and argument. 

I am not only identified with this subject, as a member 
of the Indian Committee, but as a Representative of the 
people of Georgia I feel myself bound to defend their 

My life has been spent on the border of these Southern 
Indians ; I therefore know much which relates to the his- 
tory of this subject, from my own personal observation. 
Upon taking my seat as a member of the 20th Congress, 
(without delay), I introduced a resolution which brought 
this subject in all its bearings to the consideration of Con- 
gress ; and the investigations had upon the subject resulted 
in providing an appropriation of $15,000 to defray the ex- 
pense of preparing for the emigration of the Indians west 
of the Mississippi. 

My friend from Tennessee (Mr. Bell) having given the 
details of the exploring tour of the Agents of the Govern- 
ment (under this act) who examined the country west of 
the Mississippi, with a view of ascertaining the cjuality of 
the country contemplated for the permanent abode of the 
Indians, and the report of these Agents, I will only say a 
suitable and sufficient country was found — a country ad- 
mirably adapted to the interest and condition of the emi- 
grating Indians. The report of these Commissioners is 
sustained by the corroborating testimony of many highly 
respectable persons. That there is a good and sufficient 
country for all the Indians to emigrate to can no longer 
be doubted, whatever m.ay be said to the contrary by our 

I will now ask the attention of the committee to the 
history of Indian emigration. 

So far as my researches afford information on this sub- 
ject, I will submit the facts. Emigration commenced with 
the Indians themselves. Their own enterprise (uninflu- 
enced by the Government) led many individuals of the 
Southern tribes, previous to the year 1808, to remove from 
the east to the west side of the Mississippi, and there take 
up their abode. A strong impulse was given to this spirit 
of emigration by President Jefferson, during his adminis- 


What this impulse was, may be seen by reference to a 
talk of Mr. Jefiferson to the Cherokees (Volume of Indian 
Treaties, page 140) inserted in the preamble of the Cher- 
okee Treaty of 1817, which preamble is in the following 
words : 

"Whereas in the Autumn of the year 1808, a deputation 
from the upper and lower Cherokee towns, duly authorized 
by their Nations, went to the City of Washington, the first 
named to declare to the President of the United States 
their anxious desire to engage in the pursuits of agricul- 
ture and civilized life, in the country they then occupied, 
and to make known to the President of the United States 
the imipracticability of inducing the nation at large to do 
this, and to rec[uest the establishment of a division line be- 
tween the upper and lower towns, so as to include all the 
waters of the Hiwassee River to the upper town ; that, by 
thus contracting their society within narrow limits, they 
proposed to begin the establishment of fixed laws and a 
regular government. The deputies from the lower towns 
to make known their desire to continue the hunter life, 
and also the scarcity of game where they then lived, and 
under those circumstances their wish to remove across the 
Mississippi River, on some vacant lands of the United 

"And whereas the President of the United States, after 
maturely considering the petitions of both parties, on the 
9th day of January, A. D, 1809, including other subjects, 
answered those petitioners as follows : 'The United States, 
my children, are the friends of both parties, and, as far as 
can be reasonably asked, they are willing to satisfy the 
wishes of both. Those who remain, may be assured of our 
patronage, and aid, and good neighborhood. Those who 
wish to remove, are permitted to send an exploring party, 
to reconnoitre the country on the waters of the Arkansas 
and White rivers, and the higher up the better, as they will 
be the longer unapproached by our settlements, which will 
begin at the mouth of those rivers. The regular districts 
of the governments of St. Louis are already laid off to the 
St. Francis. 

" 'When this party shall have found a tract of counlrv 
suiting the emigrants, and not claimed by other Indians. 
we will arrange with them and you the exchange of that 
for a just portion of the country they leave, and to a part 
of which, proportioned to their numbers, they have a just 
right. Every aid towards their removal, and what will be 


necessary for them then, will then be freely administered to 
them ; and when established in their new settlements, we 
shall consider them as our children, give them the benefit 
of exchanging their peltries for what they will want at our 
factories, and always hold them firmly by the hand.' " 

Thus we see a deputation of Cherokees, as early as 
1808, visiting this city, anxiously desiring and imploring 
the aid of President Jefferson to enable them to emigrate 
and settle in the very country where a great portion of 
them now resides, and where we have procured a most 
excellent and ample country for the remainder. Those 
who have emigrated are delighted with their new homes, 
and most of their brethren who remain in the States would 
gladly improve their present condition by joining them ; 
but their lordly chiefs, of the white blood, with their 
Northern allies, "will not let the people go." Notwith- 
standing the signs of the times, the hearts of these rulers 
have been hardened again and again. 

These movements on the part of the Cherokees, with- 
out urgency or solicitation on the part of the Government, 
have resulted in the Treaties of 1817 and 1828, providing, 
as before pointed out, an ample and permanent home for 
the whole of the Cherokees. Under the provisions of these 
treaties they have been going, and will continue to go, 
until not a real Indian will be left behind. "Hinder me 
not," Will be their language, when they are permitted to 
express their own feelings, unawed by the tyrannical enact- 
ment of their mixed blooded chiefs. 

With the Choctaws and Creeks treaties have also been 
made, assigning to them countries west of the Arkansas 
and Mississippi. The Creeks have been flocking to theirs, 
and it is satisfactorily ascertained that they would all go, 
if the means contemplated in this bill should be afforded to 
the Executive. The whole of the Choctaws are not only 
willing to go, but are actually prepared to go, and have 
submitted their terms, in the form of a treaty, to the proper 
department of the Government. The Chickasaws have no 
country yet provided for them, in the West, but are anx- 
ious to emigrate thither, if they can obtain a suitable coun- 

The Seminoles of Florida are also desirous to join their 
Creek brethren in the West, if they can obtain land. The 
Indians of Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana, have been for many 
years past emigrating, and the cost of their journeys has 
been paid by the Government, until about two years ago, 


when the spirit of emigration so far increased the numbers 
that the expense became too great to be paid by the means 
at the disposition of the Executive. 

The treaties formed with the various tribes of Indians, 
providing for their emigration, may be found in the Vol- 
ume of Treaties, compiled under the order and direction of 
Mr. Calhoun, while acting as Secretary of War. That with 
the Choctaws, of October i8th, 1820, page 166; the treaty 
with the Shawnees, 7th November, 1825, page 361, pro- 
vides for an exchange of lands with those residing both in 
Missouri and Ohio ; with the Creeks, 24th January, 1826, 
page 218; with the Weas tribe, August, 1820, page 261; 
with the Kickapoos, 30th August, 1819, page 265 ; with the 
same tribe, 30th July, 1819, page 268. 

I have intended to read extracts from all these treaties, 
but I find that my time and strength both admonish me to 
be brief. I have therefore given a reference to the book, 
the treaty, and the page, and every gentleman can read for 

I can only say that I am greatly surprised to hear the 
opponents of the proposed policy, in the face of the rec- 
ords, laws, and treaties of the country, speak of the pro- 
posed measure as being novel — as being a change of policy 
in our Indian relations, and as being fraught with danger 
and ruin to the Indians. I feel assured, if the good people 
who have been memorializing us through the winter were 
in possession of the facts which are within the reach of 
every member of this Committee, they would change their 
politics and unite with the friends of Indian emigration. 

I have heard much complaint that we are progressing 
in the removal of the Indians, without any systematic plan 
for their security and government when they get into the 
possession of their new homes. 

This objection comes from our opponents; but I con- 
fess I agree with them, to a limited extent. I would, my- 
self, greatly prefer going the whole amount at once. 

Nevertheless, I discover that every step we advance in 
carrying out our plan the more violent is the opposition. 
The bill on your table, sir, goes much further in providing 
for, and pointing out the landmarks of an entire and com- 
plete system, than any measure heretofore acted upon in 
Congress, and yet we find opposition increases. 

If those who wish to see an entire system presented 
will refer to Mr. Monroe's Message of the 27th of January, 
1825, page 453, Volume of Indian Treaties, and also to Mr. 


Calhoun's report accompanying- that Message, they will 
find the g^reat outline of the plan laid down. In that 
Message, Mr. Monroe says: "Being deeply impressed 
with the opinion that the removal of the Indian Tribes 
from the lands which they now occupy within the limits of 
the several States and Territories to the country lying west- 
ward and northward thereof, Vv'ithin our acknowledged 
boundaries, is of very high importance to our Union, and 
m,ay be accomplished on conditions and in a manner to 
promote the interest and happiness of these tribes, the at- 
tention of the Government has been long drawn, with 
great solicitude, to the object. For the removal of the 
tribes within the limits of the State of Georgia the motive 
has been peculiarly strong, arising from the compact with 
that State, whereby the United States are bound to extin- 
guish the Indian title to the lands within it, whenever it 
may be done peaceably and on reasonable conditions. In 
the fulfilment of this compact I have thought that the 
United States should act with a generous spirit ; that they 
should omit nothing which should comport with a liberal 
construction of the instrument, and likewise be in accord- 
ance with the first rights of those tribes. From the view 
which I have taken of the subject I am satisfied that, in 
the discharge of these important duties, in regard to both 
the parties alluded to, the United States will have to en- 
counter no conflicting interests with either. On the con- 
trary, that the removal of the tribes from the territory 
which they now inhabit, to that which was designated in 
the Message at the commencement of the session, w'hich 
would accomplish the object for Georgia, under a well 
difrested plan for their government and civilization, 
v.hich should be agreeable to themselves, would not only 
shield them from impending ruin, but promote their wel- 
fare and happiness. 

"Experience has clearly demonstrated that, in their 
present state, it is impossible to incorporate them in such 
masses, in any form whatever, into our system. It has also 
demonstrated, with equal certainty, that, without a timely 
anticipation of, and provision against, the dangers to 
which they are exposed, under causes which it will be diffi- 
cult, if not impossible to control, their degradation and ex- 
termination will be inevitable." 

Such were the opinions of President Monroe in 1825. 
supported by an able report, going into an important de- 
tail, appertaining to every branch of the system proposed 


by Secretary Calhoun. I will give the following short ex- 
tract from the report : "There are now in most of the 
tribes well educated, sober, and reflecting individuals, who 
are afflicted at the present condition of the Indians, and 
despondent at their future prospects. Under the operation 
of existing causes, they behold the certain degradation, 
misery, and even final annihilation of their race, and no 
doubt wovild gladly, embrace any arrangement which would 
promise to elevate them in the scale of civilization, and 
arrest the destruction which now awaits them." 

Mr. Adams, with great force of argument, while Presi- 
dent of the United States, sustained these doctrines and 
opinions. His two Secretaries, Governor Barbour and 
Gen'l Porter, v. ith great ability, repeatedly enforced the 
same doctrines and principles to their full extent, which 
may be seen and read by referring to the State Papers 
which are on the files of this House, and are always ac- 
cessible to the members of Congress. 

I therefore admonish every gentleman of this commit- 
tee who may be opposed to this measure to deal fairly with 
his constituents, and inform them that this is no new 
measure, emanating from President Jackson and the Geor- 
gians, but that it is a measure tested by many years' ex- 
perience ; and that it has received the sanction and support 
of the wisest and best men of the age. 

Jefiferson gave to it the first official impulse ; Madison, 
Monroe, Adams, Jackson, Calhoun, Barbour, Porter, 
Eaton, and a majority of the Senators and Representatives 
of the people of this great confederation of states have, in 
their official capacities, repeatedly sustained the principles 
and policy of the bill on your table. This declaration is 
fully supported by the talks, treaties, laws, messages, and 
reports, to which I have already called the attention of the 
committee. It has not only been devised and sustained by 
the ablest statesmen of the country, but has received the 
approbation of a very large portion of the wise and the 
good throughout our country. Our most enlightened 
Superintendents and Agents of Indian Affairs have all be- 
come converts to Indian emigration ; our most pious and 
candid missionaries have also added their testimony in our 

One of the most devoted and pious missionaries (the 
Rev. Isaac McCoy) with whom I am acquainted has said : 
"What plan will most likely be successful in accomplishing 
the reformation of the Indians?" He answers: "Without 


ceremony, I offer for consideration the plan recommended 
to the wisdom of Cons;ress by Mr. Monroe, late President 
of the United States." The same gentleman says : "We 
are well aware of some formidable obstacles opposed to 
the removal of the Indians. 

"The obstacles to which we allude will not derive their 
origin or their support from the Indians themselves, but 
both will be found in the avarice of white men, near to, 
and mingling with, the Indians, whose interest it is for the 
natives to remain where they are, and in their present con- 
dition. I deeply regret the necessity of mentioning this 
circumstance, but justice to my subject, to the Indians, 
and to my own conscience, demands it of me. We may 
prepare to encounter a host of opposers, consisting of 
traders, both licensed and unlicensed, many of them speak- 
ing the Indian language fluently, and in habits of daily in- 
tercourse with them, often allied by marriage, and other- 
wise by blood ; and from many others who profit more or 
less b}' a commission from our Government, for the per- 
formance of services in the Indian Department. Remove 
the Indians and the fountain fails. 

"Some, estimate of the difficulties arising from this 
quarter may be found on considering the influence which 
the number of those interested persons, under their favora- 
ble opportunities, may exert on the minds of those ignor- 
ant, uninformed people, whose prepudices against us are 
generally inveterate, and whose jealousies are ever on the 
alert ; considering also, that, in the transacting of business, 
Government has been under the necessity of availing itself 
of the services of those very persons. The story requires 
much delicacy in the telling, and perhaps has never 
been, nor will it now be plainly told, that scarce a treaty 
with the Indians occurs in which the Commissioners of the 
United States are not obliged to shape some part of it to 
suit the convenience of some of this class of persons." 

This same worthy missionary says : "Societies and 
their missionaries should carefully guard against what we 
may term high coloring. We are naturally fond of telling 
the more favorable parts of the story, and rather desire 
the unfavorable parts of the story to sink into oblivion. I 
could readily point to statements respecting missionary 
operations which approximate this character too nearly ; 
but I deem it sufficient to mention this general and un- 
doubted fact, viz. : K man in Europe, by reading the 
whole of our missionary journals, narratives, reports, &c., 


would be apt to suppose the success of our labors was 
such that the aborigines of our country were rapidly im- 
proving their condition, both in respect to Christianity 
and civilization. How would such an one be disappointed, 
on visiting these regions, to fin*d that, instead of improve- 
ment in general, they are rapidly decreasing in numbers, 
and perishing under their accumulating misfortunes. Both 
societies and missionaries are blamable in this thing. The 
latter claim a pretext from the peculiarities of their situa- 
tion. The views of the community in general, in relation 
to the true condition of the Indians, their character, and 
the character of the missionary labors among them, being 
erroneous, missionaries find great difficulty in managing 
those impressions which influence their patrons as well as 
other people. Few indeed are prepared for that tedious 
process which is usually unavoidable in the work. If a 
missionary is not able to state, in a tolerable degree, what 
would be deemed by his patrons evidence of success, and 
in a pretty short time too after he has commenced his 
labors, his supporters are liable to grow impatient, and to 
imagine the existence of some defect in him or his man- 

I ask special attention to the foregoing extracts, as well 
as to the source from which they are taken. They are the 
deliberate opinions of one of our most experienced, pious, 
and persevering missionaries. Yes, sir, this comes from 
one who is resolved to devote his whole life in sustaining 
the missionary cause amongst the native Indians of his 
own country. 

Mr. Chairman : Having given an outline of the origin 
and progress of Indian emigration, and the support and 
favor which it has received from most of our distinguished 
statesmen and patriots. I now say, the experiment has 
been sufficiently tested to induce a large majority of the 
people of this Union ardently to desire its consimimation. 
If it be inquired how I arrived at this conclusion, I answer, 
from the best index to public opinion — the press. At the 
present day, the press in our country is resorted to by 
every class of the community, civil and religious, to dis- 
seminate their opinions. The press seems to keep pace 
with the formation of new societies ; and we bid fair to 
outstrip any people in the world in the number and variety 
of our societies. 

Every new society seems to be resolved to have a 
printing press; and I regret to see so many of these new 


societies — established, no doubt, from good motives — 
throwing their support on many occasions into the scales 
of pohtical demagogues. Men the most profligate often 
become the dictators of all the influence that these well- 
meaning people can bring into operation. Well, sir, if the 
press be the best index of public opinion, the people of 
this country are with us. I do not mean to be understood 
that more printing is done on our side than on the side of 
our opponents. No, sir, they greatly exceed us in quan- 
tity ; but their printing is confined to a limited circle. I 
invite your attention to the tone of the press on this sub- 
ject, in all the different sections and neighborhoods of the 
whole country. Even in those sections of the Union where 
we meet with the most violent opposition, the best half of 
the press, political and religious, is on our side, and I en- 
tertain no doubt but the people in these sections give tone 
to the press. It is true, a combined few, from selfish and 
political considerations, have been led to great exertions, 
in the fashionable mode of the day, in getting up opposi- 
tion to this measure. We have been inundated with 
memorials, pamphlets, and speeches made at society and 
town meetings. But, sir, let it be remembered that weak 
minorities always made the most noise. Contented major- 
ities, conscious of their strength, are never found praying 
for a redress of grievances. 

Suppose, for a moment, that portion of the population 
of the Union north and east of this place to be equally 
divided on this question ; the entire South and Southwest, 
with the exception of a few aliens to their own interest, are 
in favor of this measure ; and I have no hesitancy in arriv- 
ing at the conclusion that much the larger portion of the 
religious community will be found on our side of the ques- 
tion, notwithstanding the denunciations and anathemas 
which have been pronounced against us. This proceeds 
from a few leading religionists of the 7ieiv eoncert sect, or 
that class of philanthropists who are going up and down 
in the land seeking whom they may devour. The two wide- 
spread denominations, the Baptist and Methodist, with 
whom I have had an extensive and intimate intercourse 
through my whole life, I am sure will never lend them- 
selves, in a united manner, as religious bodies, to aid polit- 
ical factions or designing demagogues. No, sir, these 
denominations were sufificiently tested during the late war. 
They stood by their country in the field of battle, and 
breasted the storm of war. They could pray for you in 


their closets and pulpits, without the fear of incurring 
Divine displeasure. 

One of these denominations (I mean the Baptists) 
have through their organs, the officers of their religious 
Boards, Conventions, and Associations, for years past, at 
every session of Congress, reminded you of the interest 
they feel and the labors they have bestowed towards the 
great object of Indian civilization. Moreover, they have 
expressed their convictions that your emigration plan 
afforded the best and most permanent prospect for success 
of their missionary efforts. Sir, no religious denomination 
in this country, as such, will be found unitedly giving them- 
selves up into the hands of political men to aid in the 
objects of political faction. It would be too tedious to 
name all the various sects of our country ; but, having 
named one or two, I avail myself of this opportunity of 
saying I have great respect for most of the denominations 
in our country, and have no unfriendly feelings to any. 
I wish them all prosperity in all their attempts to benefit 

Our good and worthy Quaker friends, who have been 
m.emorializing us on this subject, will all come right, as 
soon as their misapprehensions are corrected. When they 
ascertain that Georgia and President Jackson are by no 
me?.ns the advocates of war, famine, ayid pestilence, they 
will take us by the hand, and join us in advancing meas- 
ures of kindness, benevolence, and good will towards the 
Indians. Sir, I am not afraid to trust the Quakers. The 
religious people of this country are in the full enjoyment 
of religious liberty. It is all that the truly pious want. 
They want no "Christian party in politics." I profess to 
adm.ire that active spirit of Christian benevolence which 
has done so much for our common country in the cause 
of letters and morality. That religion which carries its 
saving influence into families, congregations, and society 
in general, adorns its professors. 

The religious opposition to this measure is not confined 
to any particular sect, unless we give a new name to a 
religious party in politics — a party which has some recruits 
from many, if not all the different sects of the country. It 
is this new sect of Concert Brethren, against whom I direct 
my censures. These canting' fanatics have placed them- 
selves upon this Indian question behind the bulwarks of 
religion and console themselves with the belief that the 
Georgians, whom they have denounced as Atheists, Deists, 


Infidels, and Sabbath-breakers , laboring under the curse of 
slavery, will never be able to dislodge them from their 
strong position. Sir, I therefore feel that I stand pledged 
in duty to my constituents to show to this House, and to 
the world, that these intermeddlers and disturbers of the 
peace and harmony of society have no just claims to the 
protection of that impenetrable fortress in which they have 
hitherto found refuge and protection. I rely with entire 
confidence upon those who carry the keys of this fortress ; 
they will deliver up the guilty to be dealt with according to 
law and justice. "By their fruit ye shall know them." 

Sir, before I pursue the course of the opposition any 
further, I will remark that I have so far confined myself 
principally to that part of the subject which relates to the 
interest of the Indians ; but there are other interests which 
are entitled to a share of your considerations. The State of 
Georgia, one of whose Representatives I am, has, from my 
infancy till this day, been struggling with perplexing diffi- 
culties, strifes, and heart-burnings, upon the subject of her 
Indian relations. 

Yes, sir, amongst my earliest recollections are the walls 
of an old fort, which gave protection to the women and 
children from the tomahawk and scalping knife of the In- 
dians. And let me inform you that, while the Indians have 
receded thousands of miles before the civilized population, 
in other sections of the Union, the frontier of Georgia has 
comparatively remained stationary. 

Mv present residence is not more than one day's travel 
from the place of the old fort to which I alluded. It is but 
part of a day's travel from my residence to the line of the 
Cherokee country. 

In entering upon this branch of my subject, I find it 
necessary to summon up all the powers of philosophy to 
restrain feelings of indignation and contempt for those 
who are at this time straining every nerve and using every 
effort to perpetuate on the people whom I represent the 
evils which they have borne for so many years ; and, what- 
ever has or may be said of this Union, would have sub- 
mitted, with equal patriotism, to the many ills and wrongs 
which we have received at the hands of those who were 
bound by the strongest human obligations to aid in re- 
lieving us from Indian perplexities, give us justice, and 
assist in the advancement of our peace, happiness, and 

Georgia, sir, is one of the good old thirteen States; she 
entered the Union upon an equal footing with any of her 


sisters. She claims no superiority, but contends for equal- 
ity. That sovereignty which she concedes to all the rest, 
and would at any time unite with them in defending- from 
all encroachment, she will maintain for herself. Our social 
compact, upon which we stand as a state, gives you the 
metes and bounds of our sovereignty ; and within the limits 
therein defined and pointed out our state authorities claim 
entire and complete jurisdiction over soil and population, 
regardless of complexion. 

The boundaries of Georgia have been defined, recog- 
nized, and admitted, by circumstances of a peculiar kind. 
Her litigations in relation to boundary and title to her soil 
may justly be considered as having been settled "according 
to law." Her boundaries are not only admitted by her 
sister states, but by this General Government, and every 
individual who administered any part of it, Executive or 
Legislative, must recollect that the faith of this Govern- 
ment has stood pledged for twenty-eight years past to 
relieve Georgia from the embarrassment of Indian popula- 
tion. It is known to every member of this Congress that 
this pledge was no gratuity to Georgia. No, sir, it was for 
and in consideration of the two entire states of Alabama 
and Mississippi. 

I feel disposed to pity those who make the weak and 
false plea of inability, founded on the words ' ' reasonable 
and peaceable,'' whenever I hear it made. 

Such pettifogging quibbles deserve the contempt of a 
statesman. No man is fit to be a Congressman who does 
not know that the General Government might many years 
ago, upon both reasonable and peaceable terms, have re- 
moved every Indian from Georgia. 

But, sir, upon this subject this Government has been 
wanting in good faith to Georgia. It has, by its own acts 
and policy, forced the Indians to remain in Georgia, by the 
purchase of their lands in the adjoining states, and by 
holding out to the Indians strong inducements to remain 
where they are, by the expenditure of vast sums of money, 
spent in changing the habits of the savage for those of 
civilized life. All this was in itself right and proper ; 
it has my hearty approbation ; but it should not have been 
done at the expense of Georgia. The Government, long 
after it was bound to extinguish the title of the Indians to 
all the lands in Georgia, has actually forced the Cherokees 
from their lands in other states, settled them upon Georgia 
lands, and aided in furnishing the means to create the 
Cherokee aristocracy. 


Sir, I blame not the Indians ; I commiserate their case. 
I have considerable acquaintance with the Cherokees, and 
amongst them I have seen much to admire. To me, they 
are in many respects an interesting people. If the wicked 
influence of designing men. veiled in the garb of philan- 
throphy and Christian benevolence, should excite the Cher- 
okees to a course that will end in their speedy destruction, 
I now call upon this Congress, and the whole American 
people, not to charge the Georgians with this sin ; but let it 
be remembered that it is the fruit of ca7it and fanaticism, 
emanating from the land of steady habits ; from the boasted 
progeny of the Pilgrims and Puritans. 

Sir, my State stands charged before this House, before 
the Nation, and before the whole world, with cruelty and 
oppression towards the Indian. I deny the charge, and 
demand proof from those who made it. 

I have labored, as one of your Committee, day and 
night, in examining everything which has any connection 
with the history of this subject. Amongst other duties, we 
have examined all the various laws of the colonial and state 
governments in relation to the Indians. The selection 
made and submitted has long since been in the hands of 
every gentleman of this House. Let the laws of other 
states be compared with those which are the sul)ject of 
complaint, and it must then be admitted by every candid 
man that the states complained of stand pre-miinent in 
humaniity, mildness, and generosity towards the Indians. 

Georgia, it is true, has slaves ; but she did not make 
them such ; she found them upon her hands when she be- 
came a sovereign state. She never has, by her legislation, 
changed the state of freedom to slavery. If she has ever 
owned an Indian slave, it has never come to my knowl- 
edge ; but more than one of the other states of this Union 
have not only reduced Indians to a state of slavery, bat 
have treated them as brutes, destitute of any human rights 
— depriving them of their own modes of worshipping 
Deity — hunting them as wild beasts for slaughter— holding 
out rewards for their scalps, and even giving premiums for 
the raising of a certain breed of dogs, called bloodhounds, 
to hunt savages, that they might procure their scalps, and 
obtain the reward offered by Government for them. Sir, 
compare this legislation with that of Georgia, and let the 
guilt\- be put to shame. 

Should I be censured for going to the history of past 
times — a century or two back ; should I be accused of visit- 


ing the sins of the fathers on the children, permit me to 
say I hold in my hand a pamphlet, recently published in 
Boston, and said to have been written by the chief secre- 
tary of the new sect, who is also said to be the author of 
"William Penn ;" and those who will read this pamphlet, 
written at the present day. will perceive a more savage, 
superstitious, and diabolical spirit than was ever possessed 
by the authors of the pow-wow^ scalping, slave, and dog 

I v.'ill give you a few extracts from this pamphlet, 
which purports to be an article copied from the American 
Monthly Magazine, Page 14. 

"The Indians had better stand to their arms and be ex- 
terminated than march further onwards to the Pacific, in 
the faith that the coming tide of civilized population will 
not sweep them forever till they mingle in its depths. Bet- 
ter thus than remain to be trampled as the serfs of Geor- 
gia, to have their faces ground by the pride and op- 
pressions of their slave-holding neighbors, to be extermi- 
nated by the more powerful, and not less sure, tho' slower 
operation of the vices of the white. God forbid that the 
prayers which have ascended for the Indians, and the exer- 
tions which may be made in their behalf, should fail ; it 
would be better that half the states of the Union were anni- 
hilated, and the remnant left powerful in holiness, strong in 
the prevalence of virtue, than that the whole nation should 
be stained with guilt, and sooner or later disorganized by 
the self-destroying energies of wickedness. We would 
rather have a civil war, were there no other alternative, 
than avoid it by taking shelter in crime; for besides that, 
in our faith, it would be better for the universe to be anni- 
hilated than for one jot or tittle of the law to be broken, 
we know that such a shelter would only prove the prison 
house of vengeance and despair. 

"We would take up arms for the Indians, in such a war. 
with as much confidence of our duty as we would stand 
with our bayonets on the shores of the Atlantic, to repel 
the assaults of the most barbarous invader. Perhaps we 
do wrong to make even the supposition ; for it can never 
come to this. But let anything come upon us rather than 
the stain and curse of such perfidy as has been contem- 

"Let the vials of God's wrath be poured out in plague, 
and storm, and desolation ; let our navies be scattered to 
the four winds of Heaven ; let our corn be blasted in the 


fields ; let our first born be consumed with the stroke of the 
pestilence ; let us be visited with earthquakes, and given as 
a prey to the devouring- fire ; but let us not be left to com- 
mit so great an outrage on the laws of nations and of God ; 
let us not be abandoned to the degradation of national 
perjury, and, as its certain consequence, to some signal 
addition of national woe. Let us listen to the warning 
voice which comes to us from the destruction of Israel." 

The pamphlet from which I have read contains ^2 
pages, and is interspersed throughout with a spirit corre- 
sponding with what I have read. Sir. shall I express my 
surprise at this "Christian party in politics" who condemn 
all their brethren who will not unite with them in all their 
machinery of societies and schemes for governing public 
opinion in this land of freedom ; or shall I remember that 
if the wicked one himself can assume the form of an angel 
of light, to deceive and effect his diabolical purposes, then 
we need not be surprised to see the children walking in the 
footsteps of their parents? The fallacious matter con- 
tained in this pamphlet and its senior brother, "William 
Penn," we shall find to be strong ground relied upon here. 
Our opponents here wih be found in close union with these 
concert brethren. And here it is, sir, for the first time, we 
find anything like a tangible form in the opposition \o 
Indian emigration, sustained and encouraged as it has been 
by every administration, from President Jefiferson to Mr. 
Adams inclusive ; we have never before seen a concerted 
and united opposition, nor has any individual who had any 
pretensions to the first honors of the country heretofore 
ventured to oppose this system. 

In the course of the last year, the numbers over the 
signature of "William Penn" appeared in the National In- 
telligencer, and, although said to be written by a very 
pious man, deeply merged in missionary eflforts, they evi- 
dently have much more of the character of the politician 
and lawyer than that of an humble missionary. At the 
proper moment for effect, too, we see the distinguishecJ 
orator of the West, he who filled the chair which you now 
occupy, entering upon this subject with his usual zeal and 
ingenuity. This Indian subject was introduced into one of 
his set speeches, professedly on the subject of African 
colonization. But the two subjects are adroitly blended to- 
gether, and were designed as a cutting philippic upon 
President Jackson and his administration, and, at the same 
time, admirably calculated to organize his political co- 


workers in ever}- part of the Union. I was not surprised 
at his expressions of deep feelings of interest for the suf- 
fering sons of Africa and the forest. It was to be expected 
from a popular speech-maker. But I confess the pious 
part of the address shocked my better feelings. If I had 
Ijeen ignorant of the gentleman's character I should really 
have considered him a preacher of righteousness, deeply 
imbued with the spirit of the age ! 

Where do you find one solitary opponent of President 
Jackson in favor of the measure on your table? I do not 
know one. Sir, I have tried to prevent party considera- 
tions from operating on this question ; but our opponents 
are an organized band ; they go in a solid column. The 
friends of the administration are by no means vmited upon 
many subjects of general policy; each one thinks and acts 
for himself; but shall our dififerences upon other subjects 
operate upon our judgments in making up an opinion 
upon this important suljject? Your attention has been 
called to it in the forcible language of truth, by your vener- 
able Chief Magistrate. It is sustained by reason, experi- 
ence, humanity, and every consideration of wise policy. It 
is a measure of great importance to the interest, peace, and 
harmony of many of the states ; and to the poor afflicted 
and perishing Indians it is a measure of salvation. No 
man living entertains kinder feelings to the Indians than 
Andrew Jackson. If any President of the United States 
has deserved the appellation of friend and father \.o the In- 
dians, it is he who is now at the helm. Having been the 
instrument of the Government to chastise them in trm-es 
that are gone by, so far as to bring them to a knowledge 
of their true condition and duty, he is the better qualified 
to sympathize with them in all their afflictions. He not 
only is, but has long been, their true friend and benefactor. 
This opposition is not to the policy proposed, but to the 
man who recommends. I therefore trust his friends will 
not be found in the ranks of the enemy. I trust in God 
more are they who are for us than those who are against 
us. The opposition reminds me of Jonah's gourd which 
sprung up in a night and perished in a day. It could 
bear the light and heat of but a single day, because there 
vras a canker at the root. The present opposition cannot 
stand before the light of truth, reason, and sound policy — 
it will soon pass away. 

Upon this question our political opponents have 
availed themselves of the aid of enthusiastic religionists, 



to pull down the administration of President Jackson. 
Sir, pure religion will aid and strengthen any cause ; but 
the undefiled religion of the Cross is a separate and dis- 
tinct thing in its nature and principles from the noisy 
cant of the pretenders who have cost this Government, 
since the commencement of the present session of Con- 
gress, considerably upwards of $100,000 by their various 
intermeddlings with the political concerns of the country. 
Who compose this "Christian party in politics," here and 
elsewhere? Are they those individuals who are most dis- 
tinguished for morality and virtue ? I will leave these 
questions to be answered by others, and pass on to some 
further notice of the Boston pamphlet from which we 
shall, no doubt, have many quotations before we get 
through this discussion. 

It is the statements found in these pamphlets and mag- 
azines which are relied on as truth that have induced so 
many worthy peopj^e at a distance to espouse the cause of 
Indian sovereignty as assumed by the Cherokees. The 
general condition of the Cherokees in these publications 
is represented as being quite as comfortable and prosper- 
ous — yes, sir, and as enlightened, too, as the white popula- 
tion in most of the states. Compare "the pictures drawn 
by these pamphlet writers and memorialists of the concert 
school, in which they have painted Georgia on the one side 
and the Cherokee sovereignty on the other. From these 
publications not only the stranger in a foreign land but 
the honest laboring people of New England, who stay at 
home and would mind their own business if let alone by 
these cayiting fanatics, verily believe that the Georgians 
are the worst of all savages ; that they can neither read nor 
write ; that they are infidels, deists, and atheists ; and they 
never hear a Gospel sermon except from a New England 
missionary. Upon the other hand they are taught to be- 
lieve that the Cherokee Indians are the most prosperous, 
enlightened, and religious nation of people on earth — ex- 
cept, indeed, the nation of New England. These Boston 
wTiters are not a people who work for nothing and find 
themselves. No, sir, I entertain no doubt but that they 
are well paid for all "their labors of love" in the cause of 
Cherokee sovereignty. 

The Cherokees receive large annuities from this Gov- 
ernment ; they have a rich treasury, and their Northern 
allies understand giving a saving direction to their financial 
disbursements. These Northern intruders are numerous 


and influential amongst the Cherokees. One religious 
Board to the North (of whom "William Penn" is chief 
secretary) furnished the Southern tribes of Indians with 
upwards of twenty stationary missionaries, besides super- 
intendents, mechanics, &c., &c., chiefly composed of our 
Northern friends. No doubt. Sir, but President Ross him- 
self, with all his official subordinates, has long since found 
it expedient to yield the chief control of the purse and the 
press, which you know are said to be the strength of 
nations, to his more skilful and eagle-eyed friends and 
allies. But for these annuities we should not have been 
encumbered, throughout the session, with memorials from 
Maine to Steubenville, in Ohio. These self-enlisted re- 
porters of the state and condition of the Cherokee Indians 
tell you they are already a civilized and Christianized peo- 

Abounding in the necessary comforts of domestic and 
agricultural life, their civil, political, and religious advance- 
ment is ostentatiously compared with the whites in some 
of the States ; and for proof of their statements they refer 
you to their hireling letter writers, and their magazines and 
newspapers ; and the statements drawn from these sources 
are relied on by a certain portion of the community, in and 
out of this House, in preference to any testimony, what- 
ever may be the merit of the source from which it ema- 
nates. Now, sir, I will tell you how far these statements 
are to be relied upon. I have carefully and repeatedly 
examined all these magazine and pamphlet publications. 
They contain a great deal of truth, but not the whole truth, 
a7id 7iothing else but the truth. These publications remind 
me of a long exploring tour which I made in the West, near 
twenty years ago. On my return home my friends and 
neighbors called in to hear the news from the Western 
country. I described to them the rich and fertile lands of 
the Mississippi, its bountiful productions, &c., and before I 
got through with the good things, they said, "it is enough •; 
let us all remove to the good country." 

But when I told them of the evil things, and gave them 
the whole truth, they changed their hasty opinions, and 
concluded it would be best to remain in their beloved 
Georgia. Sir, the application of this story is easy — every 
gentleman can make it for himself. But I promised to 
inform you how far these magazine statements were en- 
titled to credit ; but, before I begin, I will refer you to my 
list of witnesses. They may be found amongst the Sena- 



tors and Representatives of the present Congress from the 
states bordering on the Cherokee country. I could multi- 
ply testimony to bear me out in all that I have or shall 
say on this subject; but, in law, we consider every word 
established by the corroborative testimony of two or three 
witnesses. I admit we do find in the Cherokee country 
many families enjoying all the common comforts of civil 
and domestic life, and possessing the necessary means to 
secure these enjoyments. Moreover, we find a number of 
schools and houses built for religious worship. Many of 
these comfortable families, too, are composed of natives 
born in the Cherokee country. But the principle part of 
these enjoyments are confined to the blood of the white 
man, either in whole or in part. But few, very few, of the 
real Indians participate largely in these blessings. A 
large portion of the full-blooded Cherokees still remain a 
poor degraded race of human beings. As to the propor- 
tion that are comfortable, or otherwis.e, I cannot speak 
from my own personal knowledge with any degree of 
certainty ; but from what I have seen, I can readily con- 
clude that but a very small portion of the real Indians are 
in a state of improvement, whilst their lords and rulers are 
white men, and descendants of white men, enjoying the 
fat of the land, and enjoying exclusively the Government 
annuities upon which they foster, feed, and clothe the 
most violent and dangerous enemies of our civil institu- 

Whilst the smallest intrusion (as it is called) by the 
frontier citizens of Georgia on the lands occupied by the 
Cherokees excites the fiery indignation of the fanatics, 
from one end of the chai7i of concert and coalition to the 
other, do we not find an annual increase of intruders, 
from these philanthropic ranks, flocking in upon the poor 
Cherokees, like the caterpillars and locusts of Eg}'pt, 
leaving a barren waste behind them? Yes, sir, these are 
the intruders who devour the substance which of right 
belongs to the poor, perishing part of the Cherokees. 

They divide the spoil with the Cherokee rulers, and 
leave the common Indians to struggle with want and mis- 
ery, without hope of bettering their condition by any 
change but that of joining their brethren West of the 

The inhumanity of Georgia, so much complained of, is 
nothing more nor less than the extension of her laws and 
jurisdiction over this mingled and misguided population 
who are found within her acknowledged limits. 


And what, I would ask, is to be found in all this that 
is so very alarming? Sir, I have endeavored to tear the 
mask from this subject, that the character and complexion 
of this opposition might be seen and known. The absolute 
rulers of the Cherokee country, like other men, love office, 
distinction, and power. 

They are enjoying great and peculiar benefits. They 
do not like the idea of becoming private citizens. It is 
with great reluctance they yield up their stewardship. 
They know they have not been faithful to the interest of 
the poor degraded Indians. They know the great mass of 
their people have been left to sufifer in want and ignorance, 
whilst they have spent their substance in forming foreign 
alliances with an enthusiastic, selfish and money loving 
people. These men, when incorporated into the political 
family of Georgia, cannot calculate on becoming at once 
the Randolphs of the State. And if they join the Western 
Cherokees they cannot carry with them their present 
assumed sovereignty and rule. 

They will there find equals in many of their pioneer 
brethren. The Cadmus of the Cherokees, George Guess, 
and many others, are already there. Yes, sir, these West- 
ern Cherokees are in the full enjoyment of all the bless- 
ings of their emigrating enterprise, and there is but one 
opinion among them in regard to their relative comfort 
and prospect of future blessings. All the various emi- 
grants to the West so far agree as to authorize the assur- 
ance that no inducement could be offered to them strong 
enough to bring them back again. 

The Cherokees and Creeks are charmed with their 
country, and to the many things which attach to their com- 
fort in it. The New England farmers who have emigrated 
to the fertile valleys of the West would as soon consent to 
return to the barren sand and sterile rocks of their native 
land as a Western Cherokee or Creek would return to the 
sepulchre of his forefathers. 

Pages may be filled with the sublimated cant of the day, 
and in wailing over the departure of the Cherokees from 
the bones of their forefathers. But if the heads of these 
pretended mourners were waters, and their eyes were a 
fountain of tears, and they were to spend days and years 
in weeping over the departure of the Cherokees from 
Georgia, yet they will go. The tide of emigration, with the 
Indians as well as the whites, directs its course west- 


I am apprised, sir, that principles of natural law and 
abstract justice have been appealed to, for the purpose of 
sustaining the pretensions of the Cherokee Indians. 
Whatever doctrines may have been advanced by theoreti- 
cal writers upon this subject, the practical comment of all 
nations will sustain the doctrines contained in the Message 
of President Jackson at the commencement of the present 
session of Congress, which reads as follows : 

"The condition and ulterior destiny of the Indian 
Tribes ^vithin the limits of some of our states have become 
objects of much interest and importance. It has long been 
the policy of the Government to introduce among them the 
arts of civilization, in the hope of gradually reclaiming 
them from a wandering life. This policy has. however, 
been coupled with another, wdiolly incompatible with its 
success. Professing a desire to civilize and settle them, 
we have, at the same time, lost no opportunity to purchase 
their lands, and thrust them further into the wilderness. 
By this means they have not only been kept in a wandering 
state, but led to look upon us as unjust and indifferent to 
their fate. Thus, though lavish in its expenditures upon 
this subject, the Government has constantly defeated its 
own policy ; and the Indians, in general, receding further 
and further to the West, have retained their savage habits. 
A portion, however, of the Southern tribes have mingled 
much with the whites, and made some progress in the art 
of civilized life, have lately attempted to erect an inde- 
pendent government within the limits of Georgia and Ala- 
bama. These States, claiming to be the only sovereigns 
Vv'ithin their territories, extended their laws over the In- 
dians, which induced the latter to call upon the United 
States for protection. 

"Under these circumstances, the question pres:nted 
was, whether the General Government had a right to sus- 
tain those people in their pretensions? The Constitution 
declares that 'no new state shall be formed or erected v;ith- 
in the jurisdiction of any other state,' without the consent 
of its Legislature. If the General Government is not per- 
mitted to tolerate the erection of a confederate state with- 
in the territory of one of the members of this Union 
against her consent, much less could it allow a foreign and 
independent government to establish itself there. 

"Georgia became a member of the confederacy which 
eventuated in our Federal Union, as a sovereign state, al- 
ways asserting her claim to certain limits, which having 


been originally defined in her colonial charter, and subse- 
quently recognized in the treaty of peace, she has ever 
since continued to enjoy, except as they have been circum- 
scribed by her own voluntary transfer of a portion of her 
territory to the United States, in the articles of cession of 

"Alabama was admitted into the Union on the same 
footing with the original states, with boundaries which 
were prescribed by Congress. There is no constitutional, 
conventional or legal provision which allows them less 
power over the Indians within their borders than is pos- 
sessed by Mairo or New York. Would the people of 
Maine permit the Penobscot tribe to erect an independent 
government within their state? And unless they did, 
would it not be the duty of the General Government to 
support them in resisting such a measure? Would the 
people of New York permit each remnant of the Six Na- 
tions within her borders to declare itself an independent 
people under the protection of the United States? Could 
the Indians establish a separate republic on each of their 
reservations in Ohio? And if they were so disposed, 
would it be the duty of this Government to protect them 
in the attempt? If the principle involved in the obvious 
answer to these questions be abandoned, it will follow that 
the objects of this Government are reversed ; and that it 
has become a part of its duty to aid in destroying the states 
which it was established to protect. 

"Actuated by this view of the subject, I informed the 
Indians inhabiting parts of Georgia and Alabama that 
their attempt to establish an independent government 
would not be countenanced by the Executive of the 
United States, and advised them to emigrate beyond the 
Mississippi or submit to the laws of those states. 

"Our conduct towards these people is deeply interest- 
ing to our national character. Their present condition, 
contrasted with what they once were, makes a most pow- 
erful appeal to our sympathies. Our ancestors found them 
the uncontrolled possessors of these vast regions. By per- 
suasion and force, they have been made to retire from 
river to river, and from mountain to mountain, until some 
of the tribes have become extinct, and others have but 
remnants to preserve, for awhile, their once terrible names. 
Surrounded by the whites, with their arts of civilization, 
which, by destroying the resources of the savage, doom 
him to weakness and decay, the fate of the Mohegan, the 


Narragansett, and the Delaware, is fast overtaking the 
Choctaw, the Cherokee, and the Creek. That this fate 
surely awaits them if they remain within the Hmits of the 
states does not admit of a doubt. Humanity and national 
honor demand that every effort should be made to avert so 
great a calamity. It is too late to inquire whether it was 
just in the United States to exclude them and their terri- 
tory within the bounds of new states whose limits they 
could not control. 

"That step cannot be retraced. A state cannot be dis- 
membered by Congress, or restricted in the exercise of her 
Constitutional power. But the people of those states, and 
of every state, actuated by feelings of justice and regard 
for our national honor, submit to you the interesting 
question whether something cannot be done, consistently 
with the rights of the states, to preserve this much injured 

"As a means of effecting this end, I suggest for your 
consideration the propriety of setting apart an ample dis- 
trict west of the Mississippi, and without the limits of any 
state or territory now formed, to be guaranteed to the In- 
dian tribes as long as they shall occupy it ; each tribe hav- 
ing a distinct control over the portion designated for its 
use. There they may be secured in the enjoyments of Gov- 
ernments of their own choice, subject to no other control 
from the United States than such as may be necessary to 
preserve peace on the frontier and between the several 
tribes. There the benevolent may endeavor to teach them 
the arts of civilization, and, by promoting union and har- 
mony among them, to raise up an interesting common- 
wealth, destined to perpetuate the race, and to attest the 
humanity and justice of this government. 

"This emigration should be voluntary ; for it would be 
as cruel as unjust to compel the aborigines to abandon 
the graves of their fathers, and seek a home in a distant 
land. But they should be distinctly informed that if they 
remain within the limits of the states they must be subject 
to their laws. In return for their obedience, as individuals, 
they will without doubt be protected in the enjoyment of 
those possessions which they have improved by their 

"But it seems to me visionary to suppose that, in this 
state of things, claims can be allowed on tracts of country 
on which they have neither dwelt nor made improvements, 
merely because they have seen them from the mountain, or 


passed them in the chase. Submitting to the laws of the 
states, and receiving Hke other citizens protection in their 
persons and property, they will, ere long, become merged 
in the mass of our population." 

Mr. Chairman, the extract from President Jackson's 
Message, just read, is an unanswerable speech in favor of 
the entire measure on your table. INIoreover, short as it is, 
it contains an irrefutable argument against everything 
which can be devised by the ingenuity of our opponents 
upon this subject. They may theorize upon the subject 
as to what ought and what might have been done in rela- 
tion to the Indians ; they may calmly look on and advise 
those who are in pain to be easy and quiet ; they may give 
lectures upon morality, humanity, and benevolence, by 
an imaginary state of things which does not exist ; but the 
President of the United States, with his usual practical 
good sense, takes up the subject as it actually exists, 
points out the course which should be pursued as best cal- 
culated to benefit the Indians, as v/ell as the states, and 
tells you plainly no other alternative is left that will not 
terminate in the destruction of the Indians, as well as the 
rights and soverignty of the states. Yes, sir, good and 
evil are placed before you. The only hope of the salvation 
of the Indians is in your hands. Their destiny is suspended 
on a single thread. God forbid that I should ever be so 
far infatuated by party prejudice for or against any man, 
or set of men, as to be induced to use my influence to de- 
stroy the remnant of the sons of the forest, or jeopardize 
the best interests, the pe^ce, harmony, and prosperity of 
any of the States or Territories of this Union. Sir, I never 
shall enter the partizan list to such an extent. I love my 
friends, but I love my country more. It gives me pain to 
be under the necessity of making the allusions which I 
have done to individuals, societies, and sections of our 
country. I would gladly have avoided it, and nothing 
but a sense of duty could have influenced me to expose 
the opposition to this measure as I have done. I hope, 
however, that the spirit and intention of my remarks will 
not be misconstrued. I entertain no hostile or unfriendly 
feelings toward any human being. Everything that de- 
serves approbation or admiration, in every section of my 
whole country, is dear to my heart. I have not travelled 
out of the path of my duty to commence attacks on any 
individual or community, but, without intimidation. I have 
acted on the defensive. This, sir, was due to my con- 
stituents as well as myself. 


Having said so much in regard to the President's 
Message, I will return to the elementary writers upon 
natural law, but shall give no quotations from, or com- 
ment upon what or on what they have not written. I merely 
refer to them for the purpose of saying I think a fair, 
practical comment upon those laws, so far as they relate to 
the subject under consideration, may be found in the his- 
tory of the Colonial, State, and General Govern- 
ments of this country. If this proposition be admitted, 
it is visionary to suppose that the Indian claims can be 
sustained to large tracts of country on which they have 
neither dwelt nor made improvements, merely because 
they have seen them from the mountain or passed them in 
the chase. 

In all the acts, first by the Colonies, and afterwards by 
the State Governments, the fundamental principles, that 
the Indians had no right either to the soil or sovereignty 
of the countries they occupied has never been abandoned, 
either expressly or by implication. The rigor of the rule 
for excluding savages from the soil, to make room for 
agriculturalists, has been mutigated, the earth being in- 
tended for the benefit of all mankind. The Indians are 
secured in a sufficient quantity of the lands they occupy 
for every useful agricultural purpose. Hence we find 
reservations made to the Indians in most of the old 
states, as well as the Federal Government. It is believed 
that no respectable jurist would risk his reputation that a 
right to land could be maintained before any of our Courts, 
State or Federal, v.'hen the title has been derived from In- 
dians, unless the land has been granted or patented by the 
Federal or State Governments. 

The practice of buying Indian lands is nothing more 
than the substitute of humanity and benevolence, and has 
been resorted to in preference to the sv/ord, as the best 
means for agricultural and civilized communities entering 
into the enjoyment of their natural and just right to the 
benefits of the earth, evidently designed by llim who 
formed it for purposes more useful than Indian hunting 

When the Indians in a colony or state were numerous, 
powerful and warlike, it has been the practice of all to 
conciliate them by entering into condescending compacts 
and treaties, and thus efifect by prudence what they were 
unable to perform by force. By all the old states, except 
Georgia, this kind of treaty legislation has long since been 


abandoned, and direct legislation for the control and 
government of the Indians substituted in lieu thereof. 
The opnion of the Supreme Court, referred to by my 
friend (Mr. Bell) from Tennessee, I believe is considered 
and received as orthodox by every state in the Union, in 
which the distinguished and learned Judge Spencer, (now 
a member of the H. Reps.) declared "'that he knew of no 
half way doctrine on this subject." If a state has jurisdic- 
tion at all, it has coipplete and entire jurisdiction. The 
principal upon which jurisdiction is assumed does not 
admit of division. 

Sir, much has been said and written with a view of 
maintaining the doctrine of Indian sovereignty, and I 
admit many of the acts of the General and State Govern- 
ments may be selected, apart from their general policy, 
which would seem to afiford support to this position. Yet, 
when we take the whole policy and history of these Gov- 
ernments as exhibiting an entire system, it must be ad- 
mitted they have never hesitated to extend their sov- 
ereignty over the Indians in their respective spheres, when 
it was deemed expedient to bring them under their laws 
and jurisdiction ; unless, indeed, we find this hesitancy in 
the absence of physical power. 

Here I will remark, Mr. Chairman, that the only rea- 
son why any state in this Union has permitted the inter- 
ference, or sought the aid of the General Government 
to take any part in the management and control of the 
Indian Tribes residing within their respective boundaries, 
has been on account of their physical weakness, and they 
have, therefore, looked to this Government for that aid 
and succor, to afford which it was established by the sev- 
eral states of this Union. Yes, sir, this Government was 
formed to protect, and not to destroy, the State Govern- 
ments. In all the states we find, so soon as the Indians 
were reduced to a condition that no danger was to be 
apprehended from their power and hostility, the states 
have invariably taken their Indian affairs into their own 
hands, and no longer looked to the Federal arm for aid. 

Upon every branch of this subject it is necessary con- 
stantly to keep in view the distinction between privileges 
and communities. The states have privileged the General 
Government to assume the management of very important 
matters connected with their Indian relations. Yes, sir, 
the aid of this Government has often been sought in those 
matters ; nevertheless, while the states thus sought and 


assented to this exercise of power on the part of the Gen- 
eral Government, it was from motives of prudent poHcy 
and interest. No state of the Union ever saw the time that 
they would have yielded to this exercise of power, when 
claimed as a rig^ht, and attempted to be enforced contrary 
to the wishes of the state. It is the same case in regard to 
the Indians residing in a state. They are privileged, in 
very many respects, far beyond their rights or immunities. 
While the population of a state is small, and its territory 
extensive, large tracts of country are permitted to remain 
for the use and privilege of the Indians, to hunt and roam 
from place to place. They are also left to regulate their 
own afifairs according to their own customs, without any 
interference on the part of the state. But when this state 
of things becomes changed, as it now has in Georgia, the 
State is of necessity compelled to assert and maintain her 
rights of sovereignty and jurisdiction. 

If the question of the right of Georgia to unqualified 
jurisdiction within her own limits is considered as forming 
any part of the subject under consideration, by implication 
or otherwise, I think I may, with great confidence, look to 
this House for a just decision. But should I be disap- 
pointed in an American Congress, I will then appeal to 
the people and States of the Union. Congress have some- 
times failed to obey the will of their constituents, and they 
may do so upon the present occasion. If they do, I look 
to the unofBcial sovereign people to apply the proper 

Mr. Chairman, my physical strength admonishes me to 
draw to a close, and but for the peculiar situation in which 
I stand related to the subject, and the more forcible con- 
sideration that the character of Georgia should be vindi- 
cated and exculpated from the many aspersions and cal- 
umnies cast upon her, here and elsewhere, my remarks 
would have been few, and strictly confined to the subject, 
but much as I have already said, and desultory as I know 
my remarks have been, I must beg leave to ask, in the 
name and behalf of the people of Georgia, a comparison 
between her laws and proceeding with those of any one 
of her sisters of the old thirteen who achieved the glory 
of our liberty and independence. 

In humanity, forbearance, and liberality towards the 
Indians, Georgia has no superior, if she does not stand 
pre-eminent. The prosperity and advancement of the In- 
dians within her boundaries is the theme of Indian his- 


tory, and the glory of missionary efforts. Volumes have 
already been written, and sent to every quarter of the 
globe, to carry the glad tidings of the advancement and 
reformation of the Georgia Indians. And yet, Sir, have you 
not from day to day, throughout this long session, seen the 
provocations teeming upon President Jackson and the 
Georgiaios, and a spirit of asperity rarely witnessed in this 
or any other country? Martyrdom, the fagot, the f^ame. 
and stake, seem to inspire the ardent hopes and ambition 
of our opponents. Sir, Georgia would turn away from 
such sacrifices ; she requires no such immolation to re- 
strain the impetuosity of her citizens from acts of inhu- 
manity and violence towards the Indians, or any other 
people. If you want any evidence of the generous spirit 
and liberality of Georgia, turn your eye to the maps which 
adorn your walls ; look upon the two flourishing states of 
Alabama and Mississippi ; for these States may, to a con- 
siderable extent, be considered a donation on the part of 
Georgia to this confederation of states. It is true Geor- 
gia did, at the time she ceded that .territory to the Union, 
expect to relieve herself thereby of litigation and embar- 
rassments with which she was harassed, and which were 
of an unpleasant and perplexing nature ; and her compact 
with this Government, in 1802, secured the pledge and 
faith of the Federal Government to effect these desirable 
objects for Georgia. Yes, sir, from the signing of the 
compact of 1802, Georgia had a right to expect peace and 
quiet on the subject of the Yazoo speculation, as well as 
a speedy, reasonable, and peaceable relief from all Indian 
claims to lands within her borders. But, Sir, we have ex- 
perienced a ten-fold portion of that disappointment which 
the vicissitudes of fortune bring to man. 

What has been the history of the engagements formed 
by that compact? Let facts answer this question. From 
that day to this, Georgia has been the subject of unre- 
mitted and unmerited abuse. While the claims of the 
Yazoo speculators were pending before this Government, 
it was seized upon as a fit occasion, by prejudice and ig- 
norance, to censure and revile Georgia, apparently forget- 
ting the fact that this Government had been a great 
gainer by the misfortunes of Georgia, and had actually 
received an hundred-fold for all its troubles and expense 
in settling and quieting these claims. 

Again, sir, from that day to this, whenever the subject 
of extinguishing Indian title to lands within the limits of 
Georgia has offered the slightest opportunity for declama- 


tion, we have, with deep regret, discovered the same spirit 
\\hich the gentleman from New York (Mr. Storrs) has 
manifested upon the present occasion. 

But, sir, I will not dwell upon the wrongs of Georgia. 
It is the province of weakness to complain. We have 
sought from this Government our rights in the fulfilment 
of her engagement with us. They have long been with- 
held, upon frivolous excuses. We had lost confidence in 
any appeals which we could make to this Government ; 
that confidence has been restored to the Executive branch 
of the Government by the course which has been marked 
out and pursued by our present Chief Magistrate. He has 
spread his opinions before the Nation in relation to the 
claims and rights of Georgia upon the Indian subject. 
Georgia is now waiting to hear the response of this 
branch of the General Government. A disposition mani- 
fested on your part to make reparation to Georgia for the 
multiplied wrongs which she has endured will be grateful 
to the feelings of every Georgian. 

Rut, sir, arraigned as we are at your bar, we have no 
supplications to make. We deny your right of jurisdic- 
tion. Upon the subject of our sovereignty we fear nothing 
from your sentence. Our right of sovereignty will not be 
yielded. If you do not perform your duty, by withholding 
your opposition to long-delayed justice, and fulfil the con- 
ditions of your contract of twenty-eight years' standing, 
I would then advise you to let us alone, and leave us to 
manage our own affairs in our own way. While I would 
scorn to be heard in the tone of supplication, in reference 
to the rights of my constituents, I would, nevertlieless. as 
the sincere and candid friend of the Cherokee Indians, use 
the language of expostulation in their behalf. The Chero- 
kees, as well as the Georgians, are tired of suspense. A 
crisis has arrived which calls for action. Things can no 
longer remain in their present state. 

Some acknowledged, competent authority must be sus- 
tained in what is called the Cherokee country. In its ab- 
sence we may daily expect to hear of anarchy and blood. 
It is not only intruders from Georgia, but from various 
ether states, who have recently rushed into the Cherokee 
country, to avail themselves of the advantages which may 
be found. 

Give your support to the bill under consideration. 
Hold out no vain and delusive hopes to these sons of the 
forest. The history of the past gives them strong claims 
on our sympathy, benevolence, and liberality. Join us in 


the great effort to save the remnant tribes of the aborigi- 
nes. They are a peculiar people. They look back to the 
time when they were the undisputed masters of this 
mighty continent. They see in the future no reward for 
ambition or exertion, unless you plant them in permanent 
homes, where the extended views of their true friends and 
benefactors may systematically go forward with some 
prospect of success. 


As I write for the information of those who may sur- 
vive me, and upon subjects identified with my own Hfe, 
I do not feel at hberty to with-hold from the reader 
either records, facts, or opinions which I may have enter- 
tained, which I deem to be necessary to the elucidation 
of the subjects upon which I dwell. I feel it my duty in a 
special manner to dwell somewhat at large upon the his- 
tory of the relations which have existed between both 
the Federal and vState Governments of our country and 
the Indian tribes who preceded Europeans in the occu- 
pancy of this country. The history of my own State, in 
connection with Indian aflfairs, fills many pages on the 
records of our State and General Government. And the 
Cherokees, the last lingering tribe removed from the 
limits of Georgia, are in many respects pre-eminently dis- 
tinguished in the history of the past, and often at the ex- 
pense of the character of Georgia and her prominent 
citizens who happened to be at the helm of public aflfairs 
in the State at the time of the greatest difficulty with 
this tribe of the aboriginal race. And should the histori- 
cal and official records of the country prove that I have 
done more than others in expediting and consummating 
termination of the difificulties and embarrassments in the 
removal of the Indians from the different States and Ter- 
ritories, and the Cherokees especially, from the limits of 
Georgia, by colonizing and collecting them in a suitable 
country for their well being to the west of the Mississippi, 
and out of the limits of all the States and Territories of 
the Union, then may I not claim the reward of having 
rendered efficient aid in a good cause by many years of 
toil, hazard and labor, in benefiting the State, as well as 
the Indians? Moreover, in having aided in improving 
the policy and intercourse of civilized Governments to- 
wards a dependent and subdued remnant of the wild men 
of America? If I may be allowed to discriminte in the 
labors of my own life, I would put a higher estimate on 
the many years of toil spent in connection with Indian 
aflfairs than any one branch of my public labor. 

I hope I may not be thought assuming while I ask 



that my various and long continued efforts in connection 
with Indian affairs may be measured by the success which 
attended them. And in order to afford the means to every 
one who may desire a correct knowledge of these im- 
portant matters of history, I herewith submit for consid- 
eration various official documents, and only require the 
readers' serious consideration and reflection, in order to 
come to correct conclusions in regard to all these matters. 
And having entered so far upon this subject, I will drop 
for the present my general narrative, and consecutively 
place before the reader many of the most prominent 
documents which I deem necessary to sustain all that I 
have assumed in regard to this subject. 

And in order, to a clear understanding of the docu- 
ments which I intend to submit, it is necessary briefly to 
state the order of the public positions which I occupied 
from 1830 to 1840. In October, 1830, I was again 
elected a member of (the 22nd) Congress, and in the De- 
cember following proceeded to Washington, and served 
out my term (till the 4th of March, 1831) as a member of 
the 2ist Congress.* During this session, I became con- 
vinced, from the very numerous communications received 
from my constituents, that I could not satisfy my friends 
at home without becoming a candidate for Governor of 
Georgia at the next October election. I deeply regretted 
this feeling on the part of my friends and constituents, 
and by numerous letters written in reply to those received 
on the subject I endeavored to convince my friends 
that it would be best for me to serve out the two years in 
Congress to which I was already elected. And I was alto- 
gether sincere in desiring to continue in Congress at this 
time. My success in all my measures in regard to Indian 
affairs, and my assiduous devotion to all my duties as a 
member of Congress, as well as the experience which I 
had gained from six years' service in that body, all tended 
to give me, as I thought, a more favorable position for 
extended and general usefulness to the country, as a mem- 
ber of Congress. Moreover, I thought my position alto- 
gether favorable to still urge on my policy of the general 
emigration of the Indians to the West, including the Cher- 
okees of Georgia. And I was apprised that many of my 
constituents thought that if I was in the Executive Chair 
of Georgia I could succeed in the removal of the Chero- 
kees more speedily than could be done by my efforts at 

* The 2d session of the 21st Congress began Dec. 6, 1830, and ended March 4^ 
1831. The ist session of the 22d Congress began Dec. 5, 1831. 



Washington. I was fully apprised too of all the difificul- 
ties I had to encounter, if elected to the Executive Chair. 

First, I should have to encounter the displeasure of 
Governor Gilmer, then Governor of Georgia, and desirous 
of re-election, as well as that of his numerous friends and 
supporters. Moreover, I knew that my policy on the In- 
dian subject would dififer from his on some very im- 
portant points which would divide the councils and 
strength of the State. 

Furthermore, although I knew my popularity with the 
people of Georgia as a Congressman, I did not feel as- 
sured that they wished to change my position at the ex- 
pense of expelling Governor Gilmer from the Executive 
Chair ; for I considered him a man of great popularity in 
Georgia. Under all these circumstances my reluctance 
was very strong, while yielding to the demand of my 
friends. But I was forced to become a candidate, and 
was elected in Oct., 1831, Governor of Georgia, by a 
majority of about fifteen hundred votes. And on the 9th 
of Nov. following, after the ordinary ceremonies of inaug- 
uration, and delivering the following address, and taking 
the oaths of oflfice required by the Constitution, I entered 
on the duties of mv office. 


Fellow Citizens : 

Called by the voice of the people of Georgia to the first 
office within their gift, I approach the responsibilities of 
the station with unafTected humility and dififidence. But 
for a firm reliance on that wisdom which comes from 
above, and an unshaken confidence in the virtue and intel- 
ligence of my constituents, I should shrink from the mag- 
nitude of the arduous and complicated duties of the oflfice 

The basis of my political creed is confidence in the 
unofficial, sovereign people. They are the only legiti- 
mate source of all governmental power, and I believe them 
to be not only capable of .y(?^-government, but of wise 
self-government. Therefore, my only hope of retaining 
their confidence will be in a faithful discharge of my pub- 
lic duty. 

To this station I bring no spirit of party animositv, 
or political strife. I have no pledges to redeem, nor vin- 
dictive feelings to gratify. I am now the servant of all. 


I avail myself of this occasion to re-affirm what I stated 
to the public in February last : that "it is my most ardent 
desire to see the whole people of Georgia united on the 
great subjects of political interest and principle, which are 
inseparably connected with liberty, and the perpetuation of 
our Federal Union. 'The Federal Ujiion must be pr^e- 
served,' and it can only be done by the General and State 
Governments confining themselves within their respective 
constitutional spheres." 

Pure patriotism demands of every public functionary 
a voluntary sacrifice of all political prejudices which may 
stand opposed to the public interest. Thus far I make a 
free-will offering of my own, on the altar of the public 

In the presence of that portion of my fellow citizens 
here assembled, and in that of Heaven, I now proceed to 
bind myself by the solemnities of the most sacred obliga- 
tion to discharge, with zeal and fidelity, the duties of the 
high trust to which I have been called. 

I then repaired to the Executive Chamber, accompanied 
by Governor Gilmer who politely pointed me to the chair 
of state, made his bow and retired. The whole of his sec- 
retaries, together with every other person connected with 
the office, except his messenger, Peter Fair, (since pro- 
moted to higher stations by me) followed the Governor, 
leaving me to search for papers called for by the Legisla- 
ture, and to acquire a knowledge of the arrangement of 
the office papers, without the slightest assistance from 
any of the former inmates of the Department. 

And in order that the readers may form some adequate 
idea of my true position, I will here state that a decided 
majority of both branches of the Legislature had been 
opposed to my election, and had consequently organized 
their bodies, by electing officers of both houses who coin- 
cided with their own views. Moreover, in a few days 
after, all the State House officers, Judges of the Superior 
Courts, and every other office subject to be filled by the 
Legislature, was occupied by individuals who had op- 
posed my election. 

The records of Georgia will show that, at the time I 
entered upon the duties of the Executive office, every 
other high office in the State, including both branches of 
Congress, were opposed to my election. And lest it should 
be omitted hereafter, I will here state that when I left 
the Executive office of Georgia, at the end of my four 



years' service, the whole of these officers, including my 
successor, were my political friends and supporters. 

I availed myself of the best help I could procure as 
secretaries to the Executive Department, and it was but 
a short time before T became familiar with the arrange- 
ment of the papers of the office. 

Rut to return to that which is more important in con- 
nection with my official duties. On the 25th day of No- 
vember, 183 1, I made the following communication to the 
Legislature : 

Executive Department, Georgia, 

Milledgeville, 25th Nov., 1831. 

To the Senate and House of Representatives : 

I submit to the General Assembly for its consideration 
copies of two communications received yesterday, purport- 
ing to be signed by Henry Baldwin, Esq., one of the Jus- 
tices of the Supreme Court of the United States, and to be 
citations to the State of Georgia to appear in the Supreme 
Court, on the second Monday in January next, to show 
cause before that tribunal why two several judgments 
should not be set aside, which have been lately rendered 
in the Superior Court of the county of Gwinnett, against 
Samuel A. Worcester and Elizur Butler, for a violation of 
an existing law of the State, committed within its jurisdic- 
tional limits ; also a copy of a notice purporting to be 
signed by William Wirt and John Sergeant, as council 
for Samuel A. Worcester and Elizur Butler, informing me 
of an intended application to the Supreme Court for a 
hearing on writs of error filed by those persons. 

The obvious object of the proceedings to which this 
notice and these citations relate is to call in question and 
attempt to overthrow that essential jurisdiction of the 
State in criminal cases, which has been vested by our Con- 
stitution in the Superior Courts of the several counties of 
this State. 

My respect for the Supreme Court of the United States 
as a fundamental Department of the Federal Government 
induces me to indulge the earnest hope that no mandate 
will ever proceed from that Court, attempting or intending 
to control one of the sovereign States of this Union in the 
free exercise of its constitutional, criminal, or civil juris- 
diction. "The powers not delegated by the Constitution to 
the United States, nor prohibited by it to the States, are 
reserved to the States respectively." 


Such a control over our criminal jurisdiction as these 
proceedings indicate, it is believed, has not been delegated 
to the United States, and consequently cannot be acqui- 
esced in or submitted to. 

An}^ attempt to infringe the evident right of the State 
to govern the entire population within its territorial limits, 
and to punish all offences committed against its laws 
within those limits (due regard being had to the cases ex- 
pressly excepted by the Constitution of the United States), 
would be the usurpation of a power never granted by the 
States ; such an attempt, whenever made, will challenge the 
most determinc^l resistance, and if persevered in will evi- 
dently eventuate in the annihilation of our beloved country. 

In exercising the authority of that Department of the 
Government which devolves on me, I will disregard all 
unconstitutional requisitions, of whatever character or 
origin they may be, and to the best of my ability will pro- 
tect and defend the rights of the State, and use the means 
afforded me to maintain its laws and Constitution. 


From the foregoing short communication, it will be 
seen that at the very threshold of my Executive adminis- 
tration it became my duty to resist Federal usurpation, 
and it will also be seen in what manner I discharged that 
duty, and the sentiments I then entertained in regard to 
Federal encroachments. 

The reader who desires to be fully and correctly in- 
formed, in regard to all the great interest of Georgia, at 
the time I first entered on the duties of the Executive 
office, and especially in regard to the then existing state of 
our Cherokee relations, would do well to read attentively 
Gov. Gilmer's annual message to the Legislature, at the 
commencement of the session. There may be seen in detail 
not only the then existing state of affairs, but the views 
and policy recommended to the Legislature by Gov. 

And then let the reader turn to my message to the 
House of Representatives, made at the special request of 
that body, on the 2d of December, on the subject of our 
Indian affairs, which will enable him to understand the 
difference in opinion and policy between Gov. Gilmer and 
myself on the then Indian subject. I responded to the call 
of the House in the following words : 


Executive Department, Georgia, 
Milledgeville, December 2d, 183 1. 

To the House of Representatives : 

Gentlemen — Havin^:^ been called on by your resolution 
of this date, requesting me to lay before your branch of the 
General Assembly any information in my possession "in 
relation to the Cherokee Nation, and which might have an 
influence on the policy of the measure of the immediate 
survey and occupancy of the Cherokee lands, which has 
not heretofore been communicated, together with any 
views of the Executive upon the subject which that De- 
partment may think proper to make known," in answer 
thereto I submit the following, as the result of long re- 
flection on the important subject referred to. 

It is believed that a crisis has arrived, in which we can- 
not permit the course of our policy in relation to the Cher- 
okee part of Georgia to remain in its present perplexed 
and extraordinary condition without jeopardizing the in- 
terest and prosDcrity, if not the peace and safety, of the 

Circumstances within the recollection of our whole 
people emperiously demanded the extension of the laws 
and jurisdiction of our State over our entire population 
and territory. 

This step has been taken, and cannot be retraced. The 
State cannot consent to be restricted in the exercise of her 
constitutional rights. It is now too late for us to theorize 
on this subject; we are called upon to act; the public 
functionaries of the State stand pledged to their constitu- 
ents, and the world, to sustain the ground which they have 
taken. It is our constitutional right, and moral duty, 
fortwith to interpose and save that part of our State from 
confusion, anarchy, and perhaps from bloodshed. 

The question of the right of the State to jurisdiction 
seemed for a time to have been settled. Our laws were in 
regular, unmolested operation over our entire territory ; 
our rights appeared to be no longer controverted ; and the 
responsibility for the existing evils was devolving on our- 

But new and unexpected difficulties are arising out of 
the imbecility of our own measures, and the selfishness of 
some of our own citizens. It has been thought that soma 
of our most distinguished citizens have thrown almost 
insuperable obstacles in the way of a speedy termination 
of our Indian difficulties. The laws heretofore enacted for 


the maintainance of the jurisdiction of the State over that 
portion of our territory, and for the Government of all 
persons residing therein, it must now be admitted, have 
failed to accomplish all that was desired and expected by 
the friends of these measures. The defects of our laws 
have been evinced by their practical operation. It is be- 
lieved that any attempt to establish a salutary civil gov- 
ernment over a country containing nearly five millions of 
acres of land, while destitute of the materials to administer 
the law, must, from the nature of things, prove in a great 
measure abortive. 

A few thousand half civilized men, both indisposed 
and incompetent to the faithful discharge of the duties of 
citizenship, and scattered over a territory so extensive, can 
never enjoy the inestimable blessing of civil government. 

Whatever may be the nominal character of our legisla- 
tion, we cannot govern the country under consideration 
with honor to our character, and benefit and humanity to 
the Indians, until we have a settled, freehold, white popu- 
lation, planted on the unoccupied portion of that territory, 
under the influence of all the ordinary inducements of 
society, to maintain a good system of civil government. 
Our government over that territory in its present condi- 
tion, in order to be efficient, must partake largely of a 
military character, and consequently must be more or less 
arbitrary and oppressive in its operations. If the present 
system be continued, it is important that ample powers 
should be afforded to the Executive, to regulate the con- 
duct, and control the operations, of the agents employed 
to administer the Government in that part of the State ; 
but it is doubtful, even with this power, whether any vigi- 
lance and energy on the part of the Executive can wholly 
prevent injustice and oppression being committed on the 
Indians, and at the same time maintain the laws inviolate. 

If Georgia were at this day to relinquish all right, title 
and claim to the Cherokee country, what would be its 
situation? The impotency and incompetency of the Cher- 
okees to maintain a regular government, even for a few 
months, perhaps for a few weeks, would at once be demon- 
strated. The country would be speedily overrun, chiefly 
by the most abandoned portions of society from all quar- 

The gold mines would hold out an irresistible tempta- 
tion to all such characters. The existence alone of the 
rich gold mines utterly forbids the idea of a state of 
quiescence on this all engrossing subject. 


Our true situation and motives on this question are still 
misunderstood, and often misrepresented, by those at a 
distance. In order to appreciate our policy, our true situa- 
tion must be understood. I will not attempt to enumerate 
the wrongs, eml)arrassments, and perplexities, which this 
State has encountered, by what I am constrained to deem 
the impertinent intermeddling of "busy-bodies." Officious 
persons of various descriptions have unfortunately suc- 
ceeded in inducing our Indian people to believe that we are 
their enemies and oppressors, and in alienating their affec- 
tions from us. These various intermeddlings hastened the 
crisis which compelled the State to the course which she 
has taken ; and the day must speedily arrive when all the 
heart-burnings on this subject must be put to final rest. 
The combined and combining influences now in operation 
against the character, interest, peace, and prosperity of 
the State, cannot be much longer deplored in silent inac- 
tion ; nor ought we to place any reliance on inefficient 
measures. Unfounded calumny and prejudice, kept at a 
distance, may be endured ; but domestic and household 
enemies produce unceasing disquietude and danger. 

The unfortunate remnant of Cherokee Indians remain- 
ing in Georgia ought now to consider themselves the ad- 
mitted charge of our peculiar care ; and if possible we 
ought, as their friends and benefactors, to preserve and 
cherish them. They ought not forcibly to be dispossessed 
of their homes, or driven from the land of their fathers ; 
they ought to be guarded and protected in the peaceable 
enjoyment of a sufficient portion of land to sustain them, 
with their families, in their present abodes, so long as they 
may choose to remain ; and their rights and property 
should be as w^ell secured from all lawless depredation as 
those of the white man. It would be as cruel as unjust, 
to compel the aborigines to abandon the graves of their 
fathers ; but in the present extraordinary state of things it 
would be visionary to suppose, that the Indian claim can 
be allowed to this extensive tract of country — to lands on 
which they have neither dwelt, nor made improvements. 

Principles of natural law and abstract justice have 
often been appealed to, to show that the Indian tribes 
within the territorial limits of the States ought to be re- 
garded as the absolute owners and proprietors of the soil 
they occupy. 

All civilized nations have acknowledged the validitv of 
the principles appealed to, with such modifications and 


interpretations of these principles as the truth of history 
has verified, especially in the settlement of this country. 

The foundations of the States which form this confed- 
eracy were laid by civilized and Christian nations who 
considered themselves instructed in the nature of their 
duties by the precepts and examples contained in the 
Sacred Volume which they acknowledged as the basis of 
their religious creed and obligations. To go forth, sub- 
due, and replenish the earth, were considered Divine com- 

Whether they were right or wrong in their construc- 
tion of the sacred text ; whether or not their conduct can 
be reconciled with their professed objects, it cannot be 
denied that possession, actual or constructive, of the 
entire habitable part of this continent was taken by the 
nations of Europe ; and that it was divided out and held by 
them originally, by the right of discovery, as between 
themselves, and by the rights of discovery and con- 
quest, as against the aboriginal inhabitants. The English 
colonies and plantations were settled and governed under 
various charters, commissions, and instructions, issued by 
the crown to individuals or companies ; and notwithstand- 
ing that the paramount sovereignty was reserved in all the 
charters to the mother country, yet in the grant of the 
absolute property in the soil there was no reservation of 
any part of it to the natives, who were left to be disposed 
of as the proprietors might think fit and proper. 

Humanity, and the religious feeling of the early ad- 
venturers in America, connected with the consideration of 
the power and immense numbers of the native races and 
their savage mode of warfare, laid the foundation of the 
policy adopted in this country towards the Indians. The 
practical comment to be found in the acts of all the Gov- 
ernments of North America evinces very little regard for 
the elementary doctrines of theoretical writers on this sub- 
ject. One of the expedients resorted to by the early set- 
tlers in this country as a fundamental principle of policy 
towards the Indians was. to appear to do nothing which 
concerned them, either in appropriating their lands or in 
controlling their conduct, without their consent. But in- 
stances have occurred, and will again occur, in which the 
interests of civilized communities have demanded, and will 
again demand, a departure from this seeming liberal policy. 
It is believed that many acts of the Colonial, as well as of 
the State Governments, will maintain the great fundamen- 



tal principle that witliin the territorial limits of the Col- 
onies or States the ancient possession of the Indians con- 
ferred on them no rights, either of soil or sovereignty. 

The rigor of the rule for their exclusion from these 
rights has been mitigated in practice, in conformity with 
the doctrines of those writers on natural law, who, while 
they admit the superior right of the agriculturalist over the 
claims of savage tribes in the appropriation or wild lands, 
yet, upon the principle that the earth was intended to be a 
provision for all mankind, assigned to those tribes such 
portions as, when subdued by the arts of the husbandman, 
may be sufficient for their comfortable subsistence. The 
General Court of Massachusetts, in 1633, declared "That 
the Indians had the best right to such lands as they had 
actually subdued and improved." The government of that 
Colony at the same time asserted its right to all the residue 
of the lands within its chartered limits, and actually par- 
celled them out by grant among the white inhabitants, 
leaving to these the discretionary duty of conciliating the 
Indians, by purchasing their title. The General Assembly 
of Virginia asserted the unrestricted right of a conqueror; 
and at the same time conceded, what the principles of 
natural law were supposed to require, when, in 1658, it 
enacted, "That for the future no land should be patented 
until fifty acres had first been set apart to each warrior, or 
head of a family, belonging to any tribe of Indians in the 
neighborhood." No respectable jurist has ever gravely 
contended that the right of the Indians to hold lands 
could be supported in the courts of the country upon any 
other ground than the grant or permission of the sover- 
eignty, or State, in which such lands are situate. It is be- 
lieved that no title to lands that has ever been investi- 
gated in any of the courts of the States, or of the United 
States, has been admitted to depend on any Indian deed or 
relinquishment, except in those cases where grants had 
been previously made to individual Indians to hold in fee 
simple, either by the State or Colonial governments. 

With all of these facts and examples before us, taken 
in connection with the extraordinary state of our Indian 
affairs, will any citizen of Georgia hesitate, upon the ques- 
tion of advancing or receding? To stand still, will in effect 
be to recede — to recede is to abandon our rights, and 
tacitly admit our incompetency to sustain our Constitu- 
tional Government within our own limits. 

Our laws now in operation for the maintenance of 
our authority, and the preservation of order over our 


Cherokee lands, must necessarily be temporary ; the ex- 
pense alone of the present system is a burthen which can- 
not be permitted to continue long. 

The present state of things in the Cherokee country, 
it is believed, is strengthening the adversaries of Georgia, 
at home and abroad. 

In order to secure and protect the Indians in their 
abodes, and their property of every kind under our laws, 
their individual and separate possessions ought to be de- 
fined by actual survey ; in accomplishing which it will be 
least expensive and most compatible with the views of the 
State (as provided by the act of the Legislature at its last 
session), to survey the entire country. 

Until we have a population planted upon the unoccu- 
pied portion of this territory, possessed of all the ordinary 
inducements of other communities to svistain our laws 
and government, our present laws providing for the gov- 
ernment of this part of the State should not only be con- 
tinued, but ample power should be aflforded to enforce 
obedience to their requirements. To efifect this object, the 
Executive should be vested with full power promptly to 
control the agents who have been, or may be. selected to 
maintain the authority of the laws in that portion of the 

I never can consent to be considered amongst the 
number of those who disregard the interests, rights, or 
claims of the Cherokee Indians. Georgia would still for- 
bear, if any hope remained that her embarrassments 
could be terminated by negotiation or investigation of any 
kind ; but the present posture of affairs furnishes no satis- 
factory assurance of a successful issue to these injurious 
embarrassments and difficulties, and the State would be 
responsible for the evils that might ensue. I would rec- 
ommend no course which might tend, in the slightest 
degree, to weaken the just claims of the Cherokee Indians 
to full indemnity and remuneration from the government 
of the United States for all guarantees made by that gov- 
ernment to the Indians, to lands within the limits of Geor- 

As a member of the Federal Union, we should duly 
consider the obligations of the United States to the Cher- 
okee Indians. 

Whether a treaty or compact be made with one of the 
States of the Union, or with a dependent and subject com- 
munity, the faith of the Nation should not be disregarded. 


While the antecedent cn.q-agements of the United States to 
Georgia are entitled to precedence in their observance, yet, 
as far as possible, the Cherokees should be compensated 
for any failure on the part of the United States literally to 
comply with their stipulations to that people. That being 
done, there remains no just cause of complaint. The first 
duty of every government is. to protect the rights and 
promote the prosperity of its own members. Yet the 
rights and interests of others, of whatever character or 
condition, are not to be wantonly restricted, nor in any 
case wholly disregarded. 

But the principle cannot be sustained by any fair 
course of reason or authority, that the United States can 
in justice be bound to violate its relations or compacts 
with Georgia, as one of the States of the Union, or the 
rights of this State as a third party, for the mere consider- 
ation of performing an after obligation or secondarv duty 
to the Indians. 

Regardless of the pretensions of others, I yield to none 
in my respect, friendship, and veneration for our present 
patriotic Chief Magistrate of the Union. He has, upon 
every fit occasion, manifested an unceasing disposition to 
better the condition of the Indians, and at the same time 
to relieve the States from this embarrassing portion of 
their population. In an especial manner he has mani- 
fested his deep sense of the wrongs brought upon Georgia 
by the want of good faith on the part of the Federal 
Government ; and has fearlessly advocated the rights of 
Georgia to the full extent of her claims. 

Therefore, every consideration of duty and justice re- 
quires our cordial support of the President in all measures 
emanating from him which may not be deemed incom- 
patible with paramount duties. 

In conformity with the views herein submitted, I would 
respectfully recommend to the General Assembly an im- 
mediate survey of the Cherokee Territory. After com- 
pleting the survey of the country, (unless it shall become 
indispensable to the interest and peace of the State to act 
dififerently,) I would yet pause for a time, and endeavor to 
maintain our present, unpleasant, expensive, and em- 
barrassing situation, in the hope that better counsels may 
then prevail among the Indians, and that those who govern 
them may yield to such measures as will obviously pro- 
mote their real and lasting interest. 

But should circumstances render it indispensable to 
take possession of the unoccupied territory, we can then 


sustain the Indians in their homes, protect them in their 
rights, and save them from that cruelty and oppression 
which have too often been the inheritance of this unfortu- 
nate people, in the confidence that their claims to the 
territory thus occupied by Georgia will be extinguished 
by the Federal Government, in compliance with the com- 
pact of 1802. 


The influence of the foregoing communication, in con- 
nection with my daily and free intercourse with the mem- 
bers of the Legislature, with my opponents as well as my 
friends, enabled me to procure from the Legislature, to 
some considerable extent, such enactments as I deemed 
most important to sustain my views in relation to Indian 

After mature reflection on the subject, and with an 
earnest desire that those who survive and come after me 
may have the means fully and fairly before them to en- 
able them to judge correctly of all my official acts as Gov- 
ernor of the State of Georgia for four years, and at a pe- 
riod of great and abiding interest to the people of Geor- 
gia, in regard to the various interests of the people of the 
State, and especially her Indian relations, I have deemed 
it expedient here to introduce and lay before the reader 
my several annual messages to the Legislature of Geor- 
gia, from November, 1832, to November, 1835, inclusive. 
These official documents will be found not only to re- 
fer to and embrace to some extent the most important 
acts connected with my executive administration of the 
Government of the State, but will, at the same time, pre- 
sent the views which I then entertained and recommended 
to the consideration of the Legislature, from time to time, 
upon all those subjects connected with the then existing 
and permanent interest of the people of Georgia. These 
communications will be found to refer to, or embrace, all 
that is necessary to keep up the chain of history upon the 
subject of our Indian affairs in that consecutive order 
that I have heretofore intimated that I designed pursuing 
in this work. The reader may, if he chooses, pass from 
my first message to the Legislature on the Indian sub- 
ject to what was annually communicated to the Legisla- 
ture, for four successive years, on the same subject, which 
will enable him to keep up the history of our Indian af- 
fairs as they progressed from time to time, without en- 


cumbering himself by dwelling on other important mat- 
ters of state policy embraced in my several messages. 

And these documents, being here given entire, will be- 
come convenient for reference, whenever the several sub- 
jects which they embrace may hereafter be introduced to 
notice. I do not introduce these documents for any sup- 
posed beauty of style or composition. I am no competi- 
tor for literary fame ; but I wish to maintain my character 
as an untiring, persevering, faithful servant. Moreover, 
I wish posterity to be fully informed in regard to the prin- 
ciples, opinions and policy upon which the acts of my life 
have been based. I have never concealed an opinion en- 
tertained upon any political question, from early youth 
to the present day. 


Executive Department, Georgia, 
Milledgeville, November 6th, 1832. 
Fellow Citizens : — 

When we take a survey of the events of the closing 
year, it produces mingled emotions of pleasure and pain. 
Our actual condition and enjoyments as a people, arising 
from climate, soil and good government, when compared 
with other portions of the world, admonish us to admire 
and adore the Divine Author of our multiplied blessings. 
Nothing has transpired to lessen our attachment or di- 
minish our confidence in the good system of government 
under which we live. We should, therefore, cherish an 
increased zeal and an abiding hope for the perpetuation 
of our free and happy institutions. The truths of history 
do not authorize the belief that we are to enjoy the ines- 
timable blessings of liberty and free government, founded 
on principles of equal rights, without vigilance and con- 
stant exertion on the part of the people, who are the only 
legitimate source of government power. 

Our conflicts with Federal usurpation are not yet at 
an end. The events of the past year have afforded us 
new cause for distrust and dissatisfaction. Contrary to the 
enlightened opinions and just expectations of this and 
every other State in the Union, a majority of the judges 
of the Supreme Court of the United States have not only 
assumed jurisdiction in the cases of Worcester and But- 
ler, but have, by their decision, attempted to overthrow 
that essential jurisdiction of the State, in criminal cases. 


which has been vested by our Constitution in the Superior 
Courts of our own State. In conformity with their de- 
cision, a mandate was issued to our court, ordering a re- 
versal of the decree under which those persons are im- 
prisoned, thereby attempting and intending to prostrate 
the sovereignty of this State in the exercise of its consti- 
tutional criminal jurisdiction. These extraordinary pro- 
ceedings of the Supreme Court have not been submitted 
to me officially, nor have they been brought before me in 
any manner which called for my official action. I have, 
however, been prepared to meet this usurpation of Fed- 
eral power with the most prompt and determined resist- 
ence, in whatever form its enforcement might have been 
attempted by any branch of the Federal Government. 

It has afforded me great satisfaction to find that our 
whole people, as with the voice of one man, have mani- 
fested a calm, but firm and determined resolution to sus- 
tain the authorities and sovereignty of their State against 
this unjust and unconstitutional encroachment of the 
Federal judiciary. The ingenuity of man might be chal- 
lenged to show a single sentence in the Constitution of 
the United States giving power, either direct or implied, 
to the general government, or any of its departments, to 
nullify the laws of a State, enacted for the government of 
its own population, or coerce obedience, by force, to the 
mandates of the judiciary of the Union. On the contrary, 
the journals and proceedings of the convention that fram- 
ed the Federal Constitution abundantly evince that vari- 
ous attempts were made to effect that object, all of which 
were rejected. This proves that the States of this Union 
never did, and never will, permit their political rights to 
be suspended upon the breath of the agents or trustees 
to whom they have delegated limited powers to perform 
certain definite acts. I, however, deem it unnecessary 
for me, at this time, to animadvert on this decision of the 
Supreme Court. Its fallacy, its inconsistency with former 
decisions, and its obvious tendency to intermeddle with 
the political rights of the States, and to change our Fed- 
eral system into one consolidated mass, has been so often 
exposed by the most able jurists and statesmen that a 
large majority of the people of this Union are confirmed 
in the conviction of the falliblity, infirmities, and errors 
of this Supreme tribunal. 

This branch of the general Government must hence- 
forth stand where it always ought to have stood in pub- 


lie estimation, as being liable to all the frailties and weak- 
nesses ot erring man. 

Shortly after the adjournment of the Legislature, in 
December last, 1 communicated directly to the President 
of the United States the views of this State, as manifested 
by her legislation on the subject of our unoccupied lands 
lying in Cherokee County ; and at the same time frankly 
communicated to him my views, especially as to the ne- 
cessity and importance of an immediate survey, and per- 
haps occupancy, of these lands. The President hin, mani- 
fested equal solicitude with ourselves to effect an ami- 
cable and satisfactory adjustment of our territorial em- 
barrassment. He has proposed to the Cherokee people 
terms of the most liberal character, with a view to induce 
them to emigrate to the West, &c., thereby to enable him 
to effect the great object of his solicitude, in permanently 
benefiting that unfortunate race, and at the same time to 
fulfil the long delayed obligation of the United States 
Government to Georgia, entered into by the compact of 

Notwithstanding the extraordinary liberality of the 
proposition submitted to the Cherokees. and the kind 
spirit in which they were presented, the enemies of the 
President and of Georgia have so far succeeded as to pre- 
vent any satisfactory arrangement or treaty with them ; 
and their reply to those liberal propositions evinces a 
most arrogant and uncompromising spirit. 

Every day's experience has afforded new evidence of 
the utter impracticability and impolicy of attempting any 
longer to maintain our laws and government over the 
Cherokee part of Georgia, without an increased and bet- 
ter population. Every effort has been made by the Exec- 
utive to maintain the inviolability of the laws of the State 
in Cherokee County ; but these efforts have not been at- 
tended with the desired success. Our laws have been re- 
peatedly violated, and for the want of that moral force 
which pervades counties inhabited by a more dense, en- 
lightened and virtuous population the transgressors have 
sometimes escaped merited punishment. 

Our scattered population of good character, who now 
inhabit this County, have often found themselves destitute 
of security from the depredations of dishonest men ; and 
when they have sought protection from the laws of the 
land, they have often found those laws evaded and per- 
verted by combinations of such characters, aided by the 
advice and counsel of those whose enlarged acquirements 


should have directed their influence in aid of the cause 
of justice and the supremacy of the laws. Legal and pet- 
tifogging subtilties in this County seem measurably to 
have triumphed over equity and a fair administration of 
the laws. 

Not only the Supreme Court of the United States, but 
the Superior, and even the Inferior, Courts of our own 
State, have so far aided in overturning our laws and the 
policy of our State Government as to declare them uncon- 
stitutional, and order the discharge of prisoners arrested 
and confined under their provisions. Nevertheless, amidst 
all these irregularities, strifes and disorders, there is much 
cause for sincere gratification, that the events of the year 
have produced nothing more seriously injurious to the 
interests and character of the State. 

The survey of the County of Cherokee, in conformity 
with, and under the provisions of, the several acts of the 
Legislature, has been completed without any serious ob- 
stacle or difficulty, and, in the exercise of that discretion 
confided to me by law, I have not hesitated to move for- 
ward in that direct line which I deemed best calculated 
to ensure a speedy settlement of the unoccupied lands in 
Cherokee County. Accordingly, in due time, the Justices 
of the Inferior Courts of the several counties were noti- 
fied and required to execute the duties devolving on them^ 
in regard to receiving and returning the names of persons 
entitled to draws in the lotteries, which having been done 
according to law, and the tickets having been prepared, 
the Lottery Commissioners were convened, and commenc- 
ed the preparatory arrangements for the drawings, which 
was commenced on the twenty-second day of October 
last, and is now in progress, under their superintendence. 

I deem it unnecessary at this time to enter upon an 
enlarged vindication of the policy which has been pur- 
sued by the authorities of Georgia on this subject. Suf- 
fice it to say that I have daily increased evidence that our 
policy has been founded in wisdom, justice and true be- 
nevolence, and will, ere long, terminate in the preserva- 
tion of a remnant of these unfortunate Indians ; and our 
State will be relieved from the libels and embarrassments 
of a thirty years' controversy. 

It now becomes my duty to call the serious and delib- 
erate attention of the Legislature to the subject of the 
present condition of the Cherokees who remain within 
our State. By our existing laws, their homes and im- 
provements are secured to them, so long as they may 


choose to remain thereon ; but these laws are by no means 
adapted to the security of their persons and property. 
Therefore, special and appropriate legislation is most 
earnestly recommended, whereby these objects will be se- 
cured to them, and their rights be as efifcctually shielded 
from violation as those of the white man. It is due to the 
character of the State that this dependent people should 
be protected by laws as liberal as may be consistent with 
their moral and intellectual condition. To afford them 
such protection, and to extend to them suitable privileges, 
without endangering the rights of our own citizens, will 
require the most careful deliberation and prudent fore- 

The land fund set apart by the Legislature has been 
found insufficient to pay even the legal expenses of sur- 
veying the public lands. Nothing, therefore, remained 
to discharge the various expenses necessarily incident to 
the preparation for carrying the lottery laws into efifect. 

The Legislature will perceive the necessity of provid- 
ing, at an early day, for the payment of all arrearages, 
and other expenses appertaining to this business. It is 
the more urgent that it should be done without delay from 
the consideration that many needy persons have already 
performed much useful labor for the public, who have not 
yet received any compensation. 

While on this subject, it may not be improper to re- 
mark that the Executive has not only been embarrassed 
on account of the inadequacy of the land fund, but from 
the improvidence of the last Legislature, in providing the 
means at the Treasury to meet their several appropria- 
tions. The appropriations for the past political year 
greatly exceeded the available means at the Treasury. 
This omission of the Legislature was discovered at an 
early day, after the adjournment of their last annual ses- 
sion, and, after due consideration, it was determined to 
endeavor to sustain the operations of the government 
by other means than that of an extra session of the Legis- 

I therefore applied to the Directors of the Central 
Bank, laid before them the situation in which the Execu- 
tive was placed, and desired to be informed how far that 
institution could, consistently with its charter, accommo- 
date the Government. The Directors, without hesitancy, 
manifested every disposition to grant any accommoda- 
tions which might be legally extended : and, by an ar- 
rangement agreed upon, the Bank has taken up and paid 


ofif the Executive warrants, whenever the means to meet 
them were not found at the Treasury ; which warrants 
have been taken up by the Treasurer as fast as the means 
v/ere received at that department. Thus, through the 
agency of the Bank, I have been enabled so far to meet 
the appropriations of the Legislature as to avoid the 
deprecated necessity of convening an extra session. But, 
doubts being entertained as to the competency of the Bank 
to meet the entire demands authorized by the Legisla- 
ture, I have therefore been placed under the necessity of 
discriminating between appropriations made for the in- 
dispensable operations of the government and minor and 
individual interests. 

The report of the Directors of the Central Bank, 
which accompanies this message, will exhibit the extent of 
the accommodation which has been granted to this de- 
partment. From this statement, the Legislature will be 
able to ascertain the extent of the deficit which has ac- 
crued at the Treasury to meet the Executive warrants 
which have been drawn on the several appropriations for 
the current year. Whatever legislation may be necessary 
to remedy the omissions of the last session upon these sev- 
eral subjects commends itself to your immediate atten- 

The act of the last Legislature abolishing the peniten- 
tiary system in this State, in connection with the facts of 
the institution being embarrassed with debt, almost des- 
titute of materials to carry on the different branches of 
manufacture, and the interior buildings and workshops 
being in an unfinished and unsuitable condition to aid the 
important objects of good government and useful busi- 
ness, all combined to impress upon the present managers 
of the institution a spirit of despondency. Nevertheless, 
I am highly gratified to have it in my power to present 
to the Legislature demonstrative evidence of the spirit 
and ability with which the institution has been managed 
during the present year. 

It will be seen by the reports of the Inspectors, here- 
with transmitted, that the labor of the convicts will more 
than defray the ordinary and current expenses of the year. 
The internal police of the institution has been such as to 
prevent escapes, secure the health and comfort of the con- 
victs, and at the same time it is believed that in many in- 
stances reformation has been effected, and, in some, that 
it will prove to be permanent. As far as the means of the 
institution would justify, a proper forecast has been di- 


rected to the procuring an ample supply of timber, and 
other materials for manufacture, but the appropriations 
of the last Legislature were nearly exhausted, at once, in 
the payment of debts against the institution, contracted 
in 183 1, for building and various articles of supply. 

The outstanding debts due to the Penitentiary is a sub- 
ject which deserves especial attention. Between fifteen 
and twenty thousand dollars of unavailable debts appear 
to be due to the institution, most of which were contract- 
ed previous to the year 1829. A portion of these debts 
have been placed in the hands of attorneys for collection, 
all of whom have not yet accovmted satisfactorily for the 
amount thus placed in their hands. I herewith submit to 
the Legislature a document exhibiting all the information 
I have been able to collect on this subject. At present, it 
is believed that the fiscal transactions of the institution 
are conducted with system, skill and prudence, which 
will hereafter prevent any material loss, if the present 
regulations are continued. The books and accounts are 
kept with great accuracy, and credits are extended with 
that caution which will, in future, prevent the accumula- 
tion of bad debts. 

From the indications of public opinion, it is believed 
that the abolition of the penitentiary system has not re- 
ceived the approbation of the majority of the people ; and 
I feel assured that the experience of one year, under our 
present code, has strengthened public opinion in favor 
of the institution. A general disposition seems to per- 
vade the community to shield culprits from the infliction 
of the sanguinary punishments of our present criminal 
code, and hence it is that frequent applications are made 
to the Executive to grant reprieves, and remit the sent- 
ences of the courts. Imprisonment in the county jails, 
being a common pu.nishment inflicted on the violators of 
our present criminal laws, is found to be expensive, and, 
in many cases, burthensome to the counties, which tends 
to encourage applications for pardons, even when there 
is nothing to extenuate the guilt of the ofifender. 

After the most mature reflection. I cannot hesitate in 
arriving at the conclusion that penitentiary confinement 
is by far the most economical mode of punishment for 
crime ; and from the operations of the present year I in- 
cline to the opinion that if the system were reinstated, 
and appropriately patronized by the Legislature, it would 
be certain to defray its expenses, and perhaps, at a day 
not far distant, become a source of profit and income to 


the State. Should the Legislature determine to revive 
the system, a due regard to the reformation of the con- 
victs, and profitable management of the institution, will 
require a further improvement of the interior buildings 
and workshops, and a more ample supply of various ma- 
terials for fabrication. The necessary appropriation to 
accomplish these objects under proper management could 
not fail eventually to be a measure of economy and sav- 
ing to the State. 

The sure defence and fortress of liberty is the militia 
— the citizen soldier. But in no country can it be reason- 
ably expected that every citizen should be trained and 
ready for the active duties of a soldier in the tented field. 
The Government, relying as it does, on the militia for de- 
fence in time of danger, should unquestionably have some 
organization, whereby it might not only know its strength, 
but have at ready command the power to concentrate an 
efificient portion of its martial force, at a short warning, 
which in any emergency might serve as a rallying point 
for the great body of its militia. It is not within the range 
of our State government to keep up a standing army, nor 
is it compatible with our views and policy ; nevertheless, 
it is believed that voluntary associations of active and pa- 
triotic citizens, organized under legal sanction and en- 
couragement, might afford to every section of our State 
a rallying point, in case of sudden alarm from any quar- 
ter, foreign or domestic. The few returns which have 
been made to this department from Division and Brigade 
Inspectors, and various other sources of information, can 
leave no doubt of the fact that our present militia system 
has sunk under the imperfections of its own structure and 
organization, and, unless renovated by legislation, may 
be considered as nearly extinct. Under these circum- 
stances, it becomes highly necessary that the Legislature 
should take this important subject into serious considera- 
tion, and provide by law some plan of organization in lieu 
of that which has practically become obsolete. As the 
distribution of the public arms, under the law of the United 
States for arming and equipping the militia, is made 
among the States according to the relative strength of 
the militia, it is a matter of interest to obtain accurate 
returns of the force of the State ; and the disorganization 
of our system is such as to render it impossible to ascer- 
tain the entire strength of the militia of the State. I con- 
sider it highly important that the effective strength of the 
militia should, at all times, be known ; that there should 


be at least one ccMiipany of well trained volunteers in each 
county in the State, and in the populous counties perhaps 
more ; that provision should be made for arming and train- 
ing all such volunteer companies, and that they should at 
all times hold themselves in readiness to obey the calls 
of their country, in case of alarm or danger, and further, 
that provision should be made for enlarging such volun- 
teer force, whenever the situation of the country may de- 
mand it. But past experience has demonstrated that if 
these views shall be adopted it will be indispensably nec- 
essary to make ample provision for the preservation, 
safe-keeping, and due return of the public arms, when 
called for. Unless this object can be effected, it will be 
useless to attempt to carry into effect the plan now sug- 
gested. I have ascertained that most of the public arms 
which have been drawn from the arsenals for volunteer 
and other service since the year 1812 may be considered 
as lost to the State ; and those which are not entirely lost 
are chiefly in a ruinous condition. 

In many instances I find bonds on file in this depart- 
ment for the safe keeping and return of the arms thus 
distributed, when called for; but in most cases the makers 
of these bonds, it is presumed, are now dead, removed, or 
insolvent, and the companies dissolved. Since I entered 
upon the duties of this ofifice I have received various com- 
munications from highly respectable individuals, some 
written, but mostly verbal, informing me of arms and ac- 
coutrements being in their respective neighborhoods, in 
a situation to be lost for want of care. In several cases, 
where I have attempted investigations, I have not been 
able to find a responsible individual, and without legisla- 
tive provision I am at a loss how to proceed so as to 
save this public property from entire loss. The arms thus 
scattered over the country, as well as many in the arsenal 
at this place, will never be of any public value, unless pro- 
vision is made for collecting, cleaning and repairing them. 

It may be proper to state that, under the provisions 
of a joint resolution of the last Legislature, there have 
been organized, during the present year, thirteen volun- 
teer companies, which have been furnished with arrvis 
from our arsenals. It will be seen from the reports of the 
military storekeepers that our present supply of arms is 
so greatly diminished that volunteer companies cannot 
continue to receive supplies, unless provision be made for 
that purpose. 


The framers of our State Constitution were not un- 
mindful of the important subject of education. They con- 
sidered the cultivation of the arts and sciences indispen- 
sable to the prosperity of a free people, and we therefore 
find the most imperative language used in that instrument 
to impress the Legislature with a sense of its duty in sus- 
taining the cause of education. The history of the legis- 
lation of Georgia will show that attention to this subject 
has not been wanting. Our statute books exhibit a mass 
of legislation and expenditure upon the subject of educa- 
tion that has scarcely been surpassed by any of 
our sister States. But, upon a review of the whole sub- 
ject, it must be admitted that the advantages derived by 
the people of Georgia have not been commensurate with 
the labor and expense. 

The present prospects of our University afiford just en- 
couragement to the friends of the arts and sciences to 
continue to foster and patronize that institution. The 
prosperity of our College is so closely identified with the 
character and interest of the State, that, under proper 
management, it cannot fail to become a favorite institu- 
tion with the community, and receive a liberal support 
from the whole people. 

Our academic and poor school systems are admitted 
to be defective, and by no means satisfactory to the com- 
munity. In view of these defects, the Legislature, at their 
last session, adopted a resolution directing a compilation 
of all our academic and free school laws now in force ; 
and also authorized the Governor to appoint three suit- 
able persons to form a system of academic and free school 
instruction, to be as nearly uniform as practicable 
throughout the State, and report to the present Legisla- 
ture. The compilation so authorized has been prepared and 
published by John A. Cuthbert, Esq., under Executive 
appointment, and is executed with the characteristic ac- 
curacy and ability of that gentleman. 

But I have to express my regret that I have not been 
able to meet the expectation of the Legislature in having 
submitted to them a system of academic and free school 
education, as authorized by the resolution referred to. At 
an early day after the adjournment of the last Legisla- 
ture, my attention was directed to this subject, and a cor- 
respondence was opened with several individuals of this 
State who had manifested considerable interest in advanc- 
ing the cause of general education. But among those who 
were believed to possess eminent qualifications for this 


important iindertakin2^ none could be induced to engage 
in the ardous and responsible labors contemplated by the 
resolution of the Legislature. To perform this work to 
the satisfaction of the Legislature, and to meet the pub- 
lic expectation in point of utility, it was believed that 
qualifications of a literary character should be combined 
with an extensive acquaintance with the feelings, habits 
and interests of our diversified population. The peculiar 
situation of the State ; the habits and feelings of the peo- 
ple ; the sparseness of our population in many sections ; 
the want of fixed and permanent school districts, by 
known and well-defined boundaries ; and various other 
considerations, must be taken into view in framing a suc- 
cessful common school system. 

The Legislature of Georgia, at an early period of its 
history, with a spirit that deserves commendation, made 
liberal provision for the endowment of an academy in 
each county in the State ; the application of which has 
been left to the trustees of the several county academies ; 
consequently there has been no uniformity or general 
plan of operation, no systematic adoption of measures 
which were calculated to ensure success alike to all. Not- 
withstanding the neglect of which many trustees may have 
been guilty, it must be admitted that great good has re- 
sulted to the community from the endowment of these 
county seminaries. The benefits have been mostly felt in 
the immediate vicinity of these institutions, but in some 
instances have been dififused more or less throughout the 

Our success in the application of the fund set apart 
for the education of poor children has, like our academic 
fund, been beneficial in those counties where it has been 
well managed and prudently applied, while in others there 
is just cause for complaint. It is believed our academic 
and poor school funds might be better applied to purposes 
of useful education if our present imperfect system was 
wholly abolished, and a system of common school educa- 
tion organized and patronized in lieu thereof. I have ex- 
amined with care and reflected much upon the systems of 
common school education adopted by the different States 
in the Union, and marked the varied success of each ; and 
although the experiments of other States may aflford much 
light to direct our course, yet I am fully convinced, to 
ensure success in our community, we shall find it neces- 
sary to adopt a plan which shall be based upon the actual 
conditions of our own population, and not flatter ourselves 


with the idea of success by merely following the footsteps 
of others whose habits and modes of thinking are so very 
different from our own. 

The State of New York, as well as the New England 
States, which have succeeded best in diffusing the bless- 
ings of education to their whole people, have all main- 
tained the right and duty of the Legislature to provide 
for the education of their entire population. And for the 
purpose of effecting this object, the entire property of the 
State — no matter in whose possession it was found — has 
been made subject to taxation for the education of all. 
thus regarding the children of the whole community as 
being under the care of the Government. 

Whatever advantages may have been derived by such 
legislation and the establishment of such principles, in 
other States, I feel assured that such principles and such 
legislation are by no means suited to the feelings and 
habits of our people. 

It is believed that no legislation upon the subject of 
general education, however wise the scheme, can be suc- 
cessful, which does not receive the approbation of the 
people and excite inquiry, interest and zeal among the 
great body of the community. Let the people once turn 
their earnest attention to this subject, and they will very 
soon become convinced of the great importance and ne- 
cessity of their individual exertions to secure the benefits 
of education to the rising generation. Upon due reflec- 
tion and full examination, the people will become con- 
vinced that the proper education of the rising generation 
is directly and intimately connected with the interest, hap- 
piness and prosperity of their country, and the perpetuity 
of our present civil institutions and good form of govern- 
ment. The neglect of educating our children will inevi- 
tably tend to the decline and fall of our Republic. Our 
Government is based upon public opinion, and that opin- 
ion, to be salutary, must be enHghtened. Let that knowl- 
edge which accompanies a good common school educa- 
tion be diffused throughout our country, and the iron 
sway of ignorance can never be wielded bv demagogues 
to the destruction of lil^erty. Without this diffusion of 
knowledge, like other republics, our career of liberty may 
terminate in licentiousness, anarchy and despotism. 

Therefore, if we would transmit to posterity the sacred 
legacy which our fathers have bequeathed to us, we must 
not disregard those means, upon the use of which the per- 
manency of those blessings so essentially depends. We 


must bring- into requisition all our means for the diffu- 
sion of education, and thereby qive impulse to public feel- 
ing. If possible, we should penetrate the bosom of our 
whole population on this subject by exhibiting to them the 
practicability and importance of each member of society 
contributing some humble share to the great object of rais- 
ing talents, merit and genius from obscurity to the high- 
est walks of life, and in bringing the lights of education 
to every dwelling within the limits of our beloved State. 
Let it be remembered that every school that is established, 
every child who may be educated, every log school house 
that is built, affords a new pledge in favor of the great 
cause of education, liberty and free government, and at 
the same time let each individual in the community bear 
in mind that dutv to his country assigns him a part in this 
great work. 

The reports of the Superintendents of the public lands, 
herewith submitted, will exhibit the operations, progress 
and success of that branch of the public service during 
the past political year. Although further experience has 
continued to develop additional imperfections in the laws 
providing for the improvement of our great market roads, 
and new obstacles to all that success which we desire are 
occasionally presented to those who superintend the work, 
yet my confidence that the system is a good one, and that 
it ought to be continued and improved, is, by every day's 
experience, more fully confirmed. Georgia has not been 
wanting in effort to facilitate the transportation of the 
immense product of her fruitful soil and industrious popu- 
lation. Large sums of public money have been expended, 
from time to time, with a view to the improvement of our 
navigable waters ; but, for the want of skill and experi- 
ence to direct its application, it must be admitted that the 
people have not derived those benefits which they had a 
right to expect from the amount thus expended. It is be- 
lieved, however, that no want of success which may have 
attended our attempts at internal improvement should 
for a moment abate our zeal, or retard our efforts in a 
determined and vigorous prosecution of such public 
works as the interest of the people demands. I would 
not only recommend a continuance of our present sys- 
tem of road improvement, but that it should be strength- 
ened and improved. 

Excellent roads have already been made in many parts 
of the State, by the labor devoted to that object ; but 
every part of the State has not been made to feel the bene- 


fits of the system, and those parts which have derived no 
benefit will, from the nature of things, become restless and 
dissatisfied, unless they are made to participate in the 
benefits as well as the burthens of the system. 

One of the most formidable objections to the present sys- 
tem is that the roads, after being made good, are not kept 
in repair ; and from the nature of our soil and the present 
plan of constructing our roads, unless repairs, at the prop- 
er time and in the right mode, be strictly attended to, they 
must necessarily soon fall into a state of dilapidation and 
ruin. It is the incumbent duty of the Legislature to pro- 
vide a remedy for this evil which, if neglected, will most 
assuredly destroy the whole system. Only provide for 
keeping the roads in complete order which are once made 
good by the State hands, and in less than twenty years 
Georgia will have the best roads of any State in the Union. 
It is submitted to the Legislature whether it should not be 
made the duty of the county authorities in which roads 
are constructed by the State hands to receive such roads 
from the Superintendent, and thereafter be compelled to 
keep them in as good order as when received. Upon all 
the roads constructed by the State hands such provision 
should be made by law as would ensure the keeping in 
good repair of all necessary bridges and causeways, as 
well as the road. 

Some arrangement should be made which will ensure 
a general diffusion of the benefits arising from the sys- 
tem to every section of the State as to prevent the con- 
flicting claims of different communities from embarrass- 
ing the operations of the Superintendents, and throwing 
more than a just share of responsibility on them. I would 
deem it most advisable for the Legislature to define and 
point out the principal roads which shall have the pref- 
erence in order of time. I respectfully submit to the Leg- 
islature whether under all circumstances it might not be 
expedient to provide for the increase of laborers. The 
settlement of the northwestern section of this State will 
loudly call for road improvement in that quarter. We 
may anticipate the day when Georgia will enter the lists 
of competitors for the most splendid and magnificent 
works of internal improvements when, with pride, we may 
point to her railroads, canals and turnpikes. 

But before the accomplishment of these grand objects 
to which nature seems to have invited the hand of art and 
industry, our territory must be settled, and the natural 
resources of our State developed, which alone can give 


the true index to direct these great works. For the pres- 
ent, let our expenditures be chiefly confined to our great 
market roads, and let every portion of the State partici- 
pate in the benefits. Let our roads be directed to our 
towns at the head of navigation ; and where it is practica- 
ble let our rivers be improved, not only from thence to 
the ocean, but as far into the interior as can be effected 
by reasonable expenditures, in the removal of inconsid- 
erable obstructions. I consider it an object of great im- 
portance that the Falls of the Chattahoochee, from West 
Point to Columbus, should, if practicable, be surmounted 
by the hand of art, so that our rising population on the 
border of that noble river may enjoy the immense bene- 
fits which would flow to them through that channel of 
commerce. In conformity with the provisions of a resolu- 
tion of the last Legislature, authorizing the appointment 
of a competent engineer to examine and report to the 
present Legislature upon the practicability and probable 
expense of rendering the Chattahoochee river navigable 
from West Point, in Troup County, to the town of Co- 
lumbus, an arrangement had been made, by the selection 
of an individual highly recommended for his qualifications, 
by which it was expected that the present Legislature 
would be furnished with the desired information. The 
correspondence herewith submitted will show the cause 
of the disappointment. 

The circulating medium, or currency, of our country 
having long since been changed from specie coins, having 
an intrinsic value, to that of paper, purporting to be the 
representative of the precious metals, it becomes the in- 
cumbent duty of the Government, in authorizing the issue 
of such paper, to guard well the interest of its citizens 
against the frauds and devices which experience has dem- 
onstrated are too often practiced by corporations pos- 
sessing banking privileges, with power to throw into cir- 
culation an unsound and deceptive paper currency. The 
currency of our State consists almost exclusively of the 
notes of our own local banks, and therefore our people 
have a right to expect that the solvency of these institu- 
tions should be placed upon a basis which should not sub- 
ject the community to the ruinous consequences which 
must inevitably grow out of bank failures. 

The late failure of the Bank of Macon should be suf- 
ficient warning of the instability of all such institutions. 
The Legislature, at their last session, expressed their con- 
fidence in the good condition and management of that in- 


stitution ; since which time its defalcation has proved to 
be deeply injurious to the interest and credit of the State, 
as well as to the interest of man}' of our honest and un- 
suspecting citizens. The public interests demand that an 
immediate and thorough investigation of the afifairs of that 
institution should be instituted by the Legislature, and to 
further that object I herewith submit all the information 
I have received on the subject. 

The privileges heretofore granted to banking com- 
panies are not to be violated. But I would unhesitatingly 
recommend to the LyCgislature the adoption of such meas- 
ures as may be best calculated to insure to the people a 
sound currency, and prevent our banking institutions from 
speculating on a confiding community by extending their 
issues and other transactions beyond the letter and spirit 
of their respective charters. That love of gain which is 
so inherent in human nature is a constant temptation to 
excessive issues of bank paper ; and the commercial and 
other contingencies to which all communities are liable 
subject banks thus situated to failures, whenever a gen- 
eral demand for specie may be made upon them for the 
redemption of their bills. The issue of bank notes under 
five dollars should be discontinued, and gold and silver 
coin made to supply the place of such notes. This would 
at all times keep a considerable supply of specie in the 
country, and thereby enable the banks to meet sudden 
pressures, and would moreover have a strong tendency 
to equalize the value of bank notes and coin. 

I will not conceal from the Legislature that it was with 
feelings of reluctance that my assent was given to the acts 
granting banking privileges, at the last session. These 
feelings alone even yielded in consideration of the situa- 
tion of our rising Western towns and increasing popula- 
tion. If banks afiford any advantages to communities it 
was believed to be fair and right that those advantages 
should be extended to the people in every section of the 
State, and not permit the moneyed influence of the coun- 
try to be concentrated for the exclusive advantage or de- 
pression of any particular section. All legislation which 
gives exclusive privileges to capitalists is calculated to 
increase the power of the rich, while the humble members 
of society, who are incessantly laboring at their daily 
avocations for the sustenence of themselves and families, 
have neither time nor money to participate in the profits 
and influence which are secured to banking and other 
similar corporate companies, and therefore have a just 


right to complain of that government which increases 
the power of the rich at the expense of the poor. Equal 
protection and equal benefits are all that the poor man 
asks from his government ; and nothing less will, or ought 
to, satisfy a citizen of this free country. But, on the other 
hand, the rich are seldom satisfied with equal protection 
and equal benefits. Their inordinate cravings for gov- 
ernmental favors and protection have already produced 
the most alarming results, such as threaten the destruc- 
tion of the Federal Union itself. 

The laws of the State upon most subjects of general 
interest have become so multiplied and complicated, and, 
in some instances, contradictory in their provisions, as to 
render a faithful, just and uniform administration of them 
exceedingly difficult, if not impracticable. I would there- 
fore submit to the Legislature the expediency of provid- 
ing by law for a general revision of the statutes of this 
State, embracing in a compact form the several statutes 
relating to its civil polity and internal administration, the 
whole to be consolidated and arranged in appropriate 
chapters, titles and articles, simplifying the language 
thereof, and all omissions and other defects supplied by 
the compilers, the whole of which should be submitted to 
the Legislature for revision, adoption, or rejection. It is be- 
lieved that other States have succeeded in similar efforts to 
the one now proposed, and why should not we succeed? 
We have competent individuals who covild discharge with 
ability the arduous and responsible duties contemplated — 
men of experience, general science and elevated legal 
standing. While I entertain the highest respect and con- 
fidence in the General Assembly of this State, I consider 
its structure and formation such as to exclude the hope 
of effecting the very desirable object herein contemplated 
by the ordinary process of legislation. A revised code of 
our present statutes, embracing their present substance 
in a concise, perspicuous and simplified form, can only be 
obtained from the labor of patient research and uninter- 
rupted reflection, based upon talents and qualifications 
of the first order. 

The territory embraced in Cherokee County should be 
divided into counties of suitable size and form to pro- 
mote the convenience of that portion of our population 
who may inhabit that section of the State ; and the organ- 
ization of such counties should be provided for without 
unnecessary delay. The situation of the public property 
embraced in the fractional surveys requires immediate 


legislation, which will place that portion of the public in- 
terest beyond the probability of trespass or intrusion. I 
would therefore recommend that said fractions be dis- 
posed of with the least possible delay, and be made avail- 
able for public uses. 

The various acts and resolutions of the last Legisla- 
ture requiring Executive action have been carried into 
effect, or are in a course of execution, with the exceptions 
herein before pointed out. An abstract of warrants drawn 
on the Treasurer during the political year 1832, a list of 
Executive appointments made during the recess of the 
Legislature, and the reports made to this department by 
the different banks, accompany this message. Various 
resolutions passed by the Legislatures of several States, 
upon subjects of general concern, are also lierewith trans- 

A beautiful map, atlas, and well executed statistical 
view of the State of Maine has, by the direction of the 
Legislature of that State, been presented to Georgia, in 
a manner worthy of that patriotic State ; and as the organ 
of Georgia, when acknowledging such favors, I cannot 
avoid feelings of mortification that we are no better pre- 
pared to reciprocate such kind attentions. 

I might here close this communication, under the con- 
viction of having submitted for the consideration of the 
Legislature the most important subjects which will re- 
quire their attention during the present session ; but at 
a time like the present, when our country is agitated from 
its centre to its circumference upon subjects of vital im- 
portance to the cause of liberty, and the perpetuation of 
our civil institutions, I deem it to be a duty attached to 
the trust which I occupy to give a free and frank avowal 
of my sentiments upon the exciting subjects before us 
regarding alone the interest of my country. 

Upon all subjects relating to the usurpations of the 
Federal Government, and especially upon that of the pro- 
tective tariff system, great unanimity of opinion prevails 
throughout this and the Southern States generally. They 
never will be reconciled to the present tariff, or the prin- 
ciples upon which it is based. They believe it to be con- 
trary to the principles and spirit of the Federal Constitu- 
tion, and the auxiliary measures by which this odious sys- 
tem of taxation is kept up and supported are no less ob- 
jectionable than the tariff itself. The partial and extrava- 
gant appropriations of every succeeding Congress, since 
the introduction of this desolating and strife-stirring sys- 


tern, clearly evince an abandonment of those principles 
of economy and republican simplicity upon which our 
Federal system is based. 

To preserve and perpetuate the blessings of our po- 
litical institutions, it is indispensable that the Federal and 
State Governments should be kept within the limits of 
their constitutional spheres of action. Intolerable as- 
sumption and usurpations, which will not yield to the or- 
dinary influence of reason and justice, must be checked 
by some means ; and the power to accomplish this end 
must unquestionably reside in the respective Sovereignties. 
It is inconsistent with every principle of liberty and free 
government for the political reserved rights of a State 
to be confided to, or dependent on, the decision of any 
power under Heaven, except it be the will of her own peo- 
ple. When burthens become insufferable, the time, the 
mode, and the measure of redress are questions which 
must be determined by those who feel themselves ag- 
grieved ; and this brings us at once to the questions which 
at this time agitate the public mind. 

The people of this State have already, through their 
primary assemblies, as well as by their representatives 
in Congress, and the State Legislature, repeatedly remon- 
strated and protested against the protective tariff system, 
and declared their interminable hostility to it. 

While the feelings of our people have been strong and 
urgent on this subject, they have, nevertheless, exercised 
a spirit of moderation and forbearance, under the pros- 
pect of relief being afforded before endurance would be- 
come intolerable. 

We have looked to the final extinguishment of the 
public debt as the period when we should be relieved from 
the burthens of unequal taxation. 

And our hopes have been strengthened and encour- 
aged from the patriotic and independent course which has 
been pursued by the present Executive of the United 
States, in arresting, by his veto, unconstitutional measures 
of expenditure. This check upon the extravagant meas- 
ures of Congress has been well calculated to strengthen 
the hope that the Federal Government might finally be 
brought back to the principles of the Constitution. Hither- 
to we have confided much in the republican doctrine, that 
freedom of discussion would eventually give to truth the 
victory over errors, without considering as we ought that 
exceptions must be made, where the majority believe it 
to be their interest to decide erroneouslv. But, whatever 


may have been our anticipations, thus far it must be ad- 
mitted that our reasonable expectations have been great- 
ly disappointed, and that burthens of which we complain 
have been but partially alleviated. Nevertheless, with 
these discouraging facts before me, I still feel extreme 
reluctance at the idea of yielding up all hope of a peace- 
able and satisfactory adjustment of these perplexed and 
embarrassing questions, through the operations of the 
constitutional authorities of the country. The proceed- 
ings of the late session of Congress were noted with in- 
tense interest and solicitude, and with a spirit and desire 
to find something in the proceedings of that body tend- 
ing to harmony, founded upon acts of justice, and a more 
sacred regard to the principles of our Federal system. But 
each succeeding mail, during the late long session, did 
but strengthen my misgivings m longer looking to that 
body to save the country from the threatening evils of 
partial, oppressive and unconstitutional legislation. Yet 
justice requires the admission that in the passage of the 
Tariff act of the late session a majority of both branches 
of Congress did manifest something of a spirit of concili- 
ation towards each other. This majority, too, manifested 
a spirit of co-operation with the Executive branch of the 
Federal Government, in sustaining this act, which (al- 
though by no means a satisfactory measure of compro- 
mise) has been calculated to allay present excitement, and 
to check the impetuosity of the rash and violent. This 
act was passed by the votes of members who did not ap- 
prove its provisions, but sustained it as a choice of evils. 
They voted for its passage in preference to disunion, or 
the tariff act of 1828. While I consider the principles of 
the late act equally, if not more obnoxious than that of 
1828, yet I am bound to admit that it relieves the whole 
people of the United States of a portion of the burthens 
of taxation ; and, therefore, it may be considered as an 
efifort, at least on the part of a portion of the friends of 
the protective system, to modify the law, so as to make 
it less obnoxious to our feelings. But unless this spirit 
of conciliation is followed by further concessions, they do 
but deceive themselves, if they suppose the South will 
ever become reconciled. Upon a full view of the whole 
subject I would most decidedly recommend that our for- 
bearance and moderation be made manifest to the whole 
Union, before we enter upon any doubtful or violent rem- 
edy calculated to jeopardize the existence of the Federal 
Union itself. Our complaints are just, and our cause 


righteous ; endurance is yet not intolerable ; and a new 
Congress, under the late census, will assemble under cir- 
cumstances and at a time more auspicious for calm and 
patriotic deliberations. 1 am not a stranger to the selfish- 
ness of man and of communities, but 1 have not yet lost 
all confidence in the virtue and intelligence of the Ameri- 
can people. 

If our opponents be capable of wise self-government, 
they must ere long be brought to see the justice of our 
cause, based as it is on principles no less essential to them 
than to us ; at least, may we not hope that the common 
classes of the laboring people everywhere will yet be 
brought to unite with us against the whole system, as be- 
ing designed to benefit an aristocratic few and to oppress 
the poor for the exclusive benefit of the wealthy. But 
should these, my best anticipations, be founded in error, 
and originate in weakness, I beseech my countrymen who 
are in favor of direct and immediate resistance to remem- 
ber that they are required by every principle of sound 
philosophy, virtue and patriotism to exercise patience and 
long forbearance towards their brethren of the same faith 
and principles with themselves, in regard to the usurpa- 
tions of the Federal Government. It is truly gratifying 
to know that the Southern people are so well agreed as 
to the existence of the evils complained of. This being 
the case, nothing but union and concert are wanting to 
give an irresistible moral force to our opinions and feel- 
ings, and to make ourselves formidable in any event. To 
obtain this desired union of action, time and labor are re- 
quired. I do not consider the mode and manner of pro- 
ducing these joint deliberations material, nor do I care 
by what name such councils may be called. It is only 
necessary that these measures should emanate directly 
from the enlightened and deliberate will of the people, 
founded upon their inherent and unalienable rights, ad- 
mitted to be extraordinary, and intended to meet a most 
extraordinary crisis. No State can act efficiently in sus- 
taining her just rights against a mighty power, unless her 
own population are united in the policy to be pursued. 
I cannot consider it advisable for a single State, upon her 
separate action, to undertake to force a redress of griev- 
ances from the Federal Government, while her sister 
States, equally interested, are not even consulted as to 
the policy to be pursued. 

Principles of common courtesy must concede to the 
members of the same confederacy or copartnership a 



right to participate in all councils where the subject un- 
der consideration, and the pohcy to be adopted, are equal- 
ly interesting to each member. Whenever a case, how- 
ever, shall arise wherein a single State shall be oppressed 
by the usurpations of Federal power, and that pressure 
shall be confined to her local interest alone, and conse- 
quently produce no identity of feeling or interest in the 
other States, then I would consider it the incumbent duty 
of the aggrieved State to judge and act for herself, inde- 
pendently of the advice and opinions of others. 

It is due to the sovereign character of every State of 
the Union to maintain its territorial rights and policy 
over its own population. 

These are rights which can never be surrendered by 
a free State, or submitted to the arbitration of others. 
But, upon the subject of the tariff, shall Georgia under- 
take to redress the grievances of the whole South? Shall 
we not hearken to the voice and movements of our sis- 
ter States who agree with us in principle and feeling? 
Or shall we precipitately rush forward upon a novel and 
untried theory, which may disgust our sister States, end 
in abortion, and prove to be worse than submission itself? 
The States which agree in principle must be brought to 
act in concert before they can reasonably hope to pro- 
duce the consummation desired by the opponents of the 
protective system, as well as every true patriot and friend 
of the Federal Union. Separate action upon this subject 
is calculated to engender strife and disunion, anarchy and 
confusion among brethren of the same principles. 

The mystical doctrine of nullification, as contended 
for by its advocates, has only tended to bewilder the minds 
of the people, inflame their passions, and prepare them 
for anarchy and revolution. Wherever it spreads, it en- 
genders the most bitter strifes and animosities, and dis- 
solves the most endearing relations of life. I believe nul- 
lification to be unsound, dangerous and delusive, in prac- 
tice as well as theory. Its advocates have, with great 
ability, endeavored to make their theory harmonize with 
the principles and operations of our Federal and State 
systems of government. But in my opinion the very es- 
sence of their doctrine tends directly to destroy all har- 
mony between the Federal and State governments, and 
must inevitably produce the most direct and vexatious 
conflict, whenever it may be attempted by a State to en- 
force the theory of nullification. I am unable to compre- 
hend or conceive of a peaceable, constitutional harmony 


which would attend a measure emanating from one twen- 
ty-fourth part ot the sovereign power of the Union ; 
which measure should stop the revenue operations of the 
Federal Government. Great ingenuity has been exercis- 
ed to blend this new theory with the admirable principles 
and doctrines of state rights, as set forth and successfully 
advocated by Thomas Jefiferson. But, after the most dili- 
gent research, I have not been able to find where Mr. 
Jefferson ever attempted to delude the people into the be- 
lief that when reason failed, and endurance became intol- 
erable, a single State could, by its act of nullification, force 
the Federal Government to retract from its measures of 
usurpation. Mr. Jefiferson would have called such a meas- 
ure on the part of a State by its plain, proper name, resist* 
ance to intolerable usurpation. 

Georgia should not suffer herself to be deluded or flat- 
tered into the belief that her rights have heretofore been 
maintained upon the principle and doctrines of nullifica- 
tion, as contended for by the present advocates. It is true, 
we may look back with pride and pain on our past con- 
fliict with Federal usurpation. Upon several occasions we 
have been compelled to throw ourselves upon our reserved 
rights, and resist Federal encroachment ; but we have 
never veiled ourselves in the flimsy garment of peaceable 
constitutional nullification. In these delicate and highly 
responsible acts. Georgia has always relied on her own 
population, the justice of her cause, and the virtue and in- 
telligence of the people of the United States, to sustain her 
unquestionable constitutional rights. And hitherto our 
confidence has not been misplaced ; we have had able 
friends and advocates in every part of the Union who have 
stood by us in times of the greatest peril. We are at pres- 
ent very improperly charged with nullifying the inter- 
course laws and Indian treaties of the United States, when, 
in fact, these laws and treaties were set aside, and had 
become measurably obsolete, by the acts and assumptions 
of the Cherokee Indians themselves ; Georgia, by her 
course of policy, has only nullified the arrogant assump- 
tion of sovereign power, claimed and set up by a rem- 
nant of the aboriginal race within her acknowledged char- 
tered limits. 

Finally, fellow citizens, let us strive to be of one mind 
— let our measures be founded in wisdom, justice and mod- 
eration — constantly bearing in mind the sacred truth, that 
a Nation or State ""divided against itself, cannot stand." 




Executive Department, Georgia, 

Milledgeville, November 5th, 1833. 

Fellow Citizens of the Senate and House of Represen- 
tatives : 

At no period of our political existence have the repre- 
sentatives of the people of Georgia assembled under cir- 
cumstances more signally calculated to impress the mind 
with a deep sense of gratitude to Almighty God. It 
would, indeed, savor of infidelity not to feel duly impressed 
with the sense of our renewed obligations to the Great 
Author and Disposer of the destinies of men and of nations, 
for the many and inestimable blessings vouchsafed to us. 
His offending creatures. While the chastening scourge 
of Heaven has been visited upon people of both hemi- 
spheres, carrying in the train of pestilence, horror, de- 
spair and death — people of our State have not only been 
shielded from the wide-spreading desolation, but have en- 
joyed an unusual degree of health and prosperity. 

Propitious seasons, a productive soil, and genial cli- 
mate, have crowned the labors of our industrious agri- 
cultural population with a bountiful reward for all their 
toil. Our barns and store-houses are filled with plenty, 
and the surplus products of our labor command a price 
which amply remunerates the laborer for all his care and 

Indeed, the various avocations which diversify the 
labor of our citizens find an ample and speedy reward, 
proportioned to the skill and industry employed. Most 
of our people cultivate their own freehold estate^ and are 
literally sitting under their own vines and trees, and none 
to make them afraid. Our prisons have no insolvent debt- 
ors — we have scarcely a pauper in the land, except a few 
who have become such from habits of intemperance. As 
a State, we enjoy the overflowing bounties of a beneficent 
Providence. On terms of amity with all governments, 
we are blessed with the quiet and peaceable possession of 
our long contested territorial rights, rapidly increasing in 
population and wealth, accumulating from the continual 
developments of the natural resources of our State. 

Our inexhaustible mines and minerals have opened a 
wide field for the employment of the most extensive science, 
skill and industry, which is drawing to our State, with ir- 
resistible impulse, capital, skill and enterprise from vari- 


ous parts of the world. Comparatively free from indi- 
vidual distress as well as exempt from public debt, our 
people are possessed of abundant means of promoting 
their individual happiness, as well as their political pros- 

In the midst of all these multiplied blessings it is truly 
mortifying to witness the restless spirit of agitation and 
political excitement which has been engendered and vig- 
orously kept up amongst the people, calculated, if not in- 
tended, to alienate their affections from their own beloved 
political institutions. That the value of our Federal Union 
should have become a familiar subject of calculation is 
truly alarming, and argues little for the patriotism of those 
who encourage discussions upon such a subject. 

Who could have believed, ten years ago, that, at this 
early day, we should have witnessed speculative discussion 
upon such a theme? Or that it could have become the 
leading topic of a certain class of politicians ? The Union 
of the States, ojie afid indivisible, is now no longer the 
motto of every American citizen ! These "signs of the 
times" speak volumes of admonition to every lover of 
constitutional liberty, and should fire the bosom and nerve 
the arm of patriotism in the cause of the Union. Not- 
withstanding these threatening evils, it is gratifying to 
see that our admirable system of free government, based 
upon the wall and affections of the people, continues to 
unfold the appropriate ability contained in its structure 
to withstand the assaults of foreign and domestic foes. 
The enemies of our Government, whether open or insid- 
ious, under whatever specious form or pretext, appear to 
be doomed to discomfiture whenever they attempt to alien- 
ate the affections of the people from that Government 
which is emphatically the offspring and nursling of their 
effort and care. 

The people may alter and change, as to them may 
seem fit ; but that they would destroy that mighty gov- 
ernmental fabric, reared by the toils and cemented by the 
blood of their fathers — merely for the aggrandizement of 
selfish demagogues and strife-stirring politiciau.s — is not 
to be expected. 

The spirit that guided our Washington has hitherto 
pervaded and saved our country. The champions of civil 
and religious liberty, of popular rights and constitutional 
government, have thus far succeeded and triumphed over 
all opposition. Therefore, we should not be dismayed at 
the symptoms of yielding integrity and treasonable ambi- 


tion which have been engaged in estimating the value and 
threatening the dissolution of our Federal Union. I am 
willing to charge the errors of all such rather to selfish 
delusion than traitorous designs ; and will therefore hope 
that the clouds which, at present, overshadow our politi- 
cal horizon may quietly pass away before they gather 
into a ruinous tempest. But it has been truly said that 
"the condition on which God granted liberty to man is 
perpetual vigilance." We, therefore, fellow citizens, as 
the sentinels of the people, should exercise the most un- 
ceasing vigilance, and suffer not ourselves to be led astray 
"by every wind of doctrine." Let us follow in the foot- 
steps and adhere to the doctrines of Washington, Jeffer- 
son and Madison, and, so far as the influence and example 
of Georgia will extend, our Republic will be safe. 

The drawing of the lotteries, which was in progress 
at the last session of the Legislature, was completed about 
the first of May last; and the act of the Legislature, pro- 
viding for the organization of ten new counties out of the 
territory thus disposed of, has been carried into effect ; 
and we have now a settled freehold population on every 
part of our territory competent to the administration of 
our laws, so far as to secure most of the blessings of our 
system to those whose enterprise has led them to become 
settlers in that interesting section of our State, hitherto 
the abode of a people wholly unqualified to enjoy the 
blessings of wise self-government. The accomplishment 
of this great and desirable object to our State has been at- 
tended at every step with the most unrelenting and ob- 
stinate opposition. The unfortunate remnants of the 
Cherokees have for years past been made the dupes and 
instruments of selfish and ambitious politicians, whose 
restless spirits have urged them to acts of mischief de- 
grading to humanity itself. In the early part of the pres- 
ent year another earnest and liberal effort was made by 
the President of the United States to effect a treaty with 
the Cherokees, having for its object their entire removal 
beyond the Mississippi, which object, it is believed, was 
defeated alone by a few of the interested half-breeds who 
are evidently under the influence of political men who 
stand opposed to the true interest of the Indians, as well 
as that of the State. The failure to effect a treaty has not, 
however, prevented a continuance of our efforts to ef- 
fect the object of removing the Indians at an early day 
as possible. Another opportunity for enrollment for emi- 
gration has been extended to such as may be disposed to 


remove ; and 1 am gratified to learn that many of the in- 
telUgent and influential among them have availed them- 
selves of the liberal terms proposed. Therefore, the day 
cannot be distant when the State will be entirely relieved 
from the perplexities occasioned by this portion of its 
population. It will, however, become the duty of the Leg- 
islature at its present session to revise and amend our 
laws providing for the government and protection of the 
Indians. Experience has already exposed many defects 
and ambiguities in the existing laws on this subject which 
should be speedily remedied. In our anxiety to provide 
for the welfare and protect the rights of this unfortunate 
race, we have in some instances given advantages to the 
native population over our white citizens ; which advant- 
ages, when exercised under the influence of selfish counsel, 
become oppressive to our white population who are, cer- 
tainly, not less entitled to the protection of our laws than 
the native race, however just may be their claims on the 
sympathies of an enlightened government. 

Under our existing laws the reservations of land se- 
cured to the natives during their pleasure are, in many 
instances, unreasonably large, and ought to be curtailed 
by judicious legislation. 

I would also claim the attention of the Legislature to 
another description of native claims, which involves con- 
siderations of the greatest importance to the interest and 
honor of the State. A class of the individuals, chiefly of 
<"he white and mixed blood, and who claim the right of 
natives within the limits of Georgia, are persons who, un- 
der the Treaties of 1817 and 1819, took valuable fee-simple 
reservations of the best land then ceded, under an ex- 
pressed written determination to become citizens of the 
United States, and, consequently, abandoning all their 
claims of rights or privileges as a part or portion of the 
Cherokee Nation. 

Nevertheless, these persons have since sold and dis- 
posed of their reserved lands, thus taken, for large con- 
siderations of money for their individual benefit, and have 
since gone into the country still occupied by the remnant 
of the Cherokees, and again made selections and settle- 
ments on the most valuable lands of that portion of their 
people who had not participated in an equal degree with 
themselves in the benefits of the treaties referred to. More- 
over, these very individuals, by their superior intelligence 
and advantages of education, have had the address to re- 
gain an influence over the Cherokees, whom thev had once 



abandoned to their fate, so far as to rule, govern and in- 
fluence them in all matters relating to their most impor- 
tant interest, and have been for years past, and continue 
to be, the prime and efificient cause of preventing the 
Cherokees from yielding to the liberal and beneficent 
plans of the Federal Government for removing them to 
the west of the Mississippi. The insolence and mischiev- 
ous influence of these individuals should no longer re- 
ceive the indulgence or countenance of extraordinary priv- 
ileges from the Federal or State Government, but should 
be treated by both governments as intruders of the most 
assuming character. 

The lands now in the occupancy of these persons un- 
der our existing laws ought to be granted to the drawers, 
who are the rightful owners and who have been restrained 
from the occupancy by the laws of the State now in force. 

These persons have already done their own people, 
the State of Georgia, and our common country great and 
serious injury. They have been the dupes and instru- 
ments, at home and abroad, of desperate political agita- 
tors, whose factious spirits are unbridled by the restraints 
of virtuous patriotism. 

A judicious and well regulated system of public econ- 
omy requires that the people and their representatives 
should be perfectly familiar with the financial condition 
and resources of the State. No branch of political econ- 
omy requires greater skill, wisdom and prudent forecast, 
in a government like ours, than that of devising the ways 
and means to meet the expenditures which popular opin- 
ion seems to demand. At this time the general voice of 
every political community is raised in favor of general 
education, as well as a liberal cultivation of the arts and 
sciences. Nor is the demand less urgent for the most 
splendid works of internal improvement. All this I deem 
to be proper enough — no one desires the advancement of 
the country in these important objects more than I do — 
but true dignity consists in living within our circum- 
stances ; and let us, therefore, scrutinize our means. The 
people of Georgia have long enjoyed the overflowing 
bounties of their rich and extensive territorial inheritance, 
but these advantages as a source of public revenue now no 
longer exist. The present financial resources of the State 
consists of a capital of about hvo and a half million of 
dollars, upwards of one million of which is composed of 
the stock owned by the State in four of our incorporated 
banks ; about one million of the notes of citizens discount- 


ed by the Central Rank ; and the balance of various items, 
including specie, bonds, notes, canal stock, and other evi- 
dences of debts due the State. In addition to the forego- 
ing, the State still has a scattered remnant of fractional 
lands which, by prompt and appropriate legislation, might 
be made available for public purposes. The aggregate 
annual profits accruing to the State at this time upon her 
various investments amounts to the sum of about 07ie 
hundred and twenty thousand dollars. 

This brief view of the present condition of the re- 
sources of the State will, at one glance, urge upon the 
consideration of the Legislature the necessity of adopt- 
ing such systematic financial operations as will direct the 
present course, and must determine the future prospects 
of the State. 

After much reflection, I would respectfully recommend 
to the General Assembly such legislation as may tend final- 
ly to bring all the public assets of the State under the im- 
mediate control and management of its own agent, the 
Central Bank ; and further to invest that institution with 
the necessary powers to enable it to act efficiently in the 
collection of the debts due the State. The present vested 
capital of the State should be conidered a permanent 
fund, the annual profits of which should be scrupulously 
applied to great public objects of acknowledged utility. 
And while the whole people are enjoying the benefits 
which are constantly flowing from this, their permanently 
vested capital, I would recommend that no more taxes 
be exacted from them than what may be sufficient to de- 
fray the ordmary expenses of an economical civil gov- 
ernment, which will be scarcely felt by the people, and 
at the same time serve to remind each individual, annually, 
that he is a citizen and component part of the Govern- 

Under the provisions of the act of the Legislature, 
passed on the 24th day of December last, a receiver of the 
assets of the Bank of Macon was appointed by the Execu- 
tive ; but the report of that agent will show that he has 
been wholly unable to effect the objects contemplated by 
the Legislature. The report, together with copies of the 
correspondence on the subject, is herewith submitted, and 
may aid the General Assembly in determining upon the 
expediency of further legislation on this subject — at least, 
it will become necessary to provide for the payment for 
services alreadv rendered, under the direction of the State, 


with a view to effect a fair and legal settlement of the af- 
fairs of said Bank. 

The dishonest and fraudulent management of banks, 
so frequently developed, admonishes the Legislature most 
urgently to interpose its entire constitutional authority 
to shield the people from the desolating effects of legal- 
ized swindling. During the last year the public confidence 
was greatly shaken in the soundness of the paper cur- 
rency of our State by the failure of the Bank of Macon ; 
and before the people had recovered from the shock and 
losses suffered by it, their fears and forebodings were 
greatly increased and confirmed by the failure of the Mer- 
chants and Planters Bank of Augusta. The developments 
already made in regard to the Bank of Macon evince the 
important fact that, if banks are not managed with fidel- 
ity and skill, the ruinous effects which must ensue will 
fall chiefly upon the honest and unsuspecting laboring 
class of society, who are unable to contend against the 
combination of legal subtilties which will always be united 
to divide the spoils of a disastrous bank corporation. 

Corruption on the part of a bank officer should be 
deemed a highly penal crime, and punished accordingly. 
Mv general views in relation to these institutions, and 
their connection with the public interest, remain un- 
changed ; and, having been fully communicated to the last 
General Assembly, I deem it unnecessary to reiterate the 
sentiments therein contained. Copies of all the bank re- 
ports made during the present year, under the provisions 
of our existing laws, are herewith submitted to the Leg- 
islature, which will enable the representatives of the peo- 
ple to judge of the present state and condition of these 
institutions, and will show to what extent they have com- 
plied with the requirements of the law. 

The history of our own time urges upon the considera- 
tion of every informed and reflecting citizen the indispens- 
able necessity of increased exertions to educate the ris- 
ing generation. We need some system which will pro- 
duce a general effect, and operate beneficially upon the 
whole community. Our republican institutions can never 
be considered safe and stable while a small number of in- 
dividuals, however talented, can lead and misguide whole 
communities to the very brink of ruin ! When the num- 
ber of educated men in a political community is so few 
as to be chiefly confined to one or two professions, who 
may, therefore, the more readily unite their efforts to 
control and direct societv, with a view to their own selfish 



aggrandizement, the liberties of the people must be en- 
dangered. The conservative influence of education is 
greatly needed in our State. The general system which 
may be best calculated to impart over our whole people 
the blessings of a competent business education cannot 
fail to promote individual happiness, as well as greatly 
to strengthen the bonds of our political institutions. 

It is not necessary that our sons should all be college 
bred gentlemen. I care not for names. If our children 
can receive adequate instruction in the solid and useful 
branches of science, it is immaterial with me whether 
they acquire it in universities, colleges, academies, ly- 
ceuni.s, work shops, or manual labor schools of any de- 
scription whatever. The great object to be effected is 
to give the plain working man an education which shall 
make him intelligent, virtuous and useful ; and which shall 
place him upon the ground of hopeful competition with 
the professional classes, who are assuming the lead in 
the entire government of the country. 

I rejoice at the gradual growth and increasing pros- 
perity of Franklin College. This State institution merits 
the continued patronage of our whole people — at this 
time I consider it entitled to the confidence of the peo- 
ple — and that it should receive the liberal support of their 
representatives. The literary and moral worth of the 
President and Faculty, together with the increased facili- 
ties of books and apparatus, afiford the most flattering as- 
surances of its future and permanent usefulness ; and I 
trust that our State may yet be remunerated for all she 
has or may expend in support of that institution. But in 
relation to our other expenditures for purposes of public 
education, I do not feel authorized to speak thus flatter- 
ingly ; for the annual expenditure of upwards of forty 
thousand dollars for the support of academies and poor 
schools, thoueh well intended, is, in reality, effecting but 
little good. It is obvious to me that we have experimented 
long enough upon our present system of academic and 
poor school education ; and that we should no longer be 
content with acknowledging existing imperfections, but 
that we should at once attempt an entire renovation of 
the system. In making this change, this important fact 
should be constantly kept in view : that to make educa- 
tion truly valuable, while the mind is cultivated and dis- 
ciplined, the pupil should be carefully trained to habits 
of industrv and moralitv. 


To make the rising generation better, wiser and hap- 
pier, and at the same time eradicate or diminish poverty, 
oppression and crime, should be the leading objects in 
establishing a general and well based system of public 
edvication. With a view to promote these great objects, 
I respectfully submit to the Legislature my deliberately 
formed opinion that, in order to insure success, it is indis- 
pensably necessary to connect with the education of our 
children regular and systematic manual labor. I believe 
that children in a well regulated institution, designed for 
useful education, should be taught various arts of lucra- 
tive labor ; so that in due time they may be able to earn 
a comfortable living by the labor of their own hands. 
From my observation on the subject of education, and 
from all the information I have been able to procure from 
others, I consider that system of education best which 
keeps youth most constantly employed, body and mind, 
and which exercises the most unceasing vigilance and 
control, day and night, excludes all vitiating associations 
and practices, and which superintends even the amuse- 
ments and social intercourse of the pupil. Another idea, 
not less important, urges upon our consideration the ex- 
pediency of connecting manual labor with a system of 
public education. The most vigorous constitution, with- 
out exercise, is soon wasted by disease and decay ; and a 
full development of the powers of the mind, in such cases, 
is rarely attained by the most diligent application. If 
" bodily exercise'' be thus ''Profitable" in the development 
of the physical and mental powers of youth, I consider 
employment in the mechanical arts, and especially agricul- 
ture, as being far preferable to those plays and pastimes 
which at present occupy so much of their time, and in 
which they engage without any sensible or rational ob- 
ject of utility whatever. A self-supporting system of 
education is also desirable from the important considera- 
tion that it is calculated to level those distinctions in so- 
ciety which arise from the inability of the poor to edu- 
cate their children in our existing institutions. In recom- 
mending a change of our system of poor school educa- 
tion I would, by no means, be understood as recommend- 
ing a reduction of the funds appropriated to that object, 
but as proposing such an improvement of the system as 
will more profitably employ that fund for the benefit of 
the poor, and as will have a tendency to bring them nearer 
to the level of the wealthy. 


Every year's experience affords additional evidence 
of the correctness of the views heretofore communicated 
to the Legislature, by myself and predecessors, in regard 
to the defective condition of our militia system. The 
Executive has not the power to correct these imperfec- 
tions which have so often been pointed out, without the 
co-operation of the Legislature. 

The reports of the keepers of the public arsenals at 
this place and Savannah are herewith transmitted. From 
an experiment made upon a few hundred of muskets 
which have been returned to the arsenal in this place, out 
of repair and greatly injured by rust, I find that the guns 
belonging to the State, in like condition, may be put in 
good order, at an expense of one dollar each. Would it 
not, therefore, be economy for the Legislature to provide 
for collecting and cleaning the scattered arms of the 

Under the authority of a joint resolution of the Gen- 
eral Assembly, approved on the 226. of December last, 
William Schley, John A. Cuthbert and Joseph Henry 
Lumpkin, Esquires, were appointed by the Executive "to 
prepare a plan for the Penitentiary buildings, digest a 
system of laws for its government and organization, and 
to revise and amend the penal laws of this State, so far 
as relates to the punishments which that code prescribes, 
and report the whole to the next General Assembly." 

I am apprised that the report of these gentlem.en is in a 
state of preparation, and will, in due time, be laid before 
the Legislature. 

Not having been directed to be submitted to the Exec- 
utive, but passing directly to the Legislature, I deem it 
inexpedient to venture a remark on the several impor- 
tant subjects embraced in the report. The character of 
these gentlemen as jurists justifies the expectation that 
the views to be submitted by them will be useful to the 
Legislature, and to the country, and as the preparation 
of their report has required much time and labor, it is 
therefore to be expected that they will be suitably com- 

The annual report of the Inspectors of the Penitentiary, 
required to be made to the Executive, in conformity with 
the provisions of the act of the last General Assembly, is 
herewith submitted. Since the report has been received 
at this department, there has not been sufficient time, 
from other indispensable duties, to investigate its details 
with that scrutiny which has heretofore been customary 


and which is always desirable. It is believed, however, 
that the operations of the past year have, under all the 
circumstances, been successfully conducted for the inter- 
est of the institution and of the State. In our efforts *to 
sustain the institution we should profit by past experi- 
ence, and introduce improvements as fast as circum- 
stances and a due regard to economy will admit. With 
one additional remark I will dismiss the subject of the Peni- 
tentiary, and that is : that our leading policy should be to 
make the institution maintain itself. The honest part of 
society feel a repugnance at the idea of laboring to sup- 
port the convicts of the penitentiary. Therefore, their 
comforts should be procured from their own labors which, 
under skilful management and good discipline, is the best 
means at our disposal for effecting the great objects of 
penal punishment by preventing crime and producing 

The reports of the superintendents of the public hands 
will present to the Legislature the operations, progress 
and success of that branch of the public service during 
the past year, and which, under all the circumstances, au- 
thorize the belief that the agents entrusted with the im- 
provement of our public roads are entitled to the public 
confidence and approbation. 

My general views, heretofore submitted to the Legis- 
lature on this subject, have undergone no change, but it 
devolves on the representatives of the people, and not on 
the Executive, to determine whether the present system 
shall be abandoned or be sustained by such legislation as 
has heretofore been suggested. 

No one can feel more gratified than myself at the mani- 
festation of the rising spirit of enterprise which has char- 
acterized the proceedings of our fellow citizens, in vari- 
ous parts of the State, in regard to the works of internal 
improvements. This spirit should not be checked, but 
encouraged by the Legislature. Every citizen and section 
of the State should have the lawful privilege of investing 
their capital according to their own views of profit — 
guarding, at the same time, the interest of the residue of 
the community from injury being sustained by any ex- 
clusive privileges which may be granted. Our past ex- 
perience, however, should admonish us to be cautious 
how we entangle the State, by becoming partners with 
individuals, or corporate bodies of men. Such associa- 
tions between government and its citizens are considered 
dangerous to equality and liberty. The favored capitalist 


who becomes a partner with the government rarely fails 
to assume some unusual consequence on account of the 
association ; and generally the result is that the govern- 
ment is left to bear the burthens of the concern, while 
the individual partners reap the whole profits, or aban- 
don the project before anything is advanced except by 
the Government. 

If the State should at this time determine to enter 
upon any great work of internal improvement it should 
be a central railroad through the entire State, beginning 
at the best emporium on our coast and proceeding from 
thence in a direction best calculated to benefit the largest 
portion of our population, to the base of the mountains. 
A well constructed railroad, through the centre of the 
State, being once completed, it would be speedily inter- 
sected by various roads from all parts of the State at the 
points most needed. The great highway of commercial 
intercourse being thus permanently established, nothing 
could then hinder the progress of internal improvement 
in Georgia, to the full extent which utility might dictate. 
To effect anything permanently useful it is necessary to 
concentrate the public mind to one great central object, 
which shall be considered and patronized as a State work, 
designed for the benefit of the whole people. The credit 
and resources of our State should not be expended upon 
local or partial works of internal improvement. Our com- 
mencement must necessarily be accurate surveys, upon 
which true estimates may be predicated, and this can onlv 
be obtained by the services of a skillful and well qualified 
engineer. In connection with this subject, the views of 
a highly respectable and numerous portion of our fellow 
citizens of Savannah and Macon, herewith submitted, are 
entitled to the most deliberate and respectful considera- 
tion; as also the report of the Commissioners, John G. 
Polhill, Hugh Lawson, and Moses Fort, Esquires, who, 
under a resolution of the last Legislature, were appointed 
and instructed to examine the port of Brunswick and the 
railroad avenue to Altamaha ; which report, and various 
other documents, are herewith laid before the General 

Savannah, the first settled point and long established 
emporium of our State, has, for years past, contended 
against a rivalry which has not only paralvzed her ad- 
vancement, but must eventually annihilate her prosperitv 
as an important commercial citv, unless she is sustained 
bv liberal legislation. 


Many considerations connected with our history as a 
State forbid the abandonment of our first and most im- 
portant seaport town, unless the interest of the great body 
of the people of the State shall require such a course. The 
great question which should now be settled is, whether 
the interest of the people of Georgia will be most effectual- 
ly promoted by a determination to sustain and build up 
Savannah, or whether we should look to Brunswick, 
Darien, or some other port, as possessing equal or supe- 
rior advantages. The reason why this question should 
now be settled is obvious. If we commence a great cen- 
tral channel of commerce, we should commence at the 
ocean and proceed to the mountains. The State should 
have but one work of this description on hand at a time ; 
and that should be directed with the single view of bene- 
fiting the greatest number of our citizens. Various con- 
siderations admonish every true Georgian to lay aside 
his local and sectional prejudices, and to exercise a mag- 
nanimous spirit of patriotic State pride, which will secure 
to himself and fellow citizens those commercial advant- 
ages, which the God of Nature designed for the people 
who should inhabit this favored portion of the confeder- 
acy. It would be mortifying, indeed, to see the immense 
products of our own State withdrawn from their natural 
channels of destination (our own extensive Atlantic coast 
to Charleston and the Gulf of Mexico) merely for the want 
of industry and enterprise on the part of our own citizens ! 
Not only the products of our own State should be shipped 
from our own ports, but, by timely and judicious meas- 
ures of internal improvement, a very considerable portion 
of the western trade might be drawn to the ports of Geor- 
gia, which is believed to be the best and most natural 
channel for much of that trade. The immense and super- 
abounding products of the great and fertile West are more 
than suf^cient to glut its only natural outlet. New Orleans, 
Therefore, the surplus products of that fertile region must 
necessarily seek a market elsewhere. Hence we have 
witnessed the successful efforts of New York, Pennsyl- 
vania, Maryland and lately Virginia and South Carolina, 
to obtain a portion of the Western trade by their canals, 
rail and turnpike roads. 

Should not Georgia strive for a part of this immensely 
valuable trade? The eastern counties of Tennessee are 
nearer to the coast of Georgia than any other Atlantic 
market, and it is confidently believed that if we had a suit- 
able channel of commerce, or, in other words, a good rail- 


road, from a seaport in Georgia to the mountains, it 
would be extended without delay to the heart of the great 
West. The great mountain barrier which separates the 
Western from the Atlantic waters can, it is believed, be 
more easily overcome, and at far less expense, in Georgia 
than in any other of the Atlantic States. 

Under the authority of a joint resolution of the Gen- 
eral Assembly, passed at the last session, William Nichols, 
Jr., Esq., a gentleman of high qualifications, was duly ap- 
pointed by the Executive, and has made the necessary 
surveys, to ascertain the practicability of a commercial 
communication between West Point, in Troup County, 
and the town of Columbus, which report is in a state of 
preparation, and will be laid before the Legislature at an 
early day of the present session. The information col- 
lected by this examination and survey will enable the Leg- 
islature to determine what can and ought to be done to 
improve the commercial facilities of that interesting sec- 
tion of the State. 

In pursuance of the provisions of a resolution, ap- 
proved the 24th December last, the improvements on the 
fractional surveys of the land in the Cherokee Territory 
have been rented for the present year, and the notes re- 
ceived for the rent have been deposited in this depart- 
ment, subject to the direction of the Legislature. The 
reports of the Commissioners who performed this duty 
are herewith submitted, and will alTord full and detailed 
information on the subject. Various resolutions, passed 
by the Legislatures of a number of States of the Union, 
on subjects of general concern, have been transmitted to 
this department, with a request that they should be laid 
before the General Assembly of this State, and are there- 
fore respectfully submitted for your consideration. Many 
of these documents are so voluminous that it has been 
found impracticable to furnish copies for the convenience 
of the respective branches of the Legislature ; the originals 
of such are, therefore, transmitted to the House of Repre- 
sentatives. No recommendation or comment on the part 
of the Executive is deemed necessary in regard to the 
resolutions submitted, except those passed by the Legis- 
lature of Alabama, on the subject of the boundary line be- 
tween that State and our own ; and those from the State 
of Pennsylvania, on the subject of the "entire abolition of 

The importance of an amicable, speedy and definite 
adjustment of the boundary line between Georgia and 


Alabama is too obvious to require argument ; and the plan 
proposed by the Legislature of Alabama is entitled to the 
respectful consideration of the representatives of the peo- 
ple of Georgia. The resolutions, together with the cor- 
respondence which has passed between the Executive of 
the two States, will urge the expediency of an early at- 
tention to this subject. And I would recommend to the 
Legislature a course which may afford full evidence that 
Georgia is prepared for the most ample investigation of 
her claims, and that she seeks nothing but that justice 
from others which will alone be satisfactory to herself. 

I concur with the public authorities of the patriotic 
State of Pennsylvania in respectfully recommending your 
cordial co-operation with the Legislature of that State, 
in efifecting the abolition of lotteries. 

The survey and settlement of the entire territory of 
the State having been accomplished, I would respectfully 
recommend to the Legislature that immediate provision 
be made for executing a splendid map of Georgia. In 
order to construct an accurate map of the State it will 
be necessary to cause a re-survey of the county lines of 
that part of the State situate between the Savannah and 
Oconee rivers. 

The numerous acts and resolutions of the last Legis- 
lature requiring the action of the Executive have received 
prompt and due attention, by carrying into effect the ob- 
jects contemplated by the Legislature, or by placing them 
in a course of execution, which, in due time, (as far as may 
be practicable) will insure their completion. 

A statement of Executive warrants drawn on the 
Treasurer during the political year 1833, ^"^ a list of 
Executive appointments made during the recess of the 
Legislature, are herewith submitted. 
Fellow Citizens : 

Under a deep sense of the magnitude of our responsi- 
bilities, suffer me to remind you that, as American citi- 
zens, a beneficent Providence has placed us upon a lofty 
eminence. The eyes of all the world are directed to the 
people of these United States. To us, as a people, has 
been entrusted, upon a large scale, the experiment whether 
the people can govern themselves without kings, nobility 
or standing armies. To usbelongsthe distinction of demon- 
strating that millions upon millions of free and equal citi- 
zens may dwell together in peace and prosperity, exercis- 
ing all the prerogatives of wise self-government, without 
tumult, anarchy or domestic wars. And to insure and 


perpetuate these inestimable privileges to our posterity 
we should always bear in mind that our people must be 
virhious and intelligent. Ignorance and vice are opposed 
to liberty. Religion, without religious establishments, af- 
fords the best guarantee of the perpetuation of our re- 
publican system. The principles inculcated by the Savior 
of man, in His sermon on the mount, will make a people 
obedient to laws emanating from themselves and admin- 
istered by a citizen magistrate of their own choosing, 
without the aid of mercenary legions, and the pomp and 
fiown which are the attendants of despotic and arbitrary 

That the creating power of the universe may clothe 
us with a spirit of republican simplicity, equality and lib- 
erty, and guide the onward march in that course of pol- 
icy which shall insure to posterity the unfading inheri- 
tance of equal rights and free governments, is the fervent 
prayer of 

Your fellow citizen, 


November 6th, 1833. 
Fellow Citizens : 

By the voice of the people I am a second time called 
to the Chief Magistracy of the State, and now appear be- 
fore you for the purpose of solemnizing the obligations 
which I am under to discharge, with fidelity, tiie duties 
of the high trust confided. Experience has not only taught 
me to feel the full weight of the responsibilities whicli were 
in the first instance anticipated ; but I am convinced that 
the most pure and zealovts devotion requires the aid aad 
support of the people to crown with success the efforts 
of any public functionary. 

My own abilities can eflfect but little good unless I 
am supported by my constituents ; but, however humble 
my pretentions may be, I shall be faithful to the laws and 
constitutions of my country, duly regarding the opinions 
of my fellow citizens, with whose seal of approbation I 
have been so often and highly honored. But with all my 
veneration for public opinion, and deep-felt gratitude for 
past confidence, I am ready, if it be necessary, to sacrifice 



my present standing upon the altar of my country's good, 
by sustaining the Democratic principles upon which I 
have acted throughout the whole of my public life. When 
the foundations of our Republic are in danger, personal 
and selfish calculations must be excluded. I shall move 
forward in the path of duty, regardless of consequences to 
myself. I shall shrink from the performance of no duty, 
however painful, and no responsibility, however severe. 

I shall look to the welfare of the whole State, and not 
consider myself the advocate of any local or private in- 
terest. I shall constantly bear in mind that we are all citi- 
zens of Georgia, as well as citizens of the United States 
— that we owe our allegiance to both governments — that 
both governments are ours, and are equally indispensable 
to our happiness, prosperity and liberty. That each should 
be kept strictly within their respective constitutional 
spheres, and, finally, that he who would destroy the sover- 
eignty of the States by consolidation, or the Federal 
Union by nullification, is a traitor to liberty, and deserves 
the universal execration of mankind. 

The foregoing having, at the time of its delivery, 
created some excitement, and gave rise to some animad- 
version in the Legislature, on the part of my opponents, 
and counter feelings and replies on the part of my friends, 
and attempts having often been made since to use the 
closing sentence in that address to my disparagement, I 
deem it proper here to state that, after a lapse of nearly 
twenty years, and after all excitement has passed away, 
I am not disposed to modify or change a single sentiment 
contained in that address. The oflfensive sentence reads : 
"That he who would destroy the sovereignty of the States 
by consolidaton, or the Federal Union by mdlification , 
is a traitor to liberty, and deserves the universal execra- 
tion of mankind." The obvious import of the sentence 
is, and, as I think, expressed without ambiguity : That 
the enemies to our Federal Union — those who desired its 
subversion, whether consolidaiioiiists or mdlifiers — de- 
served universal execration. Thus intending, in strong 
language, to express my abhorrence of both consolidation 
and nullification, as well as my devotion to the Union. 
I was accused of denouncing my opponents, the mdlifiers, 
as traitors, and as degrading my position in so doing. 
But my intention was to denounce doctrines which I deem- 
ed fatal to the harmony of the Union — consolidation no 
less than nullification; and to denounce those, and only 
those, who advocated those doctrines, with a design to 


destroy the Union. I have always believed that very 
many of the advocates of these extreme doctrines were 
amongst the most patriotic and devoted friends of our 
Federal Union. 

From the days of Alexander Hamilton to the present 
hour the leading men of the Federal party have, by a lib- 
eral construction of the constitution, and various other 
devices, exerted all their powers to enlarge and strength- 
en the powers of the Federal Government — to enlarge its 
sphere of action to an extent that would leave but little 
for the States to do. 

None but those who are familiar with the political 
scenes then transpiring from day to day can fully realize 
the true position which I occupied at this time. I was a 
most unwavering, decided States' Rights man, opposed to 
Federal usurpation and encroachments of every kind; and, 
as Governor of one of the sovereign States, I was every 
day in the full tide of successful experiment in putting 
down Federal usurpation within the limits of Georgia. 
But in the exercise of this State sovereignty over the In- 
dians within our acknowledged limits, none could point a 
finger to the violation of any clause in the Federal Con- 
stitution. I was only dispensing with a long assumed 
power of the Federal government in the management of 
Indian afifairs, and Indian rights, in one of the sovereign 
States of the Union. 

But, becaue I could not assent to the mystical doc- 
trines of nullification as the rightful remedy to correct the 
evils of the protective tarifif. I was accused of all sorts of 
inconsistency, and as contradicting my own words and acts 
at every step. Indeed, I found it exceedingly difficult to 
keep many of my friends and supporters from being mis- 
led by the efiforts of my opponents. I could, however, 
whenever a fair opportunity offered, satisfy any sensible 
man that our obsolete legislation for and over the Indians 
within our own State limits was one of our reserved rights 
which could not be conceded to the Federal Government ; 
and that the Federal Government dare not nullify our 
State laws upon this subject — all of which has been sus 
tained by subsequent history. But I will return to the 
anticipated order herein before suggested, and give my 
annual message of 1834. 



Executive Department, Georgia, 

Milledgeville, Nov. 4th, 1834. 

Fellow Citizens of the Senate and House of Representa- 
tives : 

You are now assembled as the immediate represen- 
tatives of a free and enlightened people, an intimate and 
minute knowledge of whose circumstances and wishes 
will be your best guide in all your official deliberations. 
Nevertheless, the Constitution makes it my duty to give 
you information of the state of the Republic, and to recom- 
mend to your consideration such measures as I may deem 
necessary and expedient. 

We are menaced by no foreign wars, or general calam- 
ity ; the blessings of bounteous Heaven are still heaped 
upon us in rich profusion ; and yet we are admonished to 
weigh well and scrutinize passing events, for the voice of 
political strife and discontent is still heard in our land. 
Whether the extraordinary political excitements of the 
present day originate from the corruption of men in of- 
fice, or from factions and ambitious demagogues who are 
rising up in every part of the country, must be decided 
by the unofificial sovereign people themselves. Guarded 
and balanced as is our form of government, I indulge no 
gloomy apprehensions for the result of any party contest, 
based upon political principle ; because I feel assured that 
the people will finally decide in favor of those principles 
which will best secure their rights and liberties. Selfish 
and factious combinations, however, advised and directed 
by ambitious leaders — having unity of action, but 
none of principle — may furnish the elements for political 
whirlwinds, tending to the destruction of every vestige 
of regulated liberty. The progress of our republican in- 
stitutions has, thus far, continued to exalt the American 
character throughout the civilized world. Here, the char- 
acter of man has been elevated by a general diffusion of 
that spirit of equality and liberty, based upon the true 
principles of philosophy, which discard the idea of all su- 
periority or distinction, save that which arises from in- 
trinsic merit and real worth of character. 

The love of liberty predominates in the breast of every 
American citizen. Let this love of liberty be regulated by 
a strict adherence to our fundamental laws, or constitu- 
tions, emanating from the people themselves, and the 


bright examples of our glorious institutions will, ere long, 
pervade the habitable globe. Whatever defects may be 
found in the Constitution of our country, it must be ad- 
mitted that our system, as a whole, guarantees the equal 
rights of the people, and secures to them the power of 
correcting, in a peaceable and constitutional mode, all 
mal-administration of their Government, and of faithfully 
enforcing the true spirit of their economical system. 

"The law is good, if a man use it lawfully ;" but good 
constitutions and good laws will be of but little value un- 
less they are faithfully administered. Under our system 
of government, the administration, whether for good or 
evil, depends upon the people themselves ; for the gov- 
ernment itself rests upon the shoulders of every free citi- 

The people, governing themselves through their con- 
stituted authorities, must, therefore, correct abuses, check 
usurpations, and aid and support those whom they have 
called to make and administer their own laws, in a faith- 
ful discharge of their official duties. 

In the administration of the laws of this State during 
the past year, no extraordinary embarrassment has oc- 
curred to the public authorities, or to the citizens, except 
that which has arisen out of the peculiar relation in which 
our remaining Indian population stand to the whites. 

When the necessity became obvious to our whole peo- 
ple of extending not only the jurisdiction of our State 
over our entire territory, but of surveying the whole, and 
granting most of our unlocated lands, with a view to its 
complete organization into counties, for the regular and 
efficient administration of the laws of the State, justice 
and expediency both demanded that liberal provision and 
ample reservations should be made in favor of the natives 
who still remained within the limits of our State. By a 
careful examination of the past legislation of the State 
upon this subject, it will be seen that the welfare of the 
Indians has never been lost sight of by the people of Geor- 
gia, or their public functionaries, where that welfare has 
not been brought in direct conflict with the exercise of 
the indispensable political rights of the State. 

The act of the General Assembly, passed the twenty- 
second day of December last, "More effectually to pro- 
vide for the government and protection of the Cherokee 
Indians," and for other purposes therein named, has met 
with considerable obstruction in carrying into eflfect the 
views and intentions of the Legislature, such opposition 


and obstruction as cannot be overlooked by the present 
Legislature, without prostrating the rights of our citizens 
and the sovereignty of our State at the feet of a combina- 
tion of interested individuals and half-civilized men, sup- 
ported and sustained, as they are, by the Judge of the Su- 
perior Courts of the circuit in which these Indians chiefly 
reside, and countenanced, at least, by a majority of the 
Judges of the Superior Courts of this State. The efforts 
of the Executive to have said act faithfully executed, and 
the instructions given to the agent appointed under its 
provisions, may be seen by reference to the documents ac- 
companying this message. These document? will also 
explain, in some degree, the nature of the obstructions 
alluded to. The injunctions sanctioned and sustained by 
the Judge of the Cherokee Circuit are believed to contain 
assumptions of power on the part of the Court never con- 
fided to any judicial tribunal in these United States, either 
by the Constitution of the United States, or of any one of 
the States of the Union. The Supreme Court, in the cases 
of Tassels and the Missionaries, by no means equalled 
the jurisdiction assumed in these injunctions. This power, 
too, has been assumed by a Judge, chosen by the repre- 
sentatives of the people for the sole purpose of adminis- 
tering the laws of the State in that particular circuit, yet 
has he sanctioned and sustained bills of injunction which 
go to deny the authority not of the law only, but the en- 
tire legislation of the State in that circuit. He has sanc- 
tioned and sustained bills which directly bring in ques- 
tion the validity of every law, and the legitimate func- 
tions of every department of our government — not even 
excluding the questions of his own judicial powers over 
the Cherokee Circuit. The Executive has found its au- 
thority, as well as that of the Legislature, not in a single 
instance only, but throughout their entire constitutional 
range, insultingly disputed and denied in these bills hav- 
ing the official sanction of the Judge of the Cherokee Cir- 
cuit. The questions, therefore, at issue, judging from the 
face of these bills, involve nothing less in magnitude than 
the opposing political rights of two people equally claim- 
ing and contending for the exercise of sovereign powers 
over a certain territory, or district of country. These 
sanctioned bills of injunction allege that the statute of 
Georgia referred to is null and void, because contrary to 
the Constitution of the United States, as well as the Con- 
stitution of Georgia. Indeed, the whole question embraced 
in these bills depends upon the right of the State of Geor- 


gia, in her legislative capacity, to enact the statute re- 
ferred to, providing for the government of the Cherokee 
Indians within the limits of the State, and equally extends 
to her entire legislation on the subject. 

In confirmation of the view which I have taken of 
these transactions, it is understood, from the highest 
sources of information, that the counsel for the Cherokees 
in the argument of these cases, especially the one brought 
before the Convention of Judges, relied mainly on the un- 
constitutionality of the act of 1833. The argument upon the 
subject having long since been exhausted, and the ques- 
tion having been abandoned by the most respectable of 
those who heretofore contended for the national sover- 
eignty and independence of the aboriginal tribes, I deem 
it unnecessary to reiterate upon the present occasion the 
conclusive arguments which might be adduced to silence 
the pettifogging attempts which are now confined to our 
own limits and jurisdiction. If the laws of Georgia, en- 
acted by the immediate representatives of her people, 
violative of no constitution, human or Divine, can be nul- 
lified by a few interested lawyers, and one solitary Judge, 
then, indeed, it is a vain boast for the people of Georgia 
to talk of their sovereign rights and powers. Georgia, 
having nobly and successfully vindicated her local and 
territorial rights for more than a half a century against 
Federal usurpation and foreign intermeddling, until op- 
position to a free exercise of those rights no more inter- 
rupts her peace from abroad, is, nevertheless, at this mo- 
ment harassed, annoyed and retarded in her policy by her 
own citizens, whose first duty it is to aid in the faithful 
execution of the laws of the State. 

It was obviously the intention of the last Legislature 
that the grantees of all land authorized to be granted 
should immediately go into the possession of their lands, 
and that the same act which authorized the grants to be 
issued made it the duty of the courts to protect them in 
the peaceable and unmolested possession of the same. 
But, so far from these citizens being sustained in the 
rights and privileges guaranteed to them by an expressed 
statute of the State, they have, without evidence, without 
a trial by jury, been prohibited from entering into the en- 
joyment of their possessions, by the extraordinary and 
arbitrary mandate of the Judge of the Superior Courts 
of the Cherokee Circuit. Instead of the Indian complain- 
ants seeking a remedy for their supposed wrongs at com- 
mon law, to which they were entitled, they have resorted 


to what is termed a court of equity in cases not proper 
for the action of such a court, and have been sustained 
by the unauthorized exercise of the extraordinary power 
of that court, in prohibiting our citizens, under severe 
penalties, from the exercise of their legal rights, on the 
partial and one-sided statements of Indians who were in- 
terested ; and that, too, before the opposing claim had 
been submitted to the honest and independent decision 
of a jury. The deprecated effect produced by the conduct 
of a Judge in reference to these bills has been to revive 
the delusive and expiring hope of the Cherokees that they 
would be sustained in their unreasonable pretentions to 
the rights of independent self-government, within the 
chartered limits of Georgia. They have seen our own 
citizens vindicating their extravagant pretentions with a 
zeal bordering on fanaticism, and denouncing the author- 
ities of the State, merely for a faithful, yet mild, adminis- 
tration of the law. 

Thus, their visionary prospects of success have en- 
couraged and strengthened all their former prejudices 
against the people and government of Georgia. 

In the midst of these strifes, the President of the 
United States, with his unfaltering fidelity to the true in- 
terest of the Indians, as well as to the States, made an- 
other efifort to settle these long-standing perplexities with 
the Cherokees, by causing a treaty to be entered into with 
a delegation of that tribe then at Washington, the terms 
of which were unparalleled in liberality to the Indians. But, 
for reasons best known to that body, the Senate of the 
United States declined acting upon the treaty, and conse- 
quently the object of the President has thus far been im- 
peded. Nevertheless, the important object of the removal 
of the Cherokees has not been abandoned. The liberal 
terms embraced in the treaty are still open to the Indians. 
But, from all the information in the possession of this de- 
partment, it is believed that these perplexities will never 
be brought to a happy issue, so long as the Indians are 
induced to believe that the laws of the State and its pol- 
icy towards them can be thwarted, evaded, and overruled 
by their white friends in Georgia, aided by our own State 

The correspondence, and other documents herewith 
submitted to the General Assembly will tend to exhibit 
the true character and causes of the various excitements 
which have been produced in the Cherokee section of the 
State during the past year, as also the manner in which 


they have been disposed of by the Executive, in the ab- 
sence of appropriate legislation to meet such cases. By 
a careful examination of these papers it will be seen that 
many of our citizens have been exposed to all the appre- 
hensions of savage ferocity. While it may be admitted 
that the fears of the community have been in some in- 
stances indulged to an unreasonable extent, yet it is not 
to be concealed that many individuals have been exposed 
to apprehensions and great hazards, several horrid mur- 
ders having been committed upon unoflfending citizens 
and distinguished natives who were favorable to the pol- 
icy of the Government upon the subject of emigration, 
while others have but narrowly escaped attempts equally 
bold and daring. Although the Indian rulers who still 
remain in Georgia have been deprived by our laws of the 
formality of ruling their people, it is nevertheless true 
that they continue to control and govern a portion of 
them in the most absolute manner ; and I have reason to 
believe that, through the instrumentality of these dictators, 
aided and countenanced as they are in all their schemes 
of controversy by a portion of our own citizens, the lives 
of some of the government agents, as well as of some of 
the principal Cherokees who are favorable to emigration, 
have been threatened, and perhaps at this time they are 
in danger of massacre. Such an enemy as this ought not 
to be permitted to repose in the bosom of the State. So 
long as it is tolerated we are exposed to insurrections 
and commotions which can only be suppressed when too 
late to avoid the effusion of human blood. If the mild 
laws heretofore enacted and designed to suppress these 
evils in a peaceable way have been so perverted as to in- 
crease them, the time has assuredly arrived when more 
'appropriate and efficient legislation is called for. 

The Legislature has an unquestionable right to make 
it a highly penal crime for any citizen or inhabitant of 
this State to advise, aid, or counsel, in any measure, or 
issue or serve any process, which shall bring in question 
before any tribunal of this State, or of the United States, 
our rights of sovereignty and jurisdiction over our entire 
population and territory. 

I consider the reserved rights of the States of this 
confederacy a chief pillar of American liberty ; and, if 
properly understood and exercised, they will tend to per- 
petuate union and liberty to our unborn posteritv. To 
secure these rights, it is a matter of the first importance 
that the constitutional laws of the State should be faith- 


fully executed. We should not permit their execution to 
be defeated by any artifice or combination whatever. No 
citizen should be permitted, directly or indirectly, to en- 
courage rebellion against, or resistance to, the constitu- 
tional sovereignty and jurisdiction of the State which se- 
cure to him the inestimable blessings of our republican 

It is with the most scrupulous and profound respect 
for the judiciary, as a co-ordinate department of the gov- 
ernment, that I have felt myself reluctantly compelled to 
submit the foregoing strictures to the General Assembly 
upon the conduct of the Judge of the Superior Courts of 
the Cherokee Circuit. Nor is it the design of the Execu- 
tive in any manner whatever to encroach upon the judi- 
cial department of the Government. But a deep sense 
of official duty, and a fixed and unalterable determination 
to maintain the rights of the State, from whatever quar- 
ter, and under whatever disguise they may be assailed, 
compel me to perform my duty to my constituents, re- 
gardless of all personal considerations. 

The several applications made to the last General As- 
sembly for the incorporation of railroad companies were 
granted upon terms of liberality which induced the be- 
lief that the dormant spirit of the people of Georgia, on 
the important subject of internal improvement, was arous* 
ed to a sense of their true interest ; and before the pres- 
ent day it might have been expected that preliminary 
steps would have been taken, calculated to ensure the 
accomplishment of the most important results to the pub- 
lic. But, so far as I am informed, with the exception of 
the progress made by the Georgia Railroad Company, lit- 
tle has been efifected. That company, however, appear to 
have been engaged in laudable and active efforts, calcu- 
lated to induce the belief that, to a considerable extent, 
the object of the association will, at no distant day, be 
carried into effect. As to the particular progress and 
prospects of the company, however, I have no informa- 
tion, except that which has been spread before the public. 
Should these companies fail to avail themselves of the 
exclusive benefits and privileges secured to them by their 
charters, it will then be vain for the people of Georgia 
any longer to flatter themselves that general benefits will 
shortly accrue to the community from projects of internal 
improvements which are dependent for their execution 
upon the enterprise and capital of private citizens. 


Under the existing aspect of things relating to the 
subject of internal improvement, and considering the 
great interest which the State has at stake, dependent 
upon the movements of the present time, the question pre- 
sents itself with great force to the consideration of the 
present General Assembly whether the ample resources 
of the State shall not, to a liberal extent, be applied at 
once to this important object. The resources of the State 
heretofore set apart and pledged for purposes of public 
education and internal improvement should never be di- 
verted into any other channel of expenditure, under any 
pretense whatever. But these funds, accumulated as they 
were from the public, should be scrupulously applied to 
these admitted objects of first utility. Indeed, I enter- 
tain no doubt but that a wise and prudent policy, directed 
by an enlightened forecast, would suggest the expediency 
of greatly enlarging our views in regard to the applica- 
tion of our resources to these objects, before the means 
of doing so shall have passed beyond our control. If the 
whole moneyed resources of the State, in whatever they 
may consist, could be judiciously applied to purposes of 
education and internal improvement, it could not fail to 
effect a present and permanent blessing to the people of 
Georgia. The facilities of commerce and the benefits of 
education, being brought to the door of every citizen, are 
objects of far greater importance to the people than that 
of granting partial loans of money from the public chest 
to a few thousand citizens dispersed over the State. 

It must be admitted that the large sums of money 
heretofore expended upon roads and rivers in this State 
having effected but little permanent good, yet this affords 
no just ground for discouragement, for, when we look 
through the history of our efforts on this subject, we shall 
perceive that we were only pursuing the examples of older 
and more experienced communities. Most of the old 
States of the Union, as well as the most enlightened coun- 
tries of Europe, were, until within a very few years past, 
expending their wealth upon projects of internal improve- 
ment which, if not entirely useless, are, at this day of light 
upon this subject, considered a most improvident waste 
of time and treasure. 

The superior advantages of railroads over every other 
description of expensive works of internal improvement, 
and as being best suited to most parts of our country, 
seem now scarcely to be questioned. Experience, the 
surest and best test, is rapidly settling public opinion on 


this subject; and it is therefore deemed to be unnecessary 
at this time to enter upon a discussion of their relative 
superiority. After the most mature consideration, I have 
no hesitancy in reiterating the often expressed opinion 
that the only great work of internal improvement which 
would be entitled to the support of our whole population, 
and which could be expected to concentrate the resources 
and energies of the State, would be a central railroad, 
commencing on our own seaboard and running thence 
to the centre of the State (or as nearly so as may be ex- 
pedient), with a view of ultimately extending the line, 
through the interior, to our northwestern boundary, so 
as eventually to draw a considerable portion of the im- 
mense trade of the great and fertile West to our own sea- 
board. Moreover, such a work, executed by Georgia, 
would be advancing in the line of the splendid project of a 
direct railroad communication connecting the Mississippi 
with the Atlantic, and would tend to ensure the success 
of that gigantic conception ; which result could not fail 
to make our railroad stock immensely valuable, and at 
the same time increase the individual wealth of our citi- 
zens to an extent far beyond the conception of those who 
have not maturely considered and investigated such sub- 
jects. The facilities thus afforded to commerce would 
give new springs to every branch of industry throughout 
the State. 

I entertain the opinion that the day is not far distant 
when the commercial advantages and disadvantages of all 
the principal Atlantic cities of the United States will ap- 
proximate much nearer to the same standard than they 
do at present. The progress already made by works com- 
pleted and now under contract in the diflferent States of 
the Union, fully justifies the belief that all the principal 
Atlantic cities, from New York to New Orleans, will, be- 
fore the present generation shall have passed away, be 
brought near together by one continuous line of the best 
constructed railroads, except short spaces supplied by 
steamboat navigation. This being effected, the great 
question with the producer and merchant of the interior 
will be, "How shall I get to the Atlantic in the shortest 
time, and with the least expense and risk?" Then there 
will be but little reason to enquire whether Savannah ofi* 
Charleston will afford the best market, both being brought 
so near to the same standard. 

Under this view of the subject it appears to me that 
the great importance of a direct railroad from our prin- 


cipal seaport town, through the centre of the State, and 
ultimately to be extended to the Mississippi river, must 
force itself with deep conviction on the mind of every re- 
flecting individual. Such a road, if speedily executed, 
could not fail to give to our State a great commercial im- 
porium, surpassed by few, if any one, on the entire At- 
lantic. It would concentrate the interest and energies of 
our whole people to one great and definite object, worthy 
of the support of all, because designed for the benefit of 
all. This important point being settled into one definite 
object, all minor works of internal improvement would be 
planned and executed in reference to it, without incurring 
the hazard attendant on new schemes of enterprise, which 
are so apt to divert and unsettle the public mind. 

The great difBculty of executing a State work of the 
description now under consideration arises from the fact 
that competent and faithful agents and superintendents 
are not always to be readily procured. The best method of 
obviating this evil will be to limit the entire responsibility 
to a contracted circle of individuals, enjoying the public 
confidence in a high degree, and who would be able to 
give the most ample security for their fidelity to the pub- 
lic interest. Great as the undertaking may appear, I feel 
no hesitancy in saying that the resources and credit of 
the State are ample, and that whatever may be judiciously 
applied to effect the object will be loaning the public 
money at a rate of usury which could not fail to reimburse 
the treasury many fold for every dollar thus expended. 

On the momentous question of public education, my 
views have been so frequently and so fully presented to 
the Legislature that I do not deem it important on the 
present occasion to reiterate at large my unchanged opin- 
ions. The wisest men of the age in which we live, after 
the most profound research and patient experiments, have 
in various forms laid before the reading public all that 
kind of information which is deemed necessary to enable 
the statesman to modify existing systems of education, 
and adapt them to the aspects and exigencies of the com- 
munity for whose benefit he legislates, and of whom he 
forms a component part. We may not reasonably cal- 
culate on a continuation of the liberty and national pros- 
perity hitherto vouchsafed to us as a people, without pro- 
viding amply for the diffusion of knowledge commensur- 
ate with the increase of our population, and for corre- 
sponding improvements in all the arts and sciences cal- 
culated to elevate and adorn the human character. 


In our country this diffusion of knowledge must be 
based upon some general system which will place com- 
mon education within the grasp of every child ; and to 
effect this very desirable object it is firmly believed that 
the connection of manual labor with school studies prom- 
ises the greatest and most salutary improvement upon all 
former plans. I confess I look to the introduction of 
manual labor as a part of the system of all public schools 
to be the only hope of general success in our section of 
the Union. It is worse than useless to attempt to educate 
our children in any mode tending to confirm habits of 
idleness, or to excite hopes and expectations of procur- 
ing the comforts of life, without industry and labor. The 
superior advantages of this system are no longer matters 
of mere theory, but have been satisfactorily tested in many 
of the most respectable academies and colleges ; and the 
association of manual labor with the common courses of 
study is now universally admitted to be of the first im- 
portance in strengthening and invigorating the intellect, 
as well as improving the morals of the student. More- 
over, such association cannot fail to create and cherish 
a proper sympathy for the plain realities of life, so neces- 
sary to the virtue and happiness of mankind. Unless 
labor is connected with education, the poor must chiefly 
be excluded from our schools and colleges — none but the 
wealthy being able to incur the expenses incident to class- 
ical education. But let it be understood the industrious 
student may work his way to the highest literary distinc- 
tion — that the highway to fame is no longer hedged up to 
the poor — and you will have aroused the sleeping energies 
of the most important, because the most numerous, class 
of every community. 

Every year affords additional evidence that our Uni- 
versity is justly rising in the estimation of the public. The 
judicious administration of affairs of that institution, un- 
der the government of its present faculty, entitles it to the 
confidence and support of an enlightened community. I 
am sanguine in the belief that Franklin College is destined, 
at no distant day, to equal the fondest anticipations of 
its best friends, when it may justly be considered a rival 
of the best literary institutions in our widely extended 
country. Indeed, I consider it doubtful whether our sons 
can anywhere, at this time, spend the short course of four 
years' college instruction to greater advantage than at 
Franklin College. 


The general impression which pervades the public 
mind, that the almost exclusive object of a college edu- 
cation is to multiply lazvyers and doclors, has a most per- 
nicious effect upon the success and advancement of the 
institution. It has occurred to me that the most effectual 
means of obviating this injurious impression would be to 
provide amply for the endowment of the most appropriate 
professorships for preparing the students to become able 
and competent teachers in our academies, manual labor 
institutes, and other schools, and, at any rate, to prepare 
our sons to become scientific artisans and agriculturists. 
I consider it altogether an erroneous idea that it requires 
less mind or less learning to make an accomplished farm- 
er or artisan than would be considered requisite to make 
a current lawyer or doctor ; and it is to be feared that ag- 
riculture, the parent of every other art, is destined to lan- 
guish in our State, unless sustained by the devotion of the 
best talents, learning, and practical skill. 

The reports made by the several banks of this State, 
in conformity to law, including that of the Central Bank, 
are herewith submitted to the Legislature. 

The examination into the condition of the Darien 
Bank, and its branches, authorized by the last General 
Assembly, I regret to say, has not been effected. The 
Executive correspondence in relation to this subject will, 
to a considerable extent, explain the causes of the failure. 
The gentlemen first selected having all declined the serv- 
ice, and the great difficulty of obtaining the services of 
qualified individuals — taking into view residence, and other 
important considerations — wore away the season until it 
was found wholly impracticable to effect the object of the 
Legislature. The importance of the information contem- 
plated to be obtained by the examination authorized by 
the Legislature is greatly increased from the facts that 
the State is largely interested in the capital of said bank, 
and that the question of a recharter will, in all probability, 
be determined by the present General Assembly. 

The discussions and developments of the last six years 
upon the subject of the banking institutions of our coun- 
try have contributed much to enlighten the public mind 
in regard to the true character and general management 
of such institutions. The effects have been such as might 
have been anticipated in an enlightened and intelligent 
community. The banks of our country, from the United 
States Bank down to the most petty State corporation, 
have lost much of the public confidence and favor, and the 


people are becoming more and more distrustful of these 
engines of power and selfish speculation. Experience has 
shown that these incorporations not only possess, but 
have exerted, the power to drain from the country the 
constitutional hard money currency, and substitute in lieu 
thereof the joint stock notes of corporate companies, 
which are liable to bankruptcy from the mere forebodings 
of being called on to pay their just debts, and that, under 
cover of their chartered privileges, the most extensive 
frauds are sometimes practiced upon an unsuspecting 

In regard to the banks of our own State, it may be 
justly remarked that the exhibits made of their condition 
will bear an honorable comparison with those of similar 
institutions in perhaps any State in the Union ; and that 
most of them continue to deserve the public confidence. 
This confidence, however, should by no means abate the 
vigilance of the General Assembly in guarding the people 
against the evils consequent upon the abuses of banking 
privileges. The slightest failure on the part of these in- 
corporations to comply with the requirements of the law 
should not be overlooked in silence, and a bank that once 
corruptly violates its charter should never again be recom- 
mended to the public confidence by any act or resolve of 
the Legislature. 

All my reflections upon the tendency of banking oper- 
ations have but confirmed the opinion that the latitude 
heretofore given to such corporations, in the unguarded 
terms of their charters, has furnished the temptation to 
the most hazardous extension of their credit, and opened 
the door to the most fraudulent speculations. Hence I 
conclude that, as a general rule, it is far better, for the 
public security, to incorporate new banks, under proper 
restrictions, than to recharter old ones. 

Under the provisions of the act of the General As- 
sembly, passed in December last, the negroes and other 
property appertaining to the road service have been dis- 
posed of on terms highly advantageous to the State. Ac- 
cording to the reports of the agents who transacted this 
business, it appears that the amount of the sales was, in 
the aggregate, one hundred and eighteen thousand one 
hundred and forty-eight dollars and thirty-seven cents ; 
all of which sum has been deposited in the Central Bank, 
in terms of the law, in notes discounted and cash — except 
the sum of four thousand four hundred and seventy-seven 
dollars and ninety-five cents — a part of which remains un- 



settled on account of an error committed in the amount 
of a note taken by one of the agents, and a difficulty which 
arose on account of the unsound health of one of the ne- 
groes. The balance of said deficit remains to be account- 
ed for by the agents, Messrs. Lyman and Powell. The 
number of negroes sold was one hundred and ninety- 
eight, leaving eight runaw^ays to be disposed of when ap- 
prehended. A competent agent, Francis M. Stone, Esq., 
of Savannah, was appointed to have these fugitives ap- 
prehended and sold, according to the provisions of the act 
of the Legislature herein before referred to ; and I am gra- 
tified to have it in my power to state that most of them 
have been apprehended, and probably before this time 
have been sold. The net profits, however, of the sale of 
these runaway slaves will be comparatively small, after 
deducting the expense of their apprehension and jail fees, 
physician's bill, and other incidental charges. I would re- 
spectfully suggest to the General Assembly that the sev- 
eral agents who have performed the responsible duty of 
disposing of these negroes in the terms of the law, so much 
to the interest of the State, are justly entitled to a suit- 
able remuneration for the unpleasant, expensive, and high- 
ly responsible duties which they have discharged, and 
which were by no means suitably provided for by the act 
of the Legislature which authorized the sale of the public 
hands. It may not be improper to add that I am convinced 
that these gentlemen were induced to undertake the dis- 
charge of these duties from public considerations, under 
a full conviction that the law did not make adequate pro- 
vision to compensate them for the duties and responsibil- 
ities imposed upon them. 

Under the authority of a joint resolution of the late 
General Assembly, John A. Cuthbert, James A. Meri- 
wether, and Philip T. Schley, Esqs., w^ere appointed by the 
Executive to revise, correct, and consolidate the militia 
laws of this State, or, in their discretion, to draft a new 
code, and their report may be expected at an early dav of 
the present session, when it will be immediately laid be- 
fore the Legislature. The reports of the keepers of the 
arsenals are herewith submitted ; from which it will be 
seen that our supply of arms and other munitions for pub- 
lic defence are extremely limited, and that volunteer com- 
panies cannot receive further supplies without legisla- 
tive provision. I have had occasion heretofore to remark 
to the General Assembly upon the condition of that por- 
tion of the public arms which had been distributed to vol- 


unteer companies in past years, and which companies had 
been dissolved, leaving their arms in a scattered and ruin- 
ous condition. The bonds taken and filed in this depart- 
ment, for the safe keeping and return of these arms, may 
be regarded as being of little value, from the circum- 
stances of the death or the removal of the makers and 
their securities. It remains, therefore, for the Legisla- 
ture to make the best disposition of this wasting of pub- 
lic property. If it should be thought expedient to collect 
and put in order arms of this discription, suitable and def- 
inite legislation is deemed to be indispensable. The ex- 
perience we have had, however, in cleaning and repairing 
defective guns, induces the belief that it would be most 
expedient to provide for disposing of this portion of pub- 
lic property in the respective neighborhoods where it is 

No appropriation having been made by the last Gen- 
eral Assembly to defray military expenses, and former 
appropriations having been exhausted, the pay allowed by 
law to Division and Brigade Inspectors remains unset- 
tled. It therefore becomes the duty of the Legislature to 
provide, at an early day, for the payment of these claims ; 
as also to make the necessary appropriation to meet the 
ordinary expenses in this branch of the public service. 

The success which has attended the management of 
the Penitentiary since its re-establishment entitles that 
important public interest to a due share of legislative con- 
sideration. The adaptation of our new criminal code to 
this humane system of punishment, taken in connection 
with the judicious management of the present Principal 
Keeper, Charles C. Mills, Esquire, has tended to re-estab- 
lish and confirm public opinion in favor of this mild yet 
efficient mode of correcting the vicious habits of depraved 
men. Under all the circumstances, the operations of the 
past year have been more favorable than could have been 
reasonably anticipated. The various disadvantages which 
have operated upon the business of the year will be pre- 
sented in the reports of the Inspectors and the Principal 
Keeper, which satisfactorily account for the deficiency 
in the profits of the institution to meet the current ex- 
penses of the year. It is believed that the institution will 
continue to be able to sustain itself without aid from the 
Treasury for ordinary support. 

Upon examination, however, it will be obvious that its 
prosperity and best success require that ample provision 
should be made for erecting suitable buildings, or shops, 


for carrying-on to the greatest advantage the different 
branches of business pursued in the institution. Moreover, 
its present Hmited means will not justify a timely procure- 
ment of such supplies of timber as require several years 
of seasoning to be fit for use. 

The most pleasing reflection connected with the pres- 
ent management and the future prospect of our Peniten- 
tiary establishment is the settled conviction that it is not 
only a house of correction but of reforrnation ; and that 
it is susceptible of such management as to reclaim many 
of the most vicious from habits of vice, and turn them to 
paths of virtue and usefulness. Out of fifty-four convicts 
who have been discharged during the last three years 
(which number includes those who have been pardoned, 
as well as those who have served out their sentences), I 
have good reason to believe that a large majority of them 
are at this time pursuing a virtuous life, and many of them 
established in business, with fair prospects of success — 
only one of this number has been recommitted. 

This favorable result has induced the belief that, as 
soon as the profits of the institution will afford it, some 
portion of the earnings of the convicts Avho conduct them- 
selves well to the end of their confinement should be 
given to them when discharged, to enable them with more 
facility to establish themselves in the respective trades 
they may have acquired. 

By a joint and approved resolution of the last General 
Assembly the memorial of John J. Flournoy, praying the 
establishment of a suitable institution for the education 
of the deaf and dumb, was referred to the Executive, for 
the purpose of obtaining the necessary information to en- 
able the present Legislature to enter upon an investiga- 
tion of the subject, wath the aid of such practical results 
as might lead to a judicious decision. In order to meet 
the washes of the Legislature, a timely correspondence 
was opened with the Governors of several of the States 
having most experience on this subject. The correspond- 
ence, together with the documents received, is herewith 
submitted to the General Assembly, and will afford the 
most ample information on the subject. 

To Governor Foot, of Connecticut, and Lewis Weld, 
Esq., Principal of the Deaf and Dumb Institute of that 
State, we are chiefly indebted for the valuable document- 
ary information obtained upon this most interesting sub- 
ject. The deaf and dumb are an unfortunate but inter- 
esting class of individuals in every community, and are 


justly entitled to the munificent care and special regards 
of their more fortunate and highly favored fellow citizens. 
Therefore, the subject commends itself to the respectful 
consideration of the Legislature. 

While our thoughts are turned to the abodes of the 
unfortunate, I would avail myself of the occasion most 
earnestly to invite the serious attention of the General 
Assembly to another class of individuals who are to be 
found in every community, and who deserve to be among 
the first objects of legislative care and attention. I al- 
lude to idiots, lunatics, and insane persons of every de- 
scription. Every government, possessing the means, 
should, without hesitancy or procrastination, provide 
suitable asylums for these most distressed and unfortun- 
ate of human beings. 

The repairs and improvements authorized to be made 
to the State House are chiefly completed, and have been 
executed in a style creditable to the contractors. The 
work not being entirely finished, and final settlements not 
having been made with the undertakers, I am unable at 
this time to state the actual cost, but feel confident that 
the appropriation made by the last General xA-ssembly will 
not cover the expenses necessarily incident to the repair 
and improvements contemplated to be made ; for, al- 
though the contract was undertaken and estimated at an 
amount less than the sum appropriated, yet considerable 
additional labor has necessarily grown out of the pro- 
gress of the work, which, being unforeseen, could not be 
provided for specially in the contract. In this extra and 
additional labor is included the repairs of unavoidable in- 
juries done to the building by rains during the progress 
of re-covering it. By an examination of the various apart- 
ments of the building it will be seen that they are insuf- 
ficient to contain in a proper state of preservation the 
vast accumulation of books and papers, and other append- 
ages belonging to the public offices. I would therefore 
recommend to the Legislature that a sufficient appropri- 
ation be made during the present session to put an addi- 
tion to the south end of the building, corresponding with 
that of the north. This is deemed indispensable, not only 
to the preservation of the public records, but to the sym- 
metry and general appearance of the whole building. The 
plastering in some of the rooms and entries having been 
considerably defaced, and cosiderable painting being nec- 
essary to preserve, as well as ornament, the interior of 
the building, I would recommend that, if the proposed ad- 


dition should be authorized, the appropriation should be 
sufficient to embrace these last items of expense, in order 
that the entire building may be in a complete state of re- 
pair. This being done, the appearance of this important 
public edifice will be viewed by every Georgian with be- 
coming pride and pleasure. 

I would respectfully recommend to the General As- 
sembly an entire revision and consolidation of the several 
tax laws of this State. The various detached and amenda- 
tory acts on this important subject have introduced am- 
biguity and uncertainty in the construction and execu- 
tion of laws which, of all others, should be most clear and 
explicit in their provisions. The necessity of legislation 
upon this subject is clearly demonstrated from the fact 
that mistakes have already been committed in several of 
the counties of this State in regard to the legal amount 
to be levied and collected from the people. While upon 
this important subject, it is worthy the consideration of 
the Legislature whether a more equitable mode of tax- 
ation might not be devised than that prescribed in our 
existing system: that capital, in whatever it may con 
sist, which yields the greatest profit can best afford to 
bear the burthens of taxation. Yet the question has often 
been asked, and not without reason : "Why may not the 
entire property, capital and cash estate, of every citizen, 
in whatsoever it may consist, be taxed according to its in- 
trinsic or estimated value?" Upon mature reflection, I 
am compelled to admit that our selection of objects of 
taxation fails in arriving at that true standard of justice 
and equity which is believed to be attainable. 

In pursuance of the provisions of a joint resolution of 
the last General Assembly, the negro man Sam has been 
purchased of his owner, at the price of eighteen hundred 
dollars, with a view to his emancipation, as a reward for 
his extraordinary services in extinguishing the fire on the 
State House. The title to said negro has been conveyed 
to the State, and he has been in the enjoyment of his free- 
dom since the date of the purchase ; nevertheless, a spe- 
cial act of emancipation, giving him such privileges as 
may be deemed proper, will be necessary to carry into 
full effect the intentions of the last Legislature. 

A list of Executive warrants drawn on the Treasurer 
during the last political year, and a list of Executive ap- 
pointments made during the recess of the Legislature are 
herewith submitted. 


Fellow Citizens : — In closing this communication, per- 
mit me respectfully to remind you that we are brethren 
of the same family, jointly charged with the care of 3.n 
inestimable political patrimony ; and that upon the wis- 
dom, justice, and moderation of the present generation 
depends the perpetuity of our republican institutions. Our 
admirable constitution has thus far successfully withstood 
the wiles of the demagogues, the convulsions of war, and 
the secret machinations of the combined enemies of lib- 
erty. I can conceive of nothing that can materially re- 
tard the prospective grandeur of our great American con- 
federacy of States, except it be internal divisions. Let 
the chain that now binds us as one people be severed, and 
our glory will have departed forever. Whatever diversity 
of opinion in matters of policy may agitate our beloved 
country, let us all agree that "The Federal Union must 
be preserved." Suffer me to add that with our settled 
determination to defend the rights of the States, and a 
strict construction of the Federal Constitution, I consider 
both as being identified with the success and support of 
the present Federal administration. In our severe con- 
flicts with the united extremes of consolidation and nul- 
lification, it is most fortunate for the Republic that we 
have an unwavering Revolutionary patriot at the helm of 
the Government — one who unites in himself so many ad- 
mirable qualities to meet the present crisis — and who 
will never shrink from any contest with the enemies of 
our Constitution, our Union, or our Country. 



Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, November 3d, 1835. 

Fellow Citizens of the Senate and House of Representa- 
tives : 

Our constitutional government is based upon the most 
lofty spirit of independence and ardent attachment to lib- 
erty and equal rights, and secures to the people the free 
choice of all public oflicers and agents, as well as the most 
unlimited direction and control in the making and execut- 
ing the laws of the country. The Legislature is therefore 
dedicated to the service of the people, and is the sure de- 


pository of their rights and liberties ; consequently no 
station can be more sacred than that which you now oc- 
cupy. You arc bound by the strongest obligations to 
guard and perpetuate the glorious principles established 
by our Revolutionary fathers, in the constitutions of our 

In thus adverting to your duties, fellow citizens, be 
assured that I am not unmindful of the great responsibil- 
ities necessarily devolving on the Executive branch of 
the Government. Four years' experience has but in- 
creased that distrust which I have never ceased to feel 
of my ability to discharge, in a manner satisfactory to 
myself, the high duties to which I have been called by a 
generous and confiding people — a people endeared to me 
by every tie that binds a grateful citizen to the interest 
and happiness of his country. The ardour of my youth 
and the best days of my riper years have been faithfully 
devoted to the public service ; and yet I feel that I have 
discharged but a small portion of the debt of gratitude 
I owe to the people of Georgia for their generous confi- 
dence and support, under all the vicissitudes of an event- 
ful political period of thirty years. Believing it to be the 
best parting service I can render to my constituents, I 
shall now proceed to lay before their representatives a 
faithful account of public affairs, so far as I may consider 
them falling within the sphere of my official duty. 

The constitutional compact which binds together the 
American Confederacy of States continues to be regarded 
by every American patriot as the anchor of hope for the 
perpetuation of our beloved Union ; and although our 
universal construction of that sacred instrument may not 
yet have prevailed, as regards every controverted point 
of difiference, yet the expositions and writings of the sages 
and patriots who established it have so far defined and 
settled all important points of collision as to guard the 
public mind against the wild and mischievous stratagems 
of sophistry, as well as the more dangerous and extrava- 
gant assaults of ambition. The constitutional relations 
existing between the several States of the Union are, at 
this day, very clearly understood by the great body of the 
American people ; and must be respected by the several 
States, both in their separate and united capacities, or 
the Federal Union cannot be preserved. 

These general remarks have been made with a view 
to the existing state of things between the slave and non- 
slave holding States ; a delicate subject, which nothing 
but an imperious sense of duty could induce me to in- 


troduce to public consideration, in a paper of this char- 
acter. The constitutional rights of the Southern States 
in regard to slave property is not, and cannot be, con- 
troverted ; and I feel disposed to cherish an abiding con- 
fidence in the virtue and patriotism of our Northern 
brethren, and will not indulge the belief that the great 
body of that people can, for a moment, countenance and 
encourage the desperate efforts of those violent incendi- 
aries who are laboring to stir up insurrection and rebel- 
lion in the Southern States. Should, however, the abol- 
itionists be permitted to proceed without molestation, or 
only have to encounter the weapons of reason and argu- 
ment, have we not reason to fear that their untiring ef- 
forts may succeed in misleading the majority of a people 
having no direct interest in the great question at issue, 
and finally produce an interference with the constitutional 
rights of the slave-holder? The consequences of such an 
event cannot be contemplated by the patriot without the 
most painful emotions. The success of these misguided 
men would be destructive of all that is desirable in the 
glorious experimental government under which we are 
enjoying an unparalleled degree of happiness and pros- 
perity. No adequate conception can be formed of the 
blessings which they are laboring to destroy, while they 
claim to be the exclusive friends of liberty and freedom 
The principles of the Christian religion can never be 
brought to the aid of these monsters, whose proceedings 
are marked by the most reckless, blood-thirsty spirit that 
ever disgraced the American name. Upon this subject 
we can hear no argument. Our opinions are unalter- 
ably fixed ; our determinations are immutably firm 
and steadfast, and therefore ought not to be con- 
cealed or misunderstood. It is a subject with which we 
cannot suffer a stranger to intermeddle. But the ques- 
tion arises, what is to be done in the present exigency? 
It is the imperious duty of the people and governments 
of the several States where these incendiaries are engag- 
ed in their diaboliacal plans and operations to put them 
down, at once, and forever. It is not my province, or 
duty, to point out the manner in which public opinion 
should be brought to bear upon this subject; whether by 
legislation or otherwise, must be left to the wisdom of 
those States who are in duty bound to act, and to act 
promptly and efficiently, upon this subject. If the States 
in which these enemies of our peace reside do not, with- 
out delay, manifest their friendship and fidelity to the 


Constitution and the Union of the States by effectually 
silencing these incendiaries, we can no longer be called 
upon, in charity, to place any confidence in their profes- 
sions so often promulgated to the world. It is, with us, 
a subject of deep and solemn import — involving the 
destiny of our dearest domestic affections ; our sacred 
altars ; our all. 

I would earnestly recommend to the consideration of 
the Legislature the revision of our existing laws, so as 
more effectually to prevent the circulation, through the 
Postoffice. or otherwise, of any publications tending to en- 
danger our domestic relations, or calling in question our 
constitutional rights of property. Congress should also 
be invoked, in the most earnest and respectful language, 
not to suffer the Postoffice establishment to be used to 
our injury and destruction. I would also recommend that 
the States where these agitators and incendiaries are 
found should be called upon in the true spirit of our in- 
stitutions, that is, in a spirit of manly independence and 
brotherly affection, to sustain, in good faith, the letter 
and spirit of our glorious Constitution. 

On the subject of our territorial rights, as connected 
with the claims of Indian population, I deem it admissible 
on this occasion to remark that the opinions entertained 
and the policy recommended to the Legislature imme- 
diately after I entered upon the duties of the Executive 
have been fully sustained by the success of the measures 
then recommended. Notwithstanding the opposition 
which has been encountered, at home and abroad, and 
the many embarrassments which have been thrown in the 
way, and which are familiar to our whole population, 
within the last four years we have seen upwards of five 
millions of acres of our territory converted from a sav- 
age wilderness — a land of confusion and conflicting rights 
of government — into fruitful fields and the peaceful abodes 
of an enterprising and industrious population. Our citi- 
zens in the Cherokee part of Georgia are now in the en- 
joyment of most of the blessings which follow a peace- 
ful administration of our well organized system of gov- 

The measures which have led to these results have 
been controverted and censured, but not overturned. 
Threatenings of anarchy and blood have been arrested and 
silenced. It is true that a few of the Cherokees yet linger 
within our borders, and continue to annoy our white popu- 
lation ; but it cannot be believed that the mischievous and 


selfish counsels and influence of a single individual, John 
Ross, can much longer prevent this unfortunate remnant 
from yielding to the liberal and magnanimous proposals 
of the Federal Government for their removal to the West. 
From the correspondence herewith submitted it will be 
seen that the opinion is entertained by the agents of the 
Federal and State Governments that the Cherokees will 
ultimately, and at a day not far distant, accept the late 
Treaty. But, so far as Georgia is now concerned, the ac- 
ceptance or rejection of the Treaty is a matter of but lit- 
tle importance. Our concern upon this subject is founded 
chiefly in sympathy for this unfortunate and deluded peo- 
ple. Their procrastination is ruinous to themselves, while, 
to us, it is only a matter of temporary inconvenience. But, 
in anticipation of their obstinate adherence to the de- 
structive counsel of Ross and his associates, I would 
recommend to the General Assembly that, during their 
present session, they provide for that contingency. If 
the Cherokees cannot be induced to pursue their true in- 
terest by kindness and liberality, measures should be 
adopted that will evince to them the utter impossibility 
of their remaining longer within the limits of our State. 
The present Legislature is in duty bound to relieve Geor- 
gia from this troublesome population, and should turn 
them over to the care of the Federal Government which 
has long since been more than compensated by Georgia 
to take care of and provide for these unfortunate Indians. 
The provisions contained in the acts and resolutions of 
the last General Assembly, in relation to our Cherokee 
afifairs, have had the most salutary effect, in checking ju- 
dicial assumptions and sustaining the rights and interests 
of our fellow citizens who are exposed to the aggressions 
of the Cherokees and their associates. 

At the earnest solicitation of many of the most re- 
spectable citizens, in connection with the request of the 
agents of the Federal Government, and some of the prin- 
cipal men of the Cherokees, after the most mature con- 
sideration, I was forced to the conclusion, in the month 
of June last, that the time had arrived when it became my 
duty to organize a small force for the security, relief and 
protection of our own citizens and the friendly Indians 
in the Cherokee Circuit. The utility and efficiency of this 
force in aiding and sustaining the civil authority in the 
administration of the laws of the State have been obvious 
to the whole community ; and at this time is controverted 
only by those who stand opposed to the policy of the 


State in the removal of the Indians. The various inci- 
dental expenses which have occurred in the management 
of our Indian affairs have been defrayed from the con- 
tingent fund, as directed by the Legislature ; and it will 
be seen, upon examination, that in the discharge of the 
discretionary and complicated duties confided to the Ex- 
ecutive, constant regard has been had to the strictest 

A band of vagabond robbers, who form a part of the 
Creek Indians remaining in the State of Alabama, con- 
tinue to be an annoyance to the citizens of Georgia ; and 
have, during the past winter and spring, committed many 
depredations upon the persons and property of our citi- 
zens, A large portion of the Executive correspondence 
on this subject is herewith submitted to the Legislature, 
and will exhibit a full and fair history of the transactions 
in relation thereto, as also the views and opinions of the 
Executive branch of the Federal Government upon the 
subject. These documents will vindicate the Executive 
of Georgia from the many misrepresentations which have 
been propagated by selfish and malicious individuals, who 
seem to have been disposed to mislead, as well as mis- 
represent the Executive. 

The documents accompanying this message will fur- 
nish the Legislature with detailed information upon every 
subject connected with our Indian relations, and will aid 
that branch of the Government in the adoption of such 
measures as the present state of things may seem to re- 
quire. No reasonable hope can be indulged of the im- 
provement of the condition of the aboriginal race while 
they remain in the midst of a white population. Their 
emigration to the West opens the only door of refuge ; 
and the whole energies of the Federal and State Govern- 
ments should be zealously directed to that object. These 
remnant tribes have lost almost every vestige of national 
character, and it is altogether preposterous to consider 
or treat with them as independent nations of people. Such 
pretence will be viewed by the impartial eye of posterity 
as a mere farce : they are in reality, at this time, nothing 
but the feeble conquered remnants of a once mighty race, 
altogether dependent upon the powers which have super- 
seded them. They have, however, high claims upon the 
people who have supplanted them, and should be treated 
as children, or minors, who are incapable of protecting 
their own rights and interests, and consequently entitled 
to the kindness and liberal protection of the Government. 


I herewith lay before the Legislature the report of the 
Committee of the last General Assembly upon the sub- 
ject of the condition of the Farmers' Bank of Chattahoo- 
chee, together with the evidence taken by the Committee, 
and transmitted with their report to this department. It 
will be seen, by reference to the resolution under which 
the committee acted, that the object of the investigation 
was to ascertain whether the Bank had been so managed 
as to incur the forfeiture of its charter. Upon this point 
the Committee decline any direct expression of opinion, 
while, upon the face of the report, the opinion is obviously 
intimated that the Bank has violated some of the provis- 
ions of its charter. After the most careful and patient 
examination, the report, to my mind, reflects a degree of 
censure which may very naturally arise from the exhi- 
bition of the evidence presented to the Committee, going 
to sustain the charge of indiscrete conduct on the part of 
the managers of the Bank ; but whether these admitted 
indiscretions amount to a forfeiture of the charter is a 
question that admits of doubt. I have therefore declined 
ordering a scire facias to be issued against the Bank, and 
submit the whole subject to the consideration of the Leg- 
islature. A course of forbearance has been pursued to- 
wards this Bank, from public considerations deeply in- 
teresting to the community, and not from a disposition 
on my part to screen such institutions from just legal 

Francis H. Cone and William W. Gordon, E^sqs., were 
the counsel appointed by the Executive to assist the At- 
torney General in prosecuting the scire facias against the 
Merchants and Planters Bank of Augusta. These gentle- 
men have discharged the duties of their appointment, not 
only to the entire satisfaction of the Executive, but with 
an ability which has attracted the attention and com- 
manded the unqualified commendation of the most en- 
lightened gentlemen of their profession. The Legisla- 
ture having omitted to provide the compensation for these 
services, and the Executive entertaining some doubt of 
the expediency of making such a draft upon the conting- 
ent fund, these gentlemen have not been paid, and should 
be provided for at an early day of the present session. 

Copies of the semi-annual reports made to this de- 
partment from the several banks of this State, in terms 
of the law, are herewith svibmitted to the General Assem- 
bly. The annual report of the Central Bank of Georgia 
is also herewith submitted. 


Under the authority of a joint resohition of the last 
General Assembly, Matthew St. Clair Clarke, Esq., of 
\\ ashington, has been appointed agent to prosecute the 
claim of the State of Georgia against the L'nited States, 
for services rendered and money expended during the 
Revolutionary War ; and I have entire confidence that he 
will discharge his duty with ability and fidelity to the in- 
terest of the State. The claim is now pending before 
Congress, and will, I presume, receive that favorable con- 
sideration which the justice of it may appear to demand. 

Sometime in the month of December last a corres- 
pondence was opened with me by the Secretary of the 
War, under the direction of the President of the United 
States, on the subject of the claims of the citizens of Geor- 
gia, under the Creek Treaty of 1821, and the late act of 
Congress on that subject; which correspondence resulted 
in obtaining my assent to have the whole business of car- 
rying said act into efifect confided to my superintendence, 
judgment and discretion. Consequently, the papers and 
the unexpended balance of the fund set apart by the Treaty 
referred to were forwarded to, and received at, this de- 
partment ; and the money (one hundred and forty-one 
thousand and fifty-five dollars and ninety-one cents) has 
been deposited in the Central Bank, subject to the order 
of the Governor of this State. Great care has been taken 
to give full and ample notice to all claimants to present 
their claims ; and it is believed most of them have availed 
themselves of the opportunity afiforded. It was necessary, 
as I had informed the President it would be, to appoint 
a highly qualified Commissioner to examine, adjust and 
determine on these claims, under m}- immediate superin- 
tendence, and subject to my revision. John A. Cuthbert, 
Esciuire, the gentleman selected, I am gratified to state, 
h^iS discharged the duties confided to him with an ability 
and accuracy which cannot fail to give as general satis- 
faction as could reasonably have been expected in the 
adjustment of these long standing and complicated claims. 
Thus, this long delayed interest of an unfortunate portion 
of our fellow citizens is now brought to a final and, I trust, 
satisfactory close, and many of them have already received 
the money allowed upon their claims. I feel amply re- 
warded for the voluntary labor I have devoted to this 
business, under the belief that useful service has been 
gratuitously rendered to a portion of my constituents 
which could not be exacted from my present official ob- 


The Rev. Elijah Sinclair was appointed Commissioner, 
under the provisions of a resolution of the last Legisla- 
ture, to apply the fund appropriated for the education of 
the indigent deaf and dumb in this State. Mr. Sinclair, 
in the discharge of his duty, has not only complied with 
the requirements of the resolution, but has manifested 
much zeal, prudence and thoughtful forecast in the ful- 
filment of his undertaking. The report of his proceedings 
will, I am informed, be laid before the Legislature within 
a few days. The compensation of the Commissioner will 
devolve on the present General Assembly, as it has not 
heretofore been provided for ; and permit me to add that 
Mr. Sinclair is entitled to that liberal consideration which 
attaches to a disinterested and faithful discharge of pub- 
lic duty. The action of the last General Assembly upon 
this subject being viewed in the nature of an experiment, 
it will be a question for the consideration of this Legis- 
lature whether the liberal views then entertained in rela- 
tion to this unfortunate class of our community shall be 
sustained by further and appropriate legislation. From 
the success which has attended the labors of the Com- 
missioner during the past year, and from the lively inter- 
est which seems to have been excited among the people 
by what has already been done, no doubt is entertained 
of the accomplishment of all the benevolent purposes con- 
templated by the Legislature, if the adequate means are 
provided. Relying upon the intelligence and fidelity of 
the Commissioner for furnishing such information as may 
enable the General Assembly to act advisedly upon this 
subject, I would simply add my earnest recommendation 
that liberal provision be made for the permanent support 
of this humane and benevolent object. 

With a view to carry into effect the intentions of the 
last Legislature in putting an addition to the south end 
of the State House, to correspond with that of the north, 
and for which purpose the sum of twelve thousand five 
hundred dollars was appropriated, a contract has been 
entered into with competent and responsible mechanics, 
and the work is now in progress. At the time, however, 
of making the contract, it was expected the work would 
have been completed during the present year, and it is 
still believed that the failure is, in some degree, justly at- 
tributable to the want of fidelity on the part of the con- 
tractors in the fulfilment of their engagements. The terms 
of the contract will, however, secure the interests of the 
State, as the undertakers have no right to claim payment 


for any part of the labor until the whole is completed ; 
and no advances have been made to them, except for the 
purchase of materials to carry on the l)uildin2^. The whole 
subject will be fully explained by the correspondence and 
documents herewith submitted. 

In compliance with the request, and under the author- 
ity of the last Legislature, I have caused to be enclosed 
in an appropriate manner, the graves of the Honorable 
Jonathan Lewis, late Senator from the county of Burke, 
McLin Lunday, Esquire, late a Representative from the 
county of Screven, and Aaron Jones, Esquire, late Repre- 
sentative from the county of Lee, who died durino- the 
session of the last General Assembly. 

The various duties assigned to the Governor, by the 
resolution of the last Legislature, in order to prevent the 
spread of the smallpox in this State, have been discharg- 
ed, and the expenses incurred in the several counties af- 
flicted by the visitation of this malady have been defrayed 
from the contingent fund, as directed by said resolution. 

The reports of the keepers of the public arsenals at 
Milledgeville and Savannah are herewith transmitted, and 
will show the number and condition of the public arms 
at those places respectively. The report of the Commit- 
tee, appointed under the resolution of the last Legisla- 
ture to examine into the condition of the arsenal at Sa- 
vannah, is also herewith submitted. 

In compliance with the resolution of the last General 
Assembly, I have, through the agency of Francis M. 
Stone, Esq., of Savannah, contracted for a number of 
cartridge boxes, bayonet scabbards, and belts, sufficient 
to make complete sets of accoutrements for three thou- 
sand muskets in the public Arsenal at Milledgeville, and 
also for the supply of similar deficiencies in the Arsenal 
at Savannah. T have not yet been advised of the recep- 
tion of these articles ; they are, however, daily expected. 
Three hundred and seventy-one defective muskets, in the 
Arsenal at this place, and six hundred and six, in the Ar- 
senal at Savannah, have been repaired and put in good 
order, which cost the State the aggregate sum of five 
hundred and sixty-one dollars and thirty-five cents. 

In the month of May last I was notified by the Ord- 
nance Department of the United States that, under the 
act of Congress of eighteen hundred and eight, for the 
arming the militia, &c., there was due this State, up to 
January last, a quota of arms equal in value to two thou- 
sand and nine and .'^-13 muskets, which I directed should 


be paid to the State in the article of good muskets, with 
the necessary accoutrements, and have caused them to be 
deHvered at the Arsenal in the city of Savannah. 

The glaring defects of our militia system having been 
so often brought to the consideration of the Legislature 
by the Executive branch of the Government, and its total 
inadequacy to subserve the important object for which it 
was originally designed, being so universally admitted, it 
would seem strange that the statesman and patriot should 
any longer slumber over this vital subject. To abandon 
the system entirely would make us dependent for defence 
against foreign or domestic foes upon a standing army, 
which has always been justly considered of dangerous 
tendency to republics, and is wholly contrary to the spirit 
of our institutions. We should never lose sight of our 
sure defence, the militia, but cherish it with care, and en- 
deavor to improve it by all practicable means, so as to 
take from it that reproach and ridicule under which it is 
now laboring. Our present militia musters are believed 
to be worse than useless — improving neither officers nor 
privates in military science, but, on the contrary, tending 
to demoralize the connnunity, and become an actual waste 
of time to many of those who have to rely on their labors 
for subsistence. It is, therefore, believed to be a duty 
incumbent on the present Legislature to devise a system 
which may obviate the existing evils, and, at the same 
time, preserve in full vigor the well established republi- 
can doctrine that the militia is the sure defence of equal 
rights, and regulated liberty. Permit me to add the abid- 
ing conviction resting on my mind, that the best plan 
for efifecting the object is by voluntary associations, pro- 
vided for and sustained by appropriate legislation. 

In pursuance of the provisions of the resolution of the 
General Assemblv, approved 24th Dec, 1831, Francis M. 
Stone, Esq., of Savannah, was appointed and instructed 
to sell certain magazines in that city, erected during the 
last war on land not owned by the State. 

While in the performance of this duty, the agent was 
notified by the city authorities to retain the proceeds of 
the sale to which they had interposed a claim. Thus, the 
settlement of this business has been protracted for several 
years, and it was not until after I had transmitted my last 
annual message to the Legislature that I was notified of 
the abandonment of said claim. Since then the agent has 


reported the caress sale, ainounting' to three hundred and 
sixty-nine dollars and four cents, and has transmitted to 
this department, in two payments, the aggregate sum of 
three hundred and sixty dollars and seventy-nine cents, 
which has been paid over to the Treasurer, whose receipts 
for the same are filed in this department. 

At the sale of the public hands, in the year 1834, eight 
of the number were missing, as stated in my last annual 
message. In view of the difficulty and expense of recov- 
ering these fugitive slaves, it was believed that the net 
profits arising from the sale would be very inconsider- 
able ; but it will be seen by reference to the report of the 
agent, Francis M. Stone, Esquire, who was appointed to 
have them apprehended and sold, that they have all been 
regained and disposed of, on terms highly advantageous 
to the State. The gross amount of sales is stated at three 
thousand and forty dollars ; and, after paying the inciden- 
tal expenses, the balance, two thousand six hundred and 
fifty-four dollars and thirty-six cents, has been paid over 
to the Central Bank, in terms of the law. The agent 
merits the public approbation for the diligence and promp- 
titude manifested in the settlement of this troublesome 

During the present year another of the public hands 
has been recovered, who had been missing for several 
years, and who was supposed to be lost to the State. This 
fugitive slave was found to be confined in jail in the State 
of North Carolina, where an agent was sent, who was 
able to identify him, with instructions to dispose of him 
to the best advantage. The agent effected a sale at the 
price of five hundred and fifty dollars ; and, after deduct- 
ing the sum of two hundred and seventy-three dollars 
and sixty-five cents, the amount of expense incurred, the 
balance has been paid over to the Central Bank. 

In conpliance with the provisions of the act of 22d De- 
cember, 1834, sale has been made of the State's interest 
in the lot of land therein designated, to Paris Carter, for 
the sum of three hundred dollars ; one-fifth of which has 
been paid in at the Treasury, and the balance settled by 
note at the Central Bank, as directed by said act. 

In addition to the amount of notes reported for rent 
of fractions in the Cherokee territory, in 1832 and in 1833. 
and which have heretofore been turned over to the Cen- 
tral Bank, as directed by the Legislature, the renting 
agent has, during the past year, reported other notes, 
taken as aforesaid, to the amount of two hundred and 


eighty-eight dollars ; which notes have been disposed of in 
the same manner. The report of the agent, herewith sub- 
mitted, will satisfactorily explain the cause of the delay 
in returning said notes. 

By the terms of the loan granted to the authorities of 
the town of Columbus, by the act of 183 1, for the pur- 
pose of erecting a bridge across the Chattahoochee river 
at that place, the indulgence given becomes forfeited by 
the failure to pa}' any of the instalments as they become 
due. The first irstalment, falling due on the first of Jan- 
uary last, not h. ving been promptly met, it was consid- 
ered that the C anmissioners had incurred an obligation 
to discharge the whole debt from which it was not in the 
power of the E-x :cutive to relieve them ; but upon the ap- 
plication of the Intendant tendering the payment of said 
instalment, I consented to receive any payment the Com- 
missioners might think proper to make upon the debt ; 
leaving open the question of the forfeiture and its en- 
forcement for the consideration of the Legislature. Ac- 
cordingly, there has been paid in at the Treasury, on said 
loan, the sum of five thousand one hundred and forty- 
three dollars and twenty cents, which has been entered 
as a credit on the bond of the Commissioners, now on 
file in this office. The papers herewith submitted will ex- 
plain the manner in which this business has been trans- 

A list of executive warrants drawn on the Treasury 
during the past political year is herewith submitted : also 
a statement of the disbursing secretary of this department, 
exhibiting the unexpended balance of the fund appropri- 
ated for furnishing the Government House, and keeping 
in repair the lot and improvements appertaining thereto; 
which balance has been placed in the Central Bank, sub- 
ject to the order of my successor. 

In submitting the reports of the Inspectors and Prin- 
cipal Keeper of the Penitentiary to the General Assembly, 
it afifords me much satisfaction to remark that the im- 
proved management and discipline of our State Prison 
afifords sufificient inducement to the friends of the system 
to persevere in sustaining it, with a view to the highest 
ultimate state of improvement which may be attainable. 
Various causes have conspired during the past political 
year to retard the successful operations of the institution. 
The extraordinary cold winter, the occurrence of the 
smallpox in this town, the unusual degree of sickness 
which has prevailed, and the discharge of many of the best 


workmen, whose terms of service have expired, have pro- 
duced a direct and unavoidable effect upon the fiscal in- 
terests of the institution ; nevertheless, it will be seen that 
the business of the year will give a small balance in favor 
of the institution, after defraying the whole of the ordin- 
ary and current expenses of the year. The detailed re- 
ports of the officers hereinbefore referred to furnish all 
the necessary information which is requisite to the forma- 
tion of correct opinions in regard to the management and 
the further legislation which may be necessary to advance 
the interest of the institution. 

I herewith transmit to the General Assembly an ex- 
emplification of the records of the Superior Court of 
Chatham County, setting forth the conviction of George 
R. Harding, of the crime of murder, accompanied by the 
evidence taken on the trial, and a petition of sundry citi- 
zens of said County, praying the suspension of the execu- 
tion, in order that the case might be brought to the con- 
sideration of the present Legislature. The day assigned 
for the execution of this unfortunate individual was the 
31st day of July last; and by the respite which has been 
granted the execution is postponed until the fourth of 
December next, to allow ample time for the action of the 
Legislature, to whose deliberate consideration the cause 
is submitted. 

I have received official and satisfactory information, 
copies of which I herewith lay before the General Assem- 
bly, that the Commissioners under the charter of the 
"]\Ionroe Railroad Company" have not only opened books 
of subscription for stock in said road, but that the sum 
of two hundred thousand dollars, being the whole of the 
stock authorized by law, has been taken up ; and that the 
sum of five dollars on each share of one hundred dollars 
has been actually paid by the stockholders, and deposited 
in the Central Bank by the Commissioners, in conformity 
with the requirements of the act granting the charter. 

On examininf^ the charter, it will be seen that the ex- 
clusive privileges secured to the Compan}' were mad" de- 
pendent on the subscription of one thousand shares of 
the stock, before the meeting of the General Assembly 
of 1834, and on the commencement of the work before 
the expiration of one year thereafter. The Company hav- 
ing failed to comply with the foregoing conditions, the 
stockholders are now forever barred from availing them- 
selves of the privileges of the charter, without legislative 
interposition. Under all the circumstances, I would re- 


spectfully recommend to the General Assembly such leg- 
islation as shall reinstate the stockholders in all the priv- 
ileges and immunities to which they would have been en- 
titled provided the stock had been taken, and the work 
had been commenced according to the provision of the 

Thomas Spalding, Esq., in conformity with the re- 
quirements of the acts of the General Assembly, grant- 
ing him and his associates the privilege of constructing 
a railroad from the Ocmulgee to the Flint river, has de- 
posited in the Executive ofBce a detailed report of the 
survey of said route, together with a highly finished chart 
of the same ; and a printed copy of said report is here- 
with transmitted to the Legislature. 

This laudable enterprise of one of our most enlight- 
ened citizens to connect, by direct communication, the 
waters of the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, is entitled 
to the favorable consideration of the people of Georgia 
and their representatives. 

I would most respectfully and earnestly invite the at- 
tention of the General Assembly to the contents of a pam- 
phlet which I lay before the House of Representatives, 
on the subject of a contemplated railroad from the valley 
of the Ohio river to the Atlantic coasts of Georgia and 
the Carolinas. A deliberate consideration of the docu- 
ments which compose this pamphlet will not fail to im- 
press the comprehensive mind with the great importance 
of the subject. Georgia, the two Carolinas, Ohio, Ten- 
nessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and Indiana are the States 
most deeply interested in the project, while its consum- 
mation could not fail to extend benefits to every part of 
our continent. East and West, North and South. The 
extent of this inland communication, from North to South, 
through the centre of the United States, would compre- 
hend at least fifteen degrees of latitude, and could only 
be compared with that established by the Mississippi river 
itself. At least half the population of the Union, compre- 
hended in whole or in part, residing in Florida, Georgia, 
the Carolinas, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Ohio, 
Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri are interested in 
the completion of a railroad from Cincinnati, in Ohio, to 
the Atlantic coast, and would immediately participate in 
its advantages. This line of communication, connected 
as it is, and would be, with the other public works of the 
States, from the Atlantic Ocean to the great northern 
lakes, establishing a direct communication through all 


the varieties of climate, soil and production and people 
of the United States, would forever stand conspicuous 
among the public works of the Union, both in a commer- 
cial and social point of view. Should this work be execut- 
ed, the social, political, and commercial relations between 
these extreme sections of the North and South would in- 
stantly be changed. The intercourse thus established 
would be unprecedented in these United States ; we should 
no longer be strangers and aliens to our brethren — Char- 
leston, Savannah and Augusta would be brought into so- 
cial and direct intercourse and good neighborhood with 
Cincinnati, Louisville, Lexington. &c. ; the people of the 
two extreme regions would every summer meet together 
in the intervening mountain region of Georgia and the 
Carolinas (one of the most delightful climates in the 
world), exchange opinions, compare their sentiments, and 
blend their feelings, the North and the South would shake 
hands with each other as united brethren, yield up every 
sectional and political prejudice, pledge themselves to 
joint objects of national interests, and part as friends and 
brethren, devoted to the Union and the liberties of their 
common country. 

The important objects of direct inter-communication 
between distant communities have enlisted the talents and 
enterprise of not only the first men of the age, but whole 
communities, composed of different States and sections 
of the country, are moving forward, to the accomplish- 
ment of the most splendid works of internal improve- 
ment. The apathv of Georgia on this deeply interesting 
subject is pregnant with the most fatal consequences to 
the present and future interests and prosperity of the 
State. The geographical position of Georgia is confident- 
ly believed to be the most favorable of any State in the 
Union to participate largely in all the benefits of the splen- 
did projects of internal improvement, designed to effect 
a direct communication between the Northwestern and 
Southern Atlantic sections of our Union. Our State has 
a most extensive maritime coast on the Atlantic, with va- 
rious rivers, inlets and harbors, possessing all the neces- 
sary advantages for the most extensive commerce. More- 
over, Georgia is, in point of territory, that link in the chain 
of States which embraces the territor\- throuc^h which the 
waters flow, both into the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mex- 
ico. As regards the work under consideration I do not 
entertain the shadow of a doubt in regard to its utility 
and practicability ; and I am equally confident that the 


mountains of Georgia afford gaps and passways for the 
contemplated railroad far more favorable than any of her 
sister States. Admitting the great object of the contem- 
plated work to be the most direct communication between 
Cincinnati and Charleston, the most practicable and best 
route will, upon a scientific examination, be found to in- 
tersect the "Georgia Railroad" at Athens, in this State. 
And shall we, the people of Georgia, under all these cir- 
cumstances and considerations, stand idle "all the day 
long" and see our State passed by, on the right hand, and 
on the left? If we do nothing as a State, shall we not 
encourage and aid our enterprising citizens who have 
voluntarily engaged in the laudable work of internal im- 

I would respectfully recommend to the General As- 
sembly their liberal support and fostering care of our 
State University. Franklin College is based upon the 
Constitution of the State, and should continue to be con- 
sidered the foundation of the literary hope and pride of 
the people of Georgia. Its rising prosperity and utility 
are every year more clearly developed in the various avo- 
cations of life throughout our State. This important in- 
stitution is emphatically the people's ; it is under the con- 
trol of no religious sect or political party : therefore, the 
liberal of every religious denomination, and every party 
in politics, are invited and admonished to its support by 
every consideration of enlightened patriotism. I view the 
voluntary efforts of societies and individuals to establish 
literary institutions with entire approbation, and would 
recommend the protection of all their rights and privileges 
to the favorable consideration of the Legislature. But I 
am not prepared to admit the opinion, which prevails to 
some considerable extent, and which is probably gaining 
ground in our community, that literary institutions are 
productive of the greatest good when under the exclusive 
and undivided control and management of a religious sect 
or denomination. In a free government, where liberty is 
regulated by law, and where religion is regulated by the 
enlightened consciences of men, unshackled by religious 
establishments, the important subject of college education 
forces itself upon the consideration of the whole commun- 
ity, and should never be surrendered by the agents who 
administer such a government to the safe keeping of any 
sect or party. 

I consider it a matter of growing importance to the 
University of Georgia that its library should be greatly 


extended and enlarged. In such institutions it is a very 
desirable object that the student who is in pursuit of pro- 
found knowledge in any branch of science or literature, 
in all the vast range of human intellect, should have ready 
access to all those treasures of knowledge and informa- 
tion which have been arranged and compiled, in the form 
of books, by the arduous labors of preceding ages. Our 
present College library is exceedingly limited, when com- 
pared with the collections of similar institutions of high 
grade or standing. We are particularly deficient in works 
relating to the early history of our own country, such as 
should be found in every college library in America. 
From the best information which I have been able to ob- 
tain, many of the most valuable and rare works connected 
with the history of our own country are now nearly out 
of print, and can only be obtained in England, by diligence 
and research. If one of the prominent officers of our Col- 
lege could be permitted to visit London, for the purpose 
of purchasing and making arrangements for the purchase 
of such books as might be considered most useful to the 
College — and, most particularly, for the purpose of pro- 
curing the colonial records and other information neces- 
sary to a complete history of our own State — the object 
is believed to be of sufficient magnitude and interest to 
the people of Georgia to justify the Legislature in making 
the necessary appropriation to defray the incidental ex- 

The important subjects of public education, internal 
improvement, banking institutions, and other leading in- 
terests of society, will continue to claim, and I trust con- 
tinue to receive, the most deliberate consideration of the 
General Assembly. My views and special recommenda- 
tions upon these various branches of public interest have 
been so fully and repeatedly pressed upon the attention 
of the Legislature that I have not, on the present occa- 
sion, deemed it necessary or expedient to consume much 
of your time with a view of further impressing my well- 
known and unchanged opinions upon these several sub- 

Fellow citizens, in this, my closing message to the 
Legislature of Georgia, I could indulge in the expression of 
my unmingled joy and gratitude to the God of Nations 
for the unsurpassed prosperity of our common country — 
and especially that portion which it is our good fortune to 
inhabit — but for the signs of discord, agitation and strife, 
which so repeatedlv disturb our quiet, portending gather- 


ing storms that threaten to rend the hearts of the friends 
of liberty throughout the world. The various public meet- 
ings, actings, and doings of the citizens of this Republic, 
in every direction, have too often indicated a spirit of rest- 
lessness and disquietude which cannot be contemplated 
by the friends of liberty and union with perfect composure 
and tranquillity- Our rights as a people have been well 
defined in the written constitutions of our country. We 
have not been left to the guidance of our own vague no- 
tions of natural law in the regulation of our conduct as a 
political community : our laws emanate from the only 
legitimate source of sovereign power, the people ; there- 
fore, if they be defective, unjust or oppressive, let us 
amend and change them. We ought to be extremely cau- 
tious how we violate regulations of our own formation 
and choice, so long as we hold in our own hands the un- 
questionable right to authorize as well as exercise un- 
bounded political power. 

Under every excitement, the Government of our choice 
is worthy of our firm support. We can now look back 
upon the agitations and political storms that arose out of 
the Tariff, Internal Improvement, Indian and Bank ques- 
tions, and rejoice that these dark and gloomy days have 
passed, and our form of government is still the admiration 
of the civilized world, and our people pre-eminent in hap- 
piness and prosperity. 

Should other and greater tempests arise, if controversy 
and strife must come, let us place the wrong upon the 
heads of others — by a strict adherence to the Constitution 
of our country. Let us so conduct ourselves that the laws 
of nature and nature's God will plead our cause in the 
dav of trial. 



Should the foregoing pages ever be read and duly con- 
sidered by intelligent persons who are familiar with the 
general history of our Government from the formation of 
the Federal Constitution, they will find ample testimony 
in the official documents which I have submitted to make 
up a correct judgment in regard to my political life. My 
opinions upon all the great political questions which have 
from time to time agitated the country are distinctly 
given in these official papers of record. In the maturity 
of manhood, and after much political experience, it was 
my lot to occupy the office of Chief Magistrate of Geor- 
gia for four years ; and during that period many of the 
most important questions connected with the history of 
our Government were at their zenith. 

The relative constitutional rights and powers of the 
Federal and State Governments were constantly pressed, 
not only upon my consideration, but upon my official ac- 
tion. I entered upon the duties of the Executive office 
resolved, as far as my duties were involved on (|uestions 
connected with the constitutional rights of Georgia, to 
yield nothing to Federal usurpation in any of its depart- 
ments. Moreover, I knew that my views in regard to the 
management of our then existing Indian affairs would at 
once bring me into conflict with the Supreme Court of 
the United States, as well as with the views and policy of 
my old friend General Jackson, then President of the 
United States ; for it is proper here to state that, while 
General Jackson coincided and successfully co-operated 
with Georgia in getting her relieved from the burthen of 
her Indian population, and had favored all my Congress- 
ional efforts, in favor of Indian emigration to the West, 
and indeed entered into my general views in regard to In- 
dian policy, vet in regard to surveying and settling the 
unoccupied lands claimed by the Cherokees previous to 
procuring their assent, by an old-fashioned treaty with 
them, he was utterly opposed, while I was fully convinced 
myself that such a treaty could never be procured from 
the Cherokees so long as they remained under the influ- 
ence of a numerous host of selfish feed lawyers. Northern 


fanatics and an assuming State and Federal Judiciary 
combined to sustain the pretensions of Indian sovereignty. 
Therefore, regardless of the opinions of religious fanati- 
cism, of selfish and corrupt lawyers, State Judiciary, or 
Supreme Courts, I studied well the rights of the 
State, natural law, the policy and history of the 
past, the present condition of things, and marched for- 
ward, as the records of the country will prove, to triumph 
and success, against an opposition unparalleled in our his- 
tory. I suffered no court to determine for me, as the 
Executive of Georgia, what were my constitutional duties. 
I felt bound by my oath of office to judge for myself in 
regard to my duty. And this policy, and this alone, 
brought our Indian troubles to a speedy and successful 
close — a termination so advantageous to Georgia, in the 
speedy development of all her great natural resources, 
the great increase of her population, wealth and prosper- 
ity. And the Cherokee people themselves derived even 
greater benefits from this policy. They escaped from a 
certain destruction which was rapidly consuming them. 
They changed a land of affliction, trouble and deep distress 
for a country far better suited to all their capacities and 
necessities. And no people of the United States at this 
day would probably have been as well settled in the en- 
joyment of all the common blessings of an agricultural 
and advancing state of prosperity, but for the wicked, sel- 
fish and revengeful ambition of John Ross, and his more 
despicable white co-operates, who, since the emigration 
of the Cherokees to the West, effected the massacre of 
the Ridges, Boudinot, and others who were the patriots 
and best men of the Cherokee people — men of elevated 
principles and lofty character. The excitement of these 
scenes has now long passed. I review them with calmness 
and composure. Complete success attended all my ef- 
forts in connection with these scenes. I have no disap- 
pointments or griefs to embitter my retrospect in connec- 
tion with any of these subjects. But, under all these cir- 
cumstances, I feel it to be my duty to posterity here to 
record that I have never known or read of any exhibition 
of human depravity or turpitude so deeply degrading to 
human character as the conduct of many of those who 
were combined together to prevent the Cherokees from 
removing from Georgia — the combination of lawyers and 
politicians, who attempted to overturn and trample on the 
constituted authorities of the State. They first consumed 
all that could be extracted from Ross and his party, in 


the way of fees for legal services. x\fter all this, under 
the Cherokee Treaty of 1835, they presented claims 
against the Cherokecs, amounting in the aggregate to 
about one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Of these 
claims they were allowed, and actually received, upwards 
of $36,000, although every sensible man in the country 
knew that they had been nothing but an unmitigated 
curse to the Cherokee people. And some of these same 
lawyers are still living and pressing claims before Con- 
gress for these services rendered to the Cherokee people ; 
and I confess I have strong apprehensions that these men, 
or their heirs, will persevere, and by falsehood, fraud and 
corruption yet obtain a large amount of the wa^cs of si?i 
from the Government of the United States. Their per- 
sevcrence is now extending beyond the generation who 
witnessed and was familiar with all these transactions. 
Ample and complete means for the refutation of all these 
unjust and unrighteous claims may be found on the rec- 
ords at Washington, filed in the War or Indian Depart- 
ment — unless these records have, by dishonest means, 
been placed out of the reach of examination. As United 
States Commissioner, under the Cherokee Treaty of 1835, 
for auditing and settling all claims against the Cherokee 
people, these enormous claims of lawyers, amounting, as 
before stated, to $150,000, were presented to me. I refer- 
red them to the Cherokee Committee, then in session, as 
provided for by said Treaty, to investigate all such claims 
(claims thus investigated and decided on by the Indian 
Committee were then submitted to the United States 
Commissioners for their revision, approval or rejection). 
This Indian Committee recommended the payment of cer- 
tain amounts to each lawyer, amounting in the aggregate 
to upwards of $36,000. My colleague, Jndge Kennedy, 
and myself unitedly believed the allowance, in many of 
these cases, was larger than justice demanded. We knew 
that great efiforts were made by some of these lawyers to 
influence the Indian Committee to liberality in their favor, 
but, under all the circumstances, my colleague and myself 
finally concluded to yield something of our opinions to 
the Cherokee Committee, in the hope that by so doing a 
final settlement would be made of a class of claims which, 
if left open, might afterwards prove harassing to the 
Cherokees, as well as to the Government. Therefore, 
we confirmed the proceedings of the Indian Committee, 
and paid these lawyers accordingly. A very full record 
of all the proceedings herein referred to was made out, 


recorded and, I presume, is now deposited in Washington. 
Upon this subject I retained my first drafts of most 
of the official decisions and papers, and therefore am not 
Hable to misapprehension. 

Upon many of the most important matters connected 
with my official acts in relation to Indian affairs, I was 
the more guarded to preserve official and record evidence 
of my own transactions, from a full sense of the very ex- 
tensive and powerful influence against which I had to 
struggle and contend ; and I am now more particular in 
recording many of these facts, and exercise less delicacy 
towards some other individuals than I could be induced, 
under different circumstances, to do, because I deem it 
necessary to the defence of my own integrity and char- 

My every official act of importance was perverted and 
misrepresented from day to day by much the larger por- 
tion of the public press of Georgia. The editorial labors of 
my opponents were aided and strengthened by many in- 
genious and able writers. These Georgia efforts were re- 
published and indorsed, from one end of the Union to the 
other, by all those presses opposed to General Jackson 
and myself. And nothing short of the force of truth, jus- 
tice, and integritv could have sustained my public course, 
during my occupancy of the Executive chair of Georgia, 
I beseech the rising generation — all who may survive me 
— never to form an opinion of my life and character by 
anything which they may find in the newspapers of that 
day — papers established and sustained for the express 
purpose of destroying and prostrating my public and po- 
litical reputation. I will do them the justice to say that 
they had more prudence than to assail my moral or pri- 
vate character. 

Although my political opponents succeeded in mis- 
leading many of my personal friends and brethren to be- 
come my political opponents, yet even these misguided 
friends would not suffer my moral character, as a man 
or a citizen, to be traduced or assailed. I will, however, 
further elucidate this subject by inserting a small portion 
of my official correspondence while I occupied the Exec- 
utive chair of Georgia. 

This correspondence will shed light on the course pur- 
sued by both the Federal and State Judiciaries — by judges, 
lawyers and politicians, as well as the course pursued by 
myself — to sustain and defend the laws and rights of the 
State. Moreover, I will submit correspondence which 


will exhibit the alarms and fears entertained b\- many of 
the good citizens of Georgia, and the rash and unjustiti- 
able measures which they were induced to urge upon my 
favorable consideration. All this was brought about by 
the art of selfish and designing men, designed to mislead 
me, and injure the people and country. In order to un- 
derstand some of the correspondence proposed to be sub- 
mitted, the reader must vmderstand that, under the pro- 
visions of the act of Congress, passed in 1830, ample pro- 
vision had been made for the emigration of the Cherokees 
to the West, and a few of them were occasionally availing 
themselves of that provision. 

It may be proper, further, to state that the policy of 
keeping up a military guard in the Cherokee part of Geor- 
gia was for the purpose of protecting the gold mines from 
the depredations of all sorts of intruders, and to aid the 
civil authority in executing and enforcing the laws of the 
State, and to aid in preserving the peace of the country, 
which was found to be indispensable ; and was therefore 
sustained and kept up by appropriate legislation, during 
my continuance in office. Hence, much of my ofificial cor- 
respondence will be found addressed to the commanders 
of these guards, and to other agents of the Government — 
State and Federal — and, when circumstances required it. 
to other individuals. It often became necessary that the 
policy of Georgia should be defended, even to the extent 
that she was assailed and caluminated ; and this forced the 
expediency of a very extended correspondence on the 
then Executive of Georgia. 

The Executive of Georgia was constantly importuned 
to release the missionaries, then confined in the Peniten- 
tiary under the laws of the State. This importunity was 
not confined to the good missionary spirit of the land, or 
to the women and children ; but many of the most dis- 
tinguished men. and from every section of the country — 
including the President of the United States, and a part 
of his Cabinet — uniterl in this general importunity. Well, 
let facts speak for themselves. I had my reasons for all 
ni}' dissents, as well as my assents. Let posterity decide. 

The length of time and great space which I have al- 
ready occupied, and shall hereafter occupy, in developing 
to the reader my public connection with the Indian affairs 
of the country — extending over more than a quarter of 
a century — and the extensive documentary evidence of 
my official transactions in various different positions may 
seem to require an apology. All that I have to offer is 


the importance of the subject. The time will come when 
the history of these United States, in connection with its 
Indian policy, will be considered a lit theme for the his- 
torian, the philosopher, and the Christian. Moreover, I 
continue to see, up to the present day (May ist, 1852), 
newspaper articles, letter writers, periodicals, and religous 
magazines, filled with articles calculated, if not designed, 
to falsify all the truths of historic facts in relation to Cher- 
okee history — more especially, everything connected with 
the actings and doings of Georgia, in connection with 
these Indians. These publications rarely fail, even down 
to the present day, to present John Ross to public con- 
sideration as the great Solon of the age. He is extolled 
for his meek and Christian life and spirit, as well as his 
wisdom and righteous rule of the Cherokee people ; as a 
disinterested and self-sacrificing patriot ; as a great and 
good man, who has suffered from persecution and oppres- 
sion all the days of his life. 

Now, all this is greatly falsifying and perverting the 
truths of history, as is well known to many thousands yet 
numbered with the living. John Ross is the son of Daniel 
Ross, a native of Scotland who emigrated to the United 
States previous to the Revolutionary War, and took sides 
with England and the Indians in that war, and at its close 
settled amongst the Cherokees, and took a half-breed 
woman for his wife, by whom he raised a family of chil- 
dren, sons and daughters, John among the former. 

The father of John Ross was a very shrewd and sensi- 
ble man, of good education and very extensive general 
information. He had a small, but valuable, collection of 
books, which he both read and understood. He was in 
easy circumstances, and understood the Indian character 
perfectly. He never admired the free institutions of the 
United States, but retained to the last his revolutionary 
prejudices against our American institutions. He edu- 
cated and instructed his family so far as to make them 
decidedly superior amongst the Cherokee people. From 
my first acquaintance with John Ross, now upwards of 
thirty years ago, I was sensible of his superior cultiva- 
tion, and intellectual advantages. He is a well educated 
man — converses well, writes well, and is a man of soft, 
easy, gentlemanly manners, rather retiring and reserved; 
seldom speaks unadvisedly. In all the common duties and 
intercourse of life, he has always maintained a good moral 
character. His position in life, from first to last, has af- 


forded him every facility to gain information and add to 
his stock of knowledge. 

Although he did not come to the Throne b; regular 
hereditary descent, yet very many circumstances pointed 
to him, from early boyhood, as the prospective ruler of 
the Cherokees ; and he has governed them, in the most 
absolute manner, for upwards of a quarter of a century, by 
seoning to obey. A full examination of the records of 
the Federal Government will show that John Ross has 
had the entire control and disbursement of millions of 
dollars, as King of the Cherokees, during the last twenty 
years. The control of this immense amount of money, in 
the absence of any enlightened supervision or chick on 
his financial aspirations, is the key that unlocks the secret 
cause of his long career of absolute reign and power, as 
well as his great popularity, at home and abroad. He has 
always had rivals amongst his countrymen in hitelligence, 
virtue and patriotism; several of whom would have 
eclipsed him long since if they had been permitted to live. 
But through the influence of Ross, aided, as he always 
has been, by his feed stipendiaries, in and out of the Cher- 
okee country, he has always succeeded in putting down 
all rivalry. John Ross, when compared with such men as 
John Ridge and Elias Boudinot, is a mere pigmy. No 
man can rejoice more than myself at the improvement 
and prosperity of the Cherokee people since their removal 
to the West ; but to give the largest share of credit to 
John Ross for the present prosperity and prospects of the 
Cherokee people is falsifying the whole history of the past, 
in connection with that people. Every benefit, advantage, 
and bright prospect which the Cherokee people now en- 
joy has been secured to them and enforced upon them in 
the face of the most violent opposition of John Ross, and 
his humble followers amongst the Cherokees — as well as 
against the most untiring opposition of his political asso- 
ciates and legal stipendiaries throughout the United 
States. To all this host of opposition may be added all 
the religious fanaticism of the whole country. 

I now proceed to sustain the foregoing statements. 
From the close of the Revolutionary War, down to the 
year 1828, the Cherokee Indians had been permitted 
quietly to remain in the country where they resided when 
the first civilized settlements were made in the country 
around their location. Like other Indians, they had made, 
from time to time, various treaties with the Government 
of the United States. In most, if not all, of these treaties 


they had rehnquished their claim to portions of the vast 
territory which they claimed as their lawful right, because 
they had seen some portions of it in the chase and from 
the mountain top. Thus things progressed, until the Cher- 
okees were circumscribed in their limits to a country con- 
taining some ten millions of acres of land which, in the 
treaties hereinbefore referred to, had been guaranteed to 
them forever by the Federal Government. These remain- 
ing lands, where the Cherokees actually resided, lay with- 
in the chartered limits of the States of Georgia, Tennes- 
see, North Carolina and Alabama. 

From the whites, who settled amongst the Cherokees 
at the close of the Revolutionary War (being chiefly refu- 
gee Tories) and raising half-breed families, and from white 
renegades, who fled from justice from many of the differ- 
ent States, the white blood and the arts of civilization 
prevailed to a considerable extent in the Cherokee coun- 
try, even before Moravian missionaries located in that 
country. But in the year 1825, when in that country, I 
visited missionary establishments of various denomina- 
tions, and recollect very distinctly that at and around every 
missionary station I found quite a number of white per- 
sons, pursuing and carrying on various branches of the 
business which appertains to civilized society. Moreover, 
the necessary intercourse of the different States had caus- 
ed many roads to be opened through the Cherokee coun- 
try, and the traveler on those roads found safe ferry boats 
over the large waters, and as regular houses of entertain- 
ment for travelers as were to be found in the neighboring 
States. Indeed, the white population was regularly in- 
creasing in this country, for many years before the time 
of which I speak. And in all the various locations where 
you found the white blood and negro slaves the advance- 
ment in all the arts and customs of civilization were most 
obvious, pleasing and impressive. 

But truth requires the statement of the fact that, from 
the year 1825 to the final removal of the Cherokees in 
1840, the great body of the common Indians, who resided 
in obscurity and had but little intercourse with the white 
and half-breed races amongst them, still remained in brutal 
and savage ignorance. These ignorant savages dispersed 
all over the country, each had his favorite leader, or lead- 
ers — and these leaders, throughout the country, were 
constantly plied with the proper means to bring them un- 
der the influence and control of the principal chief and 
his subordinates in office. The Government established 


by the Cherokees, about the year 1825, although it car- 
ried on its face a republican form, yet in its administra- 
tion was most decidedly aristocratic, and in some respects 
exceedingly despotic. With the commencement of the 
written constitution, laws and government of the Cherokee 
people commenced that necessary and inevitable process 
and train of measures which hastened their expulsion 
from the different States in which they were located. 
Their very first attempt at sovereignty and independence, 
as a state, nation and people brought them into direct 
conflict and collision with not only the several State gov- 
ernments in whose limits they sojourned, but irreconcil- 
able conflict and collision with the intercourse laws of the 
United States which so long had shielded and protected 
them from the operations of the laws of the States in 
which they dwelt. The Cherokees claimed to be a sover- 
eign nation, exercising all the rights of self-government. 
Nevertheless, claiming all the guaranties and stipulations 
appertaining in their favor by treaties previously entered 
into by the United States, they ■mdlijied. the treaties and 
intercourse laws of the United States which conflicted 
with their sovereignty. All the provisions of these treaties 
and laws which might be construed as tending to disarm 
and disrobe the several States in whose limits they re- 
sided of their sovereignty they pertinaciously adhered to, 
as the most sacred of all obligations ; this state of things 
could no longer be endured. The States extended first 
their criminal and then their civil jurisdiction over their 
entire limits and population. This produced that crisis 
which very soon determined which of these powers had the 
right to govern in the territorial limits which was the sub- 
ject of litigation ; justice, wisdom, moderation, and great 
firmness triumphed without blood and carnage, but with 
great advantage and lasting benefit to all the parties in 

At the time of the formation of the Cherokee written 
Constitution, and adoption of their independent form 
of government, perhaps the intelligence of no na- 
tion or people ever entered into a compact of gov- 
ernment with greater unanimity than did the Chero- 
kees. They were pleased with the idea of assuming a 
name and a place amongst the civilized nations of the 
earth. They were deeply attached (in general) to the 
lovely land of their fathers, and disposed to enjoy their 
homes, in the midst of the graves of their departed friends. 
But few of them had the intelligence and capacity requi- 

I go 


site to comprehend the system and workings of our Fed- 
eral and State governments ; and were, therefore, desti- 
tute of that demonstrative forecast which enabled them 
to see the utter impracticability of the success of their en- 
terprise. They succeeded, however, in rallying around 
their effort one of the great political parties of the Union. 
The immense funds, contracted in the way of annuities 
arising from the sales of their lands under the provisions 
of treaties, afforded them the means of keeping constant- 
ly in their service legal stipendiaries — able writers — who 
employed their pens in furnishing able and plausible ar- 
ticles for newspapers, religious magazines, memorials to 
Congress. &c., &c. The name of John Ross, as principal 
chief, was appeii led to all the official papers, and hence 
he gained great credit and admiration for ability as a 
writer, which he never merited, his official papers being 
drawn up by the ablest lawyers of the United States. Un- 
der this state of afifairs, the propriety and expediency of 
my official course, as hereinbefore detailed in this work, 
for a long course of years, I think will scarcely be ques- 
tioned, either as to its expediency, wisdom or morality — 
its necessity, with a view to the great interest of Georgia, 
the United States, and lasting interest and benefit of this 
deeply interesting people, the Cherokees. 

Without entering upon all the voluminous details 
which would be necessary to a minute understanding of 
every incipient step connected with this subject, suffice it 
to say that from the time that I systematically entered 
upon this Indian subject in Congress, in the year 1827, 
I used all the means within my control to know and be 
known to the wisest and best men of the Cherokee peo- 
ple as we, respectively , jvere. I honestly put them in 
possession of my every thought, as regarded the best in- 
terest of their people. Finally, I gained the confidence, 
as well as the ear, of the wisest and best rnen of the Cher- 
okee people. The Ridges, Boudinot, the Rogerses, Gun- 
ter. Bill. Sanders, Starr, Fields, Forman, Waters, and 
many others fully embraced my views and became con- 
vinced that the only hope of salvation to the Cherokees 
was to be found in their removal to the West. No patri- 
otic men can be found on the pages of history who were 
more sincerely devoted to the best interest of their peo- 
ple than were these men. Neither Ross nor any of his 
followers ever more ardently desired to carry out and 
sustain their attempt at independent self-government in 
the land of their fathers than did these men. And thev. 


with great zeal and ability, defended the ground which 
they had assumed on this subject, until they were com- 
pletely convinced that the force of circumstances, and the 
salvation of their people, required them to yield. They 
accordingly did so, with great reluctance, but with a clear 
conviction that they could do nothing better for their peo- 
ple. These noblemen of nature had remained at home, 
in the midst of their people, participating in the constant- 
ly increasing embarrassments and evils which were con- 
stantly multiplying upon them, while Ross, and a few of 
his select favorites, were, from year to year, regularly 
spending as much of their time at Washington as though 
they had been members of Congress, feasting and enjoy- 
ing high life, in the circles of their political partisans, and, 
at the close of Congress, visiting our great Northern 
cities, and thus spending the annuities of the Cherokee 
people in luxury, high life, and lordly ease. After these 
patriotic men fully made up their minds to look to the 
West as their permanent home, every day's investigation 
did but the more clearly convince them that it afforded 
the prospect of a most happy and fortunate change. This 
change of opinion brought them into intimate and close 
correspondence with their brethren of the West, amongst 
whom were some able men. All these things urged them 
forward, to take the responsibility which they did in the 
formation of the Treaty of Dec, 1835. And I would earn- 
estly request any reader of these pages, who may entertain 
a doubt of the great and extraordinary advantages se- 
cured to the Cherokees by the provisions of this Treaty, to 
read and consider the same. He will rise from the read- 
ing well satisfied that it was the most liberal, honest, and 
just treaty ever before, or since, negotiated with any In- 
dian people. The advancement and prosperity of the 
Cherokees, under the provisions of this Treaty, affords 
the most conclusive testimony of the validity of my as- 
sertions. Yet Ross and his assasin hosts have at every 
step, from beginning to end, opposed the making, the ex- 
ecution and validity of this Treaty, except, indeed, to avail 
themselves fully of the liberal individual benefits secured 
to them under the provisions of the Treaty. And, more- 
over, Ross has made a princely fortune for himself, by 
the Government of the United States buying ud his appro- 
bation to the Treaty, by making him the emigrating agent 
in the removal of the Cherokees, and giving immense 
sums of money — more than the service was worth — to 
purchase his good will. 



But I would have refrained from exposing this man 
Ross as I have done but for that most horrid, appalling, 
deepest oi all mid-night crimes — the murder of Major Ridge, 
John Ridge, Elias Boudinot, and others, after they had 
settled in their beloved promised land, and all were happy 
and prosperous, as the result of the labors of these la- 
mented men. These men were all murdered the same 
night, in their different houses, by savage bands, known 
to be the tools and instruments of John Ross. The right- 
eous blood of these Abels will yet cry for vengeance. 

Under all the foregoing circumstances, I pity the ig- 
norance of good men who feel as if they were doing God's 
service, while they are writing and publishing eulogies 
on the character of John Ross, and extolling him for the 
present prosperous state and condition of the Cherokee 
people. If the counsels and plans of Ross could have been 
sustained by him and all his numerous co-workers, what 
would have been the result, at this time? Every Indian 
who failed to emigrate to the West would, before this day, 
have been exterminated from the face of the earth, or 
have existed in the most abject state of degradation and 

The whole of his plans were unwise, impracticable, and 
founded in selfishness and love of power. He dreaded 
emigration because, with it, he expected his greatness to 
depart forever. But, when necessity urged him to that 
act, he determined on the destruction of his rivals, and 
succeeded in executing his plans. He never ought to 
have been permitted to join the Cherokees in the West. 
If he could have shared the fate of Haman, or have been 
banished to New England, Hayti, or anywhere else, where 
the Cherokees could have been relieved from the curse 
of his presence and influence, I think it probable that 
they would at this day have been represented in the Con- 
gress of the United States, by delegates who would do 
honor to any State in the Union, and that their present 
state of prosperity, great as it is, would have been fifty 
per cent, better than it is at present. The best half of the 
intelligence, virtue and patriotism of the Cherokee people 
has been basely murdered, to gratify the revenge and am- 
bition of John Ross. And it remains a crying sin against 
the United States that the murderers of the Ridges and 
Boudinot have not been punished, as justice and law de- 

But this long digression from my intended purpose 
must cease. The intrinsic mf^rit and great worth of char- 


acter of the Ridges and Boudinot alone induce me to 
speak what I do know and testify what I have seen, as a 
tribute due to departed worth. 

A private and unofificial letter written to Andrew Jackson, 
President of the United States ; dated Monroe, Walton 
County, Nov. ist, 1831. 

Dear Sir : — 

The personal regard and political confidence which I 
have ever entertained for your character induces me to 
make this communication. Before this reaches you, you 
will have been apprised of the public position assigned 
me by the voice of the unofficial sovereign people of Geor- 
gia. I have been called to this station contrary to my 
own wishes and contrary to the wishes and efforts of the 
State politicians, office-holders, office-seekers, lawyers, 
bank directors, &c. But the wish of the people must be 
obeyed. I assure you, with entire confidence, that my 
friends in Georgia are your friends. They are so from 
principle. We must understand each other, and co-oper- 
ate in all measures for the public interest. 

A crisis has arrived in our political affairs, in the Cher- 
okee portion of Georgia, which cannot remain in its pres- 
ent attitude. A remedy must be applied. 

This subject is not only of vital importance to Geor- 
gia, but your character, mine, and our common country 
are, and will be, deeply involved. Your opinions, private 
as well as public, will be venerated by me as coming from 
a father. 

The extension of our State laws and jurisdiction over 
the Cherokees has evinced the great difficulty of admin- 
istering justice to a people circumstanced as the Indians 
are. A few thousand persons dispersed over a territory 
of five million of acres of land, abounding in rich gold 
mines ; the people indisposed and incompetent to aid in 
the administration of the law, presents an anomaly in 
the history of the world. Any laws which may be devised 
for the government of this country in its present situa- 
tion, to be efficient, must partake largely of a military 
character, and consequently be more absolute and des- 
potic than would be admissible, or necessary, in a coun- 
try affording the materials for the administration of civil 

The State cannot, with honor or justice to herself, re- 
treat from anv of the ground which she has taken. To 


retrograde, or stand still, will be ruinous. Would it not, 
then, be more manly and honorable — at once — to place 
upon the unoccupied territory a virtuous freehold popu- 
lation, possessed of all the inducements of other citizens 
to maintain order and good government in this country? 
Carefully, at the same time, guarding, by our Legislature, 
the rights of the Indians to their entire improvements 
and property of every kind, together with an ample suf- 
ficiency of land to sustain them and their posterity in their 
present abodes, so long as they may choose to remain. 

I consider the present situation of Georgia a most deli- 
cate one. Prejudiced enemies, at a distance, may be tole- 
rated and endured ; but rest assured I speak advisedly 
when I say that the enemies of Georgia are alarmingly 
multiplying in her midst. The gold mines ofifer a rally- 
ing point for the concentration of bad men, from all parts 
of the world. Even our domestics may look to a contro- 
versy with the Cherokees, with feelings of deep interest. 
And many of our lawyers, judges and other distinguished 
selfish men I have no doubt, begin, now, to look to, and 
desire a continuance of the present state of things, as af- 
fording the best prospect of a rich harvest for themselves. 

Please to consider this as a mere hasty sketch of my 
views, as I have not time to enter fully upon the subject. 
If consistent with your views of propriety it would be very 
gratifying, indeed, for me, through some channel, to have 
? distinct intimation of your views in relation to this sub- 

Very sincerely, yr. fr. & huml. servt., 


The foregoing letter was written with a full knowledge 
that General Jackson did not coincide with my views of 
an immediate occupancy and settlement of the unoccu- 
pied lands claimed by the Cherokees. But, as my own 
mind was unchangeably made up on that point. I resolved 
frankly to give him an intimation of the course he might 
expect me to pursue, and to do so in that true spirit of 
kindness and confidence which I had always entertained 
for him. But, for months, I received no intimation from 
him on the subject, because my views were not approved 
of by him. However, when it was seen that I would not 


be held back, but that I was advancing with success, we 
came to an understanding-, and co-operated harmoniously 
to the end of the chapter. 

May 4th, 1852. 

Note by thk Editor. — Chapter IX of the manuscript, 
omitted from this vohime, contains a portion of Gov. Lumkin's cor- 
respondence, comprising: 47 letters, addressed as follows: 

Gen. John Coffee, 15 letters; Hon. Lewis Cass, 5 letters; Chas. 
C. Mills, Principal Keeper of the Penitentiary, 3 letters; Inspectors 
of the Penitentiary, 2 letters; Hon. Daniel Newnan, 2 letters; Hon. 
James M. Wayne, 2 letters; Col. Wm. W. Williamson, 2 letters; Wm. 
Ashley, Jr., i letter; Col. John W. Burney, i letter; Gen. Benj. Cleve- 
land, I letter; Maj. Jesse F. Cleveland, r letter; Simmons Crawford, 
I letter; Gen. Thos. Glascock, i letter; Capt. James Hunter, i letter; 
President Andrew Jackson, i letter; Hon. R. M. Johnson, i letter; 
Hon. John P. King, i letter; Dr. Powell, i letter; Dr. D. H. Reese, 
I letter; Randolph Revill, i letter; A. G. Saffold, Launcelot Johnson 
and others, r letter; Dr. James Troup, i letter; Maj. Jacob Wood, 
I letter. Total 47 letters. 


Official Letters, 1833. 

Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, Jan'y 2d, 1833. 
Hon. Lewis Cass, 

Secretary of War. 

Sir : — Yesterday's mail brought me your communica- 
tion of the 24th ult. I have given to it that deliberate con- 
sideration which its intrinsic importance and the highly 
respected source from whence it emanates demand from 
me. I am fully aware, and take great pleasure on all fit 
occasions in avowing my unqualified approbation and 
grateful sense of the manner in which the present admin- 
istration of the Executive Government of the United 
States has managed and transacted their share of the deli- 
cate and difficult business relating to the existing rela- 
tions between Georgia and the Cherokee Indians. More- 
over, I am deeply impressed with an abiding sense of the 
fearful responsibility which the present administration 
has taken upon itself, with a view of doing justice to 
Georgia in relation to her Indian perplexities ; in doing 
which the administration has not only incurred the dis- 
pleasure, but has encountered the opposition, of a most 
formidable political and religious party, scattered over 
the whole Union — a party which has in many sections of 
our country had a preponderating influence, which would 
have paralyzed any administration which was not emin- 
ently distin<ji,uished for patriotism, talents and firmness. 
I am also fully aware and alive to the unhallowed and un- 
principled course now in operation, by the nullifiers, and 
old friends of the Hartford Convention, and the great ef- 
forts now making by their hireling presses, to identify 
Georgia with South Carolina, both in principle and action. 
They are now making a great and united efifort to throw 
Georgia into the nullifying wake of South Carolina, and 
for this purpose they endeavor to make it appear that the 
conduct of Georgia in the missionary case and that of 
South Carolina in her schemes of nullification, ordinance 
and all, are identical — are parallel cases. It cannot be be- 


lieved, however, that any honest man of common sense 
will be at a loss to draw the proper distinction between 
the destructive heresies and acts of South Carolina, ob- 
viously tending to the destruction of the Federal Union, 
and those acts of Georgia which have been resorted to 
in defence of her local jurisdictional rights over her own 
citizens and territory. South Carolina has not only avow- 
ed her determination to resist the execution of the rev- 
enue laws of the country, but has openly assumed a posi- 
tion tending to disunion, and has actually commenced 
the organization of a separate and distinct government, 
based upon belligerent and warlike principles. Her new 
form of proposed government is not only founded on prin- 
ciples of hostility to her old confederates, but is arbitrary, 
despotic and tyrannical in the extreme, to all that portion 
of her own citizens who have the honesty and patriotism 
to dissent from her novel and wild career of revolution, 
and to adhere to our admirable and beloved constitutional 
Federal system. Now, because Georgia has resolved at 
all hazards to maintain and defend their own local laws, 
enacted for the punishment of ofifences committed against 
them, within her own admitted constitutional limits, shall 
she therefore be identified with the ambitious disappoint- 
ed disunionists of other States? I trust not. As a Geor- 
gian, I blush for her sons who can aid and countenance 
the baneful and delusive doctrines of disruption, and more 
especially for those who are endeavoring to identify my 
beloved State with such heresies as nullification. 

While the people of Georgia had grounds to believe 
that South Carolina was merely contending against the 
unequal and oppressive tarilT system, even her errors and 
indiscreet zeal were received with a spirit of forbearance, 
and a kindred feeling was exercised towards her, even in 
her acts which could not be entirely sanctioned. But since 
the mask has been thrown ofif — since the appearance of 
the South Carolina ordinance, and her proclamations and 
laws, upon the subject of nullification, have made their 
appearance, the great body of the people of Georgia are 
responding to the late resolution of the Legislature of 
the State; '' ive abhor 7iiillificatio7i." The people of Geor- 
gia understand their rights, and will defend such as they 
deem to be essential and of vital importance at all haz- 
ards. They are ardently attached to the Federal Union, 
and they believe its preservation depends upon the Fed- 
eral and State Governments being strictly confined within 
their respective constitutional spheres of action. That 


Georgia has acted upon these principles in all her unpleas- 
ant controversies with the different branches of the Fed- 
eral Government, appears to me to be so plain and palpa- 
ble that I cannot doubt her being sustained by an over- 
whelming majority of the people of these United States. 
The absurdity of attempting to identify her with South 
Carolina, on account of the missionary case, appears to 
me to be too palpable to deserve serious refutation. 

How stands this missionary case? Georgia believed 
her principal difficulties with the Cherokee Indians resid- 
ing within her limits grew out of the bad counsel and in- 
fluence of the whites who resided amongst them. 

Her Legislature, therefore, passed a law making it 
penal for a white man to continue to reside amongst the 
Indians, unless he would first take an oath to support the 
laws and Constitution of the State. These missionaries, 
although advised and admonished by the Chief Magis- 
trate of the State to comply with the law, or peaceably 
leave the State, obstinately refused to do either, but, to 
the contrary, hurled defiance at the State and its author- 
ities. Whereupon, the law was enforced against them, 
and they incurred its penalties — penitentiary confine- 
ment. However, on their arrival at the prison gate the 
Executive voluntarily offered and desired to set them at 
liberty, upon the mere promise that they would not again 
locate within the Indian country of Georgia. This, again, 
they obstinately refused, and, of course, were put into the 
Penitentiary, where they have ever since received the most 
kind and indulgent treatment. From then till now they 
could at any time have been released and set at liberty 
by simply dismissing all their proceedings pending before 
the Supreme Court, and asking relief in a becoming man- 
ner from the Executive of Georgia. Less than this can 
never sustain the honor of the State, and her Chief Mag- 
istrate. Georgia cannot, without disgrace, be coerced by 
the threatening attitude of the Supreme Court, or any 
other power under heaven, to liberate those men. But 
the first moment that Georgia can be relieved from threats 
and menace, and her authority looked to and respected as 
it ought to be, by these individuals, they will be set at lib- 
erty. Those who suppose they can succeed in identifying 
Georgia with South Carolina and her heresies, through 
this missionary case, and thereby cast odium upon the 
President of the United States and Georgia, and make 
the people believe in their charges made of inconsistency 
and partiality, do but deceive themselves. 


Such an efifort must be predicated in the belief that 
the people are destitute of common sense, and consequent- 
ly incapable of wise self-government — that they may be 
deceived by the sophistry of demagog-ues whenever it may 
suit the views of the ambitious. The people of Georgia 
unite with me in entertaining the highest respect and con- 
fidence in the President of the United States, as well as 
yourself, and would yield anything but principles which 
we deem to be inseparably connected with the best inter- 
est of our common country to gratify the wishes and pro- 
mote the interest of the present Executive and adminis- 
tration of the Government of the United States. But it 
is my most deliberate and settled opinion that, in the pres- 
ent position of affairs, it would be destructive to the best 
interest of correct constitutional principles, as well as that 
of the high reputation of the present Executive adminis- 
tration of the Federal Government, for me to yield to the 
suggestions contained in your letter in regard to liberat- 
ing the missionaries at the present moment. Although I 
think differently, it may be true that setting these men at 
liberty might contribute something towards accelerating 
a speedy arrangement with the Cherokees. But, desirable 
as this object is to Georgia and her citizens, yet I would 
greatly prefer encountering another thirty years' painful 
controversy rather than see my State and common coun- 
try subjected to dishonorable imputations. Admitting I 
could at this moment consent for Georgia to abandon the 
ground which she has occupied in regard to the mission- 
aries, what would be the inevitable effect? Georgia would 
not only be accused of yielding her principles in regard to 
State rights, but the charges brought against the Presi- 
dent of the United States (on account of his late proclam- 
ation) that he is disposed to prostrate the rights of the 
States, would receive strength and countenance. And it 
would be said that I had yielded up the vital rights of 
Georgia to assist Andrew Jackson in using a despotic 
sway over the State governments, and more especially to 
wreak his vengeance against the politicians of South Caro- 
lina. The President's course, from first to last, in rela- 
tion to our local Indian difficulties and the cases which 
have arisen out of them, affords the most able and con- 
clusive defence of his correct and able opinions in regard 
to the just, proper and constitutional rights of the States, 
and no subsequent act of his friends should ever be per- 
mitted to take away the high ground on which he stands 
in this respect. The rights of Georgia, which he has coun- 


teiianced and defended against all opposition, will shield 
him and his character in the future pages of history from 
the calumnies of the present moment, wherein he is ac- 
cused of a disposition to trample on the rights of the 
States. The President, as well as myself, has equal re- 
gard for State rights, and right States. We have as little 
respect for State as we have for Federal usurpation. We 
cannot fail to unite as cordially in defending and protect- 
ing an oppressed and persecuted State minority from the 
galling yoke of despotism and bondage as we would to 
remove unnecessary and burthensome taxation. Sir, from 
what I have said you will perceive that, with the kindest 
and most respectful feelings, I am nevertheless under the 
necessity of dissenting from your views and wishes in re- 
gard to the release of the missionaries. 

And permit me to add that neither the President, you, 
ncr myself can properly be sustained, by yielding to the 
assumptions of the Supreme Court in the missionary case. 
The permanent prosperity of our common country forbids 
the idea of yielding. It is of equal importance that the 
religions party in politics should be checked. The purity 
of the Christian religion and the cause of the country 
alike demand that Georgia should be sustained in the 
ground which she has taken. Do let me hear from you 
soon in reply. And believe me, 

Yours, respectfully and sincerely, 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, Jan'y 4th, 1833. 
Hon. John Forsyth, 

Washington City. 

Sir : — I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of 
your favor of the 27th ult., together with the interesting 
papers accompanying the same. 

I duly appreciate the good motives of the highly re- 
spectable individuals who have, in a patriotic manner, vol- 
unteered their efforts to render the country a service by 
quieting the excitements which have grown out of what 
is generally called the Indian question. 

They are not as well informed, however, in regard to 
all the bearings of this subject as we are. I shall g^ve 


them correct information, and treat their kind regard for 
the interest and quiet of Georgia with becoming respect. 

I have the honor to be, 

Respectfully, yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department. Ga., 
Milledgeville, Jan'y 5th, 1833. 

To Messrs. Silas Wright, Jr., A. C. Flagg, John A. Dix, 
W. L. Marcy, Eliphalet Nott, Stephen Van Rensselaer, 
R, Hyde Walworth, Green C. Bronson, Simeon De 
Witt, B. T. Welch, B. F. Butler, Jacob Sutherland, 
John Savage, Abner Van Vechten, John Ludlow, Wm. 
B. Sprague, J. N. Campbell, Wm. Lochead, Isaac Fer- 
ris and H. Bleecker. 

Gentlemen : — 

Your communications, bearing date the 17th and i8th 
ult., have been duly received, and I have given them that 
earnest and deliberate consideration which their intrinsic 
merit and importance and the highly respected source 
from whence they emanate demand. 

Your communications, although on different papers 
and in some respects variant in matter, nevertheless ex- 
hibit such identity of object and coincidence of general 
views as to justify, in my opinion, giving you a joint reply. 

And permit me first, gentlemen, to assure you that I 
regard and highly appreciate the honorable, patriotic and 
philanthropic motives which I feel convinced has influenc- 
ed you to oflfer your mediation, to allay existing excite- 
ments which disturb the repose, and even threaten the 
stability, of the admirable institutions of our common 
country. And suffer me especially to return you my 
grateful acknowledgements for the deep interest which 
you manifest for the welfare and repose of my own favor- 
ite State, in regard to her present local difficulties grow- 
ing out of her Indian relations. Towards some of you, at 
least, I have the pleasure of grateful recollections for your 
past exertions in defending the rights and character of 
Georgia against unjust aspersions. As patriots and Chris- 
tians I trust and believe our objects and ends are the same. 


While your present communications are primarily direct- 
ed to the case of the missionaries, Messrs. Worcester and 
Butler, whose immediate release from penitentiary con- 
finement you recommend, you guardedly avoid entering 
upon the discussion of various subjects which are con- 
nected with, and have led to, their present confinement. 
I fully appreciate and approve of your motives, in thus 
delicately presenting the subject to me, stripped of con- 
troversy and excitement. But, nevertheless, it must oc- 
cur to you that my peculiar duties and responsibilities, in 
the performance of the official act which you recommend, 
ought to be preceded by a full and fair consideration of 
all the circumstances and bearings connected with this 
peculiar case. However, I have neither time nor dispo- 
sition, nor do I deem it necessary, to present to you all 
the considerations which must necessarily have a bearing 
on my mind in making up a decision in regard to my duty 
in this missionary case. I will say to you, however, that 
I deeply regretted at the time these men forcing them- 
selves into the Penitentiary of Georgia ; that their con- 
tinuance there has been contrary to my wishes ; and that 
the very first moment I can send them away, consistently 
with my duty to my God and my country, they shall not 
remain in prison a single day. 

The act of the Legislature of Georgia, making it penal 
for a white man to reside on the Indian territory with- 
in the limits of the State without first taking an oath to 
support the laws and Constitution thereof, was predicated 
on the belief that mischievous white men were the prime 
cause of all our controversies and difficulties with the rem- 
nant tribe of Indians residing within our State. Before 
the law was enforced against the missionaries they were 
advised and admonished by the Governor of the State to 
leave the State peaceably, or obey the law. They not only 
refused, but acted in a spirit of defiance to the authorities 
of the State. After they arrived at the prison gate, un- 
der the sentence of the law, a free pardon was offered to 
them if they would merely promise not to settle again on 
the Indian territory of Georgia. This they also refused. 

From the day they entered the prison, till now, they 
might at any time have been discharged, by relieving the 
State from the threats and menace of being forced to dis- 
charge them, and by making respectful application to the 
authorities of the State. More than what I have named 
never has been required by Georgia, and less will never 
be deemed satisfactory. The ground which the State has 


maintained on this subject can never be abandoned with- 
out dishonor to herself — a vital stab to the palpable con- 
stitutional rights of the States to enact and enforce laws 
for the government of their own population, within their 
admitted jurisdictional Hmits, and degrading the present 
executive administration of the Federal Government, 
which has coincided with the views of Georgia in every 
important step which she has taken in this matter. The 
constitutional rights of the States, which have been vindi- 
cated by the present Executive Government of the Union, 
on questions of controversy growing out of what 
has been termed the Indian question, will do immortal 
honor to the name of Andrew Jackson, and afford the 
material for the future historian of our country to vindi- 
cate his fame from the calumnies of the present moment, 
wherein he is charged with a disposition to trample on 
the rights of the States, and change the Federal into a 
consolidated government. I am fully aw^are as yourselves 
that the ground taken by Georgia and the policy which 
has been pursued by her authorities, and sustained by the 
President of the United States, has met with the severe 
censure, animadversion and disapprobation of a large and 
respectable portion of the people of this Union. More- 
over, I am apprised that the political opposition which 
has been arrayed against us has received great strength 
and zealous aid and co-operation from a highly talented 
and influential portion of the Christian community of our 
country. Indeed, the opposition has been such, and so 
ably managed, that its preponderating influence would 
have paralyzed any cause which was not based upon the 
eternal principles of truth, justice and good will towards 
man. Six years ago, as some of you can witness, when 
(humble as I am) I had the honor to propose and urge 
upon the consideration of the American Congress the ex- 
pediency and propriety of providing by law for the re- 
moval of the whole of the remnant tribes of Indians, then 
remaining in the States and Territories of the Union, to 
an eligible country west of the Mississippi river, I was 
viewed by a majority of even that enlightened assemblage 
as premature and visionary in my plans, and was even ac- 
cused of the dishonorable motive of seeking popularity 
at the expense of the lives and best interests of the un- 
fortunate remnants of the aboriginals of North America ; 
but now, as you intimate, the wisdom, the expediency and 
practicability of the plan has received the seal of appro- 
bation fro'n three-fourths of the people of this Union. 


"Truth is mighty and will prevail." Now, under these 
circumstances, is it wise, prudent or expedient that the 
authorities of one of the sovereign States of this Union, 
sustained in her course by the often repeated official opin- 
ions of Andrew Jackson and his able auxiliary at the head 
of the War Department, should make humiliating con- 
cessions to the very individuals and public functionaries 
who have contributed most to excite and agitate our be- 
loved country upon (to say the least) mistaken grounds? 
No, gentlemen, Georgia can never abandon the ground 
which she has taken and defended on this subject. The 
people of the State understand their inherent, their un- 
alienable reserved rights ; and such rights as they deem to 
be of vital importance they will defend at every hazard. 
They are ardently attached to the Federal Union, and 
they believe its preservation depends upon the Federal 
and State Governments being strictly confined within their 
respective constitutional spheres of action. And that 
Georgia has always acted upon these principles in all her 
unpleasant conflicts with the diflferent departments of the 
Federal Government appears to me to be clearly estab- 
lished by the verdict of the grand inquest of the Ameri- 
can people. It must be admitted that she has, upon sev- 
eral occasions, received the sentence of condemnation by 
Presidents, and Judges of the Supreme Court ; but the 
sovereign people of the Union have, upon the appeal be- 
ing brought before them, reversed these verdicts. I am, 
therefore, annually strengthened in the belief that the peo- 
ple of these United States are not only capable of self- 
government, but of wise self-government; and I trust a 
kind and indulgent Providence designs, through the im- 
mediate instrumentality of a virtuous people, to perpetu- 
ate the blessings of our good system of government, to 
the end of time. 

I am fully aware of the various efforts which have been 
made, and are still in operation, with a view of identify- 
ing Georgia with her sister State, Carolina, in her new 
theories and novel proceedings. This, gentlemen, is a del- 
icate subject, but we have fallen on times which demand 
patriotic plainness. The integrity of the Union is jeopard- 
ized, and consequently the liberties of the people are en- 
dangered. T am svire, gentlemen, you have too much in- 
telligence to believe that the conduct of Georgia in the 
missionary case is identical — or a parallel case — with that 
of South Carolina, in her schemes of nullification, ordin- 
ance and all. It cannot be believed th^it nnv honest man 


of common sense can be at a loss to draw the proper dis- 
tinction. South Carohna has not only avowed her deter- 
mination to resist the execution of the revenue laws of 
the country, but has openly assumed a position prepara- 
tory, as they think, to disunion, and has actually com- 
menced the organization of a separate and distinct gov- 
ernment, based upon belligerent and warlike principles. 
Her new form of proposed government is not only found- 
ed in principles of hostility to her old confederates, but 
is arbitrary, despotic and tyrannical in the extreme to the 
minority of her own citizens who are still disposed to ad- 
here to the Union. Now, because the people of Georgia 
are unitedly resolved, at all hazards, to maintain and de- 
fend their own local claims, enacted for the punishment 
of ofifenses committed against them within her acknowl- 
edged jurisdictional limits, shall she, therefore, be identi- 
fied with South Carolina? I trust not. While the people 
of Georgia had grounds to believe that South Carolina 
was merely contending against the unequal and unjust 
burthens of the present tariff system, even her errors and 
inordinate zeal were received with forbearance, and a kin- 
dred feeling was exercised towards her, even when her 
principles and theories could not receive our sanction. 
But the appearance of the South Carolina ordinance, and 
other subsequent acts, has caused the great body of the 
people of Georgia to respond to the words contained in a 
late resolution of the Legislature of the State: " IVc ab- 
hor mdlifi cation.'' But while I thus deprecate the pro- 
ceedings of the ruling party in South Carolina, I trust you 
will bear with my frankness in expressing the opinion 
which I most seriously entertain in regard to the provoca- 
tions of the Southern States. The people in some sections 
of this Union assume to themselves not only the capacity 
but the right to judge and determine what measures will 
most eflfectually promote the interest of the South. In 
other v^^ords, they seem to think they understand our true 
situation, circumstances and interest better than we do 
ourselves. Now, these are assumptions which will never 
be quietly endured by freemen. We know those at a dis- 
tance are wholly ignorant and unqualified to manage and 
direct our local affairs. I have known for years that the 
protective tariff system must be abandoned, or the Union 
would be destroyed, whether real or imaginary measures 
which are considered intolerable by whole sections of our 
country must be abandoned. 


In conclusion, permit me again to advert to the case 
of the missionaries, and to assure you, gentlemen, that I 
would yield anything but principles which I deem to be 
inseparably connected with the best interests of our com- 
mon country to gratify the wishes and promote the hap- 
piness of you and very many other highly valued friends. 
But it is my deliberate and settled opinion that, in the 
present posture of afifairs, it would be destructive to vital 
constitutional principles, and deeply injurious to the ex- 
alted character and reputation of our present Chief Mag- 
istrate. It may be true that liberating these men at the 
present moment might contribute to the acceleration of 
making an arrangement with the Cherokees for their 
lands in Georgia, but, desirable as this object is to the 
citizens of this w' ate, I would greatly prefer another thirty 
years' painful controversy to dishonorable compromise. 

Admitting I could at this moment consent for Geor- 
gia to abandon the ground which she has occupied in re- 
gard to this case, what would be the inevitable eflfect? We 
should not only be justly accused of yielding our princi- 
ples in regard to State rights, but the charge brought 
against the President of the United States (on account of 
his late proclamation), that he is disposed to prostrate the 
rights of the States, would receive strength and counten- 
ance. It would be alleged that I had yielded up the vital 
rights of Georgia to assist Andrew Jackson in exercising 
a despotic sway over the State governments, and to wreak 
his vengeance against the political men of South Carolina. 
The President's course, from first to last, in relation to 
our local Indian question, and the cases which have arisen 
out of them, affords the most able and conclusive defence 
of his correct and able opinions in regard to the reserved 
rights of the States, and no act of mine shall ever contrib- 
ute to tarnish the high ground on which he stands in this 
respect. The rights of Georgia which he has counten- 
anced and maintained against the most powerful and bitter 
opposition will go far to shield him and his character in 
the future pages of history from the calumnies of the 
present moment, wherein he is accused of a disposition 
to trample on the rights of the States. 

Gentlemen, after all that I have said, I trust you will 
perceive that, with the kindest and most respectful feel- 
ings towards you and others who are not so intimately 
identified with this missionary case as myself, I am bound 
to say I cannot yield to the assumptions of the Supreme 
Court in this matter. The permanent prosperity of our 


beloved common country forbids my yielding. Let these 
men dismiss the proceedings now pending before the Su- 
preme Court against Georgia, and let them apply to the 
proper authority of the State, in a respectful and becom- 
ing manner, and they shall go free, and not till then. 
With high consideration and regard, I am 

Your most obt. servt,, 


Hon. L. Cass, 

Secretary War 

Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, 19th Jan'y, 1833. 

Dear Sir : — I have just read yours of the 9th inst. with 
satisfaction, and, before this reaches you, you will have 
seen my definitive act in relation to the missionaries. 

The moment things were brought to the proper point 
for which I had contended, they were released. I trust 
the good effects which you have anticipated may result 
from this act, especially in effecting a satisfactory treaty 
with the Cherokees. 

It appears to me that now is the most auspicious mo- 
ment to effect a treaty with this deluded people. The 
Cherokee delegation, headed by Ross, are now in your 
city. The impulse of their Northern friends, produced by 
their late conversions to the emigration plan, may also 
be used to advantage. But it is useless for me to add any 
suggestions to you upon this subject. Suffice it to say I 
have entire confidence in your skill, ability and disposi- 
tion to manage this case to the greatest advantage. And 
I am well aware that your anxiety is scarcely less than 
my own, to terminate the local embarrassment of Geor- 
gia on this subject — all of which, in all their bearings, can- 
not fail to press themselves on your consideration. Please 
to make my respects acceptable to the President, and say 
to him if the Executive Administration can be sustained 
by Congress on the tariff subject, the South is safe. And 
receive for yourself the assurance of my friendly regard 
and high consideration. 



Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, Jan'y 19, 1833. 
Hon. Jno. Forsyth, 

Washington City. 

Sir : — I thank you for the information contained in 
your favor of the 9th inst., upon the subject of the mis- 
sionaries, although I had received the same intelligence 
and more in detail, through other channels previous to 
the reception of your letter. Before this reaches you, you 
will have seen my official action on the missionary case, 
which, of course, from the contents of your letter, will be 
approved of by you, and I may add, I entertain no doubt 
will be approved by every candid, intelligent man, in and 
out of Georgia, when the whole ground upon which I have 
acted shall be fairly before the public. Yet I find there 
will be zealous efiforts made by the "nullifiers" to condemn 
my conduct in releasing these men. 

However, my confidence in the good sense and hon- 
esty of the people of Georgia is firm and unshaken ; their 
public agents have but little to fear, so long as they do 
their duty. 

Now, sir, the only deeply interesting local matter 
in relation to the affairs of Georgia is to effect a satis- 
factory treaty with the Cherokees. And to this point I 
beg leave to urge your earnest attention, under all the 
existing circumstances upon which it is unnecessary for 
me to dwell, when addressing you who understand them 
so well. It appears to me that now is the auspicious mo- 
ment to urge successfully for a treaty with the Cherokees. 
Their delegation, headed by Ross, are now in Washing- 
ton. Their Northern friends, under the impulse of their 
late conversion to the emigration plan, may now use their 
influence to great advantage. 

I am, with great respect, 

Yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, Jan'y 19th, 1833. 

Hon. James M. Wayne, 

Washington City, D. C. 

Dear Sir : — I have just read your very interesting let- 
ter of the 9th instant, for which I thank you. I have also, 


as you expected, received a letter from Mr. Forsyth. Be- 
fore this reaches you, you will have seen my official ac- 
tion on the missionary case. Those who are disposed to 
war with the Federal Government — cause or no cause — 
will, of course, condemn my act in the release of these 
men ; but, when the whole ground upon which I have acted 
shall be fairly before the public, I entertain no doubt of 
being fully sustained by the candid, intelligent part of the 
people, in and out of Georgia. My confidence in the hon- 
esty and good sense of the people of Georgia is firm and 
unshaken ; their public agents have but little to fear, so 
long as they do their duty. Now, my dear sir, let us make 
every efifort to put to rest forever the territorial perplex- 
ities of Georgia by a speedy formation of a treaty with 
the Cherokees. I need not dwell, when addressing you, 
upon the various circumstances which combine to make 
the present the most auspicious moment for urging a 
treaty upon the Cherokee delegation now at Washington, 
with Ross at their head. Their Northern friends, under 
the impulse of their late conversion to the emigration 
plan, may become useful auxiliaries to the agents of the 
Government in effecting a treaty. We should not slum- 
ber, or sleep, until this last remaining local case of Geor- 
gia is forever put to rest. I concur with you most heart- 
ily in forgetting past petty conflicts and party strifes, and 
uniting with the patriots of the land in the great cause of 
our common country. I rejoice in the prospect which 
your letter affords of a speedy and satisfactory adjust- 
ment of the tariff, and trust you may not be mistaken. 

Such a result as you anticipate will save the country, 
and hush the voice of demagogues. The just rights of 
the South being sustained, the people of Georgia will be 
content ; nothing less will, or ought to, satisfy them, and 
nothing more will be required, the efforts of the disor- 
ganizers to the contrary notwithstanding. The policy which 
we have sustained is unquestionably gaining strength, 
and if properly maintained before the people cannot be 
overturned, based as it is upon the immutable principles 
of truth, and having for its object the hanpiness and wel- 
fare of this and future generations, to whose interest we 
have devoted much of our past lives. 

I am, with much respect, 

Yr. obt. servt., 



Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, Jan'y 23rd, 1833. 

Col. Wm. W. Williamson. 

Dear Sir : — I have just received, and carefully perused 
and reflected on the contents of your letter of the nth 
inst. Take it altogether, and it exhibits an unpleasant 
state of things in the new country ; but not worse than I 
anticipated for some time before the adjournment of the 
Legislature. That nothing was done in the way of legis- 
lation suited to the existing state of things in Cherokee 
is by no means justly attributable to the want of correct 
information being before the Legislature, but to an ob- 
vious determination on the part of that body to do noth- 
ing which the interest of the State required in relation to 
that country. It was repeatedly urged upon the Legis- 
lature to make some final disposition of the fractions, but 
they would not. The continuance of the guard, until the 
organization of the counties, at least, was urged as being 
indispensable ; but this was wholly refused by the Legis- 
lature. Indeed, it appeared to me that a majority were 
resolved that evil and confusion should grow out of our 
arrangements for settling the new country. And, what- 
ever evils may accrue, the guilt must fall upon their own 
heads. However, it is my duty to administer such laws 
as I find to the best possible advantage, whether they be 
appropriate or not. And even where I have no law I must 
use my best exertions to preserve the lives and property 
of the people. 

If I can find voluntary patriotism enough in the State 
to aid me in protecting our citizens in the settlement of 
the new country, it shall be done. Let no one think of 
abandoning their new homes, nor let any one who may 
be authorized legally to settle in the new country be de- 
terred from doing so. You have not only done right in 
placing a guard of four men in the alarmed neighborhood, 
but, if it shall be necessary, we will have four thousand 
men in the country to protect the lives of our citizens. 
The murderers of Bowman and his family must, and shall, 
be punished. It seems to me, as the best mode of appre- 
hending and bringing to justice these cruel murderers, 
that a suitable reward should be offered for the apprehen- 
sion of the guilty, which I would do forthwith, in a suit- 
able manner, if I was in possession of the requisite infor- 
mation ; but I only know that the family was supposed to 


have been murdered b}' Indians — I know not what In- 
dians, or how many. I am, therefore, at a loss how to 
offer rewards, or issue proclamations. 

You will, however, consider yourself authorized, in 
my name, to give such notice, and in such form as you 
may deem proper, that I will pay a just and liberal reward 
to such person or persons as may apprehend and bring 
to justice the offenders. Under existing circumstances, 
we cannot, with propriety, hold the chiefs accountable for 
the depredations committed by their people ; but they 
may be assured that they will consult the best interest of 
themselves and people to be prompt in aiding and assist- 
ing the authorities in apprehending and punishing prompt- 
ly all such depredations as those recently committed on 
Bowman and his family. As to the extent of danger, or 
guard that may be necessary for the protection of the 
people, I shall rely chiefly on your judgment, for I shall 
be constantly misled if I rely upon the selfish statements 
of interested individuals. I am fully aware of the fact 
that your present agency will be very laborious and dif- 
ficult to execute, and attended with many perplexities and 
embarrassments, and that, if you are so fortunate as to 
succeed in the execution of the duties contemplated, your 
best reward will consist in having rendered a very impor- 
tant service to your State. I think, however, from your 
letter that your first impressions, from the reading of the 
late act of the Legislature defining your duties, are. per- 
haps, not so correct as the}^ will be on more mature ex- 
amination and reflection. I do not, under the act, consider 
it your duty to prevent intrusions on the fractions, or to 
protect our white population in any way. All I shall ex- 
pect from you in regard to these matters is expected on 
account of my confidence in your judgment and patriot- 
ism, and the favorable position which you occupy to aid 
me in giving me information and making arrangements 
to meet such exigencies as may occur. 

The law under which you are acting appears to me to 
be chiefly confined to the single object of guarding and 
protecting the rights of the Indians, and securing to them 
such rights and immunities as may be guaranteed to them 
by our State legislation. The difficulties which you sug- 
gest and point out will become fair questions for the ad- 
judication of our courts. 

I have always entertained doubts that the temporary 
provision made by our laws, with a view of securing to the 
Indians their homes, would be of little service to them, 


when surrounded by a white population. The white man 
and Indian cannot hve together, under such circumstances 
as now exist in Cherokee. But impress it on the minds of 
all our citizens that the day is at hand when the Indians 
will take their departure from Georgia. I am not mis- 
taken in these views, and such considerations should lead 
our citizens to the exercise of temporary patience and 

I am, with great respect, 

Yrs., &c., 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, Feb'ry 27th, 1833. 

Hon. Geo. W. Owens, 

Mayor of the City of Savannah. 

Sir : — I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt 
of your commtmication of the 21st inst., enclosing the copy 
of a memorial of certain citizens therein named, which 
has been presented to the Board of Aldermen of the City 
of Savannah, and acted upon by them, as appears from 
the papers which I have received. In reply, I must beg 
leave, in the first place, to correct a misapprehension 
which seems to exist in regard to the discretionary power 
confided to the Executive by an act of the last Legisla- 
ture. If there be any act of the Legislature conferring 
the supposed power pointed out in the memorial on the 
Governor, I have not been able to find it. I would re- 
spectfully ask the attention of the respectable citizens, 
who are under the impression that any part of the griev- 
ances of which they complain are chargeable to the Exec- 
utive, to the annual message of the Governor to the 
last General Assembly, and to the various acts of the Leg- 
islature, providing for the improvement of roads and 
rivers ; and if such examination should result in the con- 
viction that the present Executive has omitted in the 
slightest degree to attend to their interest, as far as the 
laws of the State would authorize, I would respectfully 
ask that the same may be pointed out to me, when I can 
assure all who may feel themselves interested I will 
promptly turn my attention to their complaints, and to 
the uttermost of my power and ability discharge every 


duty which may be required by the laws of the State. 
I have the honor to be 

Yr. obt. servt.. 


The following- was addressed to the persons named, 
accompanying- the order of their appointment, under the 
authority of the Leg-islature to amend or draft a new penal 
code for the State : 

Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, Jan'y 22d, 1833. 

Hon. Wm. Schley, Augusta, Ga. 

Hon. Jno. A. Cuthbert, Milledgeville, Ga. 

Hon. Jos. Henry Lumpkin, Lexington, Ga. 

Dear Sirs : — The order of appointment herein en- 
closed affords on its face the authority under which it 
has been made, and points out the duties which are to 
be performed. The gentlemen associated with you in the 
appointment are also named. It will devolve on you, 
then, to make such arrangements as you may deem ex- 
pedient for the prosecution of the labors contemplated 
by the Legislature. 

My entire confidence in the ample qualifications of 
yourself and colleagues for an able discharge of the im- 
portant duties to which you are invited renders it un- 
necessary for me, with my very humble pretentions to 
legal acquirements, to submit anything to you (who are 
so much better qualified) in the form of advice, or instruc- 

The whole matter is, therefore, submitted to you with 
a full latitude for the exercise of that judgment and dis- 
cretion which seems to have been contemplated by the 
Legislature. It will, however, afford me great pleasure 
to confer with you on the several subjects confided to 
your charge, and furnish you with all such information 
as may be found on the folio of this ofifice which may, in 
any way, be calculated to aid you in your undertaking. 

I am, sir. with great respect, 

Yr. obt. servt., 



Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, March 2d, 1833. 
Dr. N. B. Powell, 

Macon, Ga. 

Sir: — 1 have just read your letter of yesterday's date. 
I very much regret to hear of the impediments thrown 
in your way and progress in the execution of your pub- 
lic duty, so far as relates to the road which you are now 
engaged in making, from Thomaston to Macon. I can 
only advise you, however, to prosecute your duty, as de- 
fined by law, and use your best judgment in all matters 
left to your discretion, constantly keeping in view the pub- 
lic interest, regardless of personal considerations. 

If any improper considerations should so far prevail, 
in any County or portion of the community, as to pre- 
vent or hinder your progress, you will, of course, be un- 
der the necessity of abandoning your plan of rendering 
them important public benefits, and direct the public re- 
sources placed under your control to better disposed por- 
tions of the community. You will, of course, feel your- 
self bound to respect the decisions of the judiciary. The 
faithful execution of our laws depends upon the co-opera- 
tion of the dififerent departments of the Government. I 
entirely approve of the course which you have taken in 
referring the case to the advice of the Solicitor General. 
And I should deem it most expedient, under all the cir- 
cumstances, for you to rely entirely upon the counsel of 
the Solicitor General. He is the officer of the Govern- 
ment, and by following his advice you place the responsi- 
bility where it properly belongs. 

Very respectfully, your obt. servant, 


Executive Department, Georgia, 

Milledgeville, April i8th, 1833. 

To the Editor of the Georgia Courier. 

Sir: — In your paper of the 15th inst. I observe the 
following paragraph : "A law of the last session requires 
the banks of this State to make quarterly reports. We 
are requested to ask 'if they have been made, why have 
they not been published ?' " For the information of the 
public I avail myself of this occasion to state that no act 
of the Legislature requires quarterly reports to be made 


by the officers of the banks. And further, that no act of 
the Legislature directs or requires the publication of 
bank reports which may be made at any time. By the 
act of the Legislature, passed at the last session, entitled 
''An act more eflfectually to secure the solvency of the 
banking- institutions of this State," it is made the duty of 
the President and Directors of the several incorporated 
banks of this State to make semi-annual returns, on the 
first Monday in April and October in each year, to the 
Governor, ''and to be subject to the examiyiatioji of the 
Legislature.'' Should the President and Directors of any 
one or more of the banks fail to comply with the require- 
ments of the law in making their reports, it is then the 
duty of the Governor to notify the Treasurer of the State, 
and the President and Directors of the Central Bank, of 
said delinquency. Whereupon it shall not be lawful to 
receive the bills of such delinquent bank, or banks, in the 
payment of any debt due the State of Georgia, or the Cen- 
tral Bank, until such returns shall be made in conformity 
with the provisions of said act. 

The Governor is further authorized and required, as 
far as he may deem it expedient and for the public inter- 
est, to publish the name, or names, of any bank, or banks, 
which may fail to comply with all the requisitions of the 
act recited. 

Permit me to add that the preamble of the act under 
consideration, when taken alone, would seem to indicate 
the intention on the part of the Legislature to lay the 
reports of the several banks directly before the whole 
community. But when we take the preamble and body 
of the act together, we are forced to the conclusion that 
the contemplated publicity was designed to reach the pub- 
lic by the Governor first submitting them to the Legisla- 
ture. I am fully apprised of the intense anxiety which 
pervades banking communities to ascertain the condition 
of each other, and have therefore been strictly guarded, 
since the reception of the returns recently received from 
different banks, under the late law. not to permit access 
to these reports, which might possibly give a partial ad- 
vantage to one interest over another. T shall not permit 
these bank reports to undergo any inspection which may 
produce any undue or partial advantage or disadvantage 
to individuals, companies, or communities. No partial 
copies, extracts, or information sh-^ll be given. The pub- 
lication, when made, must embrace all. T have long since 
imbibed an aversion to governmental or official secrets, 


and, so far as relates to myself, I have no official acts or 
correspondence which I am disposed to conceal from the 
public. In regard to these bank reports, the law has 
placed me in an embarrassing situation. If left to my own 
discretion, I have no disposition to withhold anything 
which may be on the files or records of this office from 
any citizen ; yet it is my duty to execute the laws of the 
State as I find them, and the law gives no authority for 
the publication of these bank reports, but makes it my 
duty to lay them before the next session of the Legisla- 
ture. In the meantime, I have had many applications to 
see, and obtain copies of, these reports — to grant which 
would, in my opinion, afford partial and unjust advan- 
tages to those who obtain the information, and perhaps 
prove to be seriously injurious to the currency of the 
State. Yet, to refuse access to these reports will sub- 
ject me to the illiberal censure of withholding from the 
community any real or supposed maladministration of 
the affairs of any one or more of the banks of the State. 
I have not yet received the entire returns required by 
the late act of the Legislature from all the banks, and, 
from a full consideration of the whole subject, I am not 
at this time prepared to say that circumstances may not 
force me to the conclusion that justice to the people, as 
well as to the different banks, will require me to assume 
the responsibility (though not contemplated or forbidden 
by law) to lay the entire reports before the public. 

I am, sir, very respectfully, 

Yr. obt. servt.. 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, April 22d, 1833. 
To Andrew Jackson, 

President of the United States. 

Dear Sir : — I have deemed it expedient to inform you 
and, through you, the Secretary of War, of the present 
prospect and state of affairs amongst the Cherokee In- 
dians. Since the return of Ross and company from Wash- 
ington, the prospects of a treaty with the Cherokees have 
constantly lessened. I am not prepared, however, to at- 
tribute the change of feeling amongst the Cherokees to any 
influence which may have been used by their own dele- 


gation, but rather incline to the opinion that these indi- 
viduals are acting in concert with the enemies of good 
order and government. It is quite evident that the 
enemies of the Union are doing all they can to give us 
trouble with the Cherokees. 

Regardless of truth or foundation, the Indians and 
Indian countrymen are told that, under a late act of Con- 
gress, the way is pre])ared to restore them to all their 
former high expectations of independent government, 
&c. Idle as these stories are known to be to every man 
of sense, yet men of sense are found to be base enough 
to exert their whole energies thus to delude and mislead 
this unfortunate people. Yea, newspapers and citizens 
of Georgia are, at this moment, engaged in the unhallowed 
work of fanning the embers of strife between the Chero- 
kees and the Government of Georgia ; and I regret that 
in some neighborhoods, where but few whites have set- 
tled, the Indians have manifested a spirit of disregard and 
insolence to our laws. I have, however, so far relied 
upon the civil authority of the new organized counties, 
and shall continue to do so, until I am assured that there 
is not sufficient moral force in the country to maintain 
the supremacy of our laws. I have taken propei: steps 
to remind the leading men amongst the Cherokees that 
it is my duty to see that the laws of the State are faith- 
fully administered and executed, and that they must be 
obeyed by every description of population within the 
State. I have warned them against adhering to the coun- 
sels of bad men. I have, moreover, reminded them of the 
kind solicitude with which I have watched over their in- 
terest, and how they have been shielded from oppression 
by the agents of the Government sent amongst them. I 
have told them distinctly (as you have done before) that, 
so long as they remain in the State, they must yield obedi- 
ence to its laws. This course has become necessary, on 
account of the falsehoods propagated by the enemies of 
the country. They have told the Indians that the United 
States troops lately marched from Augusta to Tennessee 
were sent on as an advance corps designed to drive the 
Georgians from the Cherokee country. 

After the developments whicli will transpire at the 
Cherokee Council, which is to meet on the 14th of next 
month, v.e shall be better prepared to judge in regard to 
subsequent measures. You will please excuse me for 
suggesting that it may be useful for you, in some distinct 
form, to let the Cherokees know that all those statements 


of your unprincipled enemies are mere slanders which go 
to charge you with any change of opinion in regard to 
the rights or prospects of the Cherokees. 

I am, dear sir, with unabating confidence and esteem, 

Yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, April 20th, 1833. 
Col. Wm. W. WilHamson. 

Sir: — I have just read your communication of the 17th 
inst. Unpleasant as the state of things represented in your 
letter may be in the new country, I am fully prepared for 
such a communication from you, from information pre- 
viously received from various sources. The evils com- 
plained of would be much more painful to me if I had not 
the consolation of having used every exertion within my 
control to prevent them. The insolence and irregularity 
of the Indians may be traced, first, to the imprudence of 
the Legislature in abolishing the guard ; and, secondly, 
to the unprincipled and lying newspapers and demagogues 
of our own State. Under the provisions of the act of the 
Legislature under which you are now engaged, your au- 
thority is now at an end. 

The new counties are now organized. It is the duty 
of the civil oflficers of the new counties to execute the 
laws and maintain good order. If the state of the popu- 
lation should be found to be such as not to afiford the 
moral force to execute the laws, let the proof be sub- 
mitted to me, and I shall then feel myself authorized to 
maintain the laws of the State by all the means which the 
laws and Constitution of the State place within my con- 
trol. I deeply regret the evil effects of the falsehoods and 
perversions which have been resorted to by the enemies 
of good government to mislead the deluded Indians, and 
white men connected with them ; but the penalty of all 
the mischief will fall more severely on their own heads. 
I agree with you in believing that the enemies of Georgia 
as well as of her true friends will be so far able to delude 
the Indians as to prevent their making a treaty this spring. 
If they do, the door of emigration will again be opened, 
and those who decline availing themselves of the benefits 


of that last best offer will sorely repent it. for the next 
IvCg'islatiire of Georgia will most certainly authorize the 
granting- of all the lands in the occupancy of white men, 
as well as the lands of individuals who have heretofore 
been paid for reserves under former treaties. You are 
mistaken in supposing I have authority to issue grants 
to lands which have been returned by the surveyors as 
being in the occupancy of natives, or the descendants of 
natives. It is my sworn duty to make the law my '/uide. 
If I had the power to make the law, as well as to execute 
it, I could then promptly meet many of the difficulties 
which you suggest. But I must adhere to the laws as I 
find them. 

Your views in regard to white men claiming Indian 
privileges are correct, and I have for some time pas! been 
receiving information in regard to the conduct of tlic in- 
dividuals whom you have named. But the meeting of the 
next Legislature will put an end to their supposed great- 
ness and influence. The Cherokee Council, in May, will 
develop the course of measures which ought to be piir- 
sued. I am very desirous of having the opportunitv of 
seeing you, and conversing freely and fully with you, pre- 
vious to the meeting of the Cherokee Council. Upon the 
reception of this, you are authorized to dismiss }'our 
guard, and repair to this place, with a view of making 
your closing report as agent, &c. 

And permit me, now, to apprise you that my present 
impression is that your attendance on the approaching 
Cherokee Council might be of great use to the State ; and, 
if so concluded, after full consultation, I will commission 
you to attend to that duty, and put you in full possession 
of my further views in regard to our Indian affairs. Do 
not fail to write to me immediately, and let me know 
whether you are willing to attend the Cherokee Council — 
first visiting this place. 

Yours, with great respect, 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, May 2nd, 1833. 
Col. V/m. N. Bishop, 

Spring Place, Murray Co., Ga. 

Dear Sir : — I have just read with feelings of deep in- 
terest your letter of the 24th ult. I hope before thi= you 


have received my letter to you of the 26th ult., which will 
afford you most of my views in relation to the subjects 
to which you have called my attention. Permit me now, 
however, further to remark to you that the approaching 
Council of the Cherokees will be the favorable time to ar- 
rest the various evils of which you complain, and you may 
rest assured that I have made the best arrangements 
which my judgment could devise to have all these various 
matters attended to. Should my anticipations of putting 
a stop to the disorders of which you complain by the 
means now^ in progress fail of success, you may rest as- 
sured, and assure others, that, immediately after the ad- 
journment of the Cherokee Council, other and efficient 
measures will be resorted to by me to ensure a faithful 
administration of our laws in every part of the new coun- 

I shall have an agent at the Cherokee Council who 
will be in possession of your views, and those of other 
gentlemen whose opinions coincide with yours, on the 
state of our affairs in your country, who will pay special 
attention to the several subjects embraced in your com- 
munications. Lest my former communication should by 
some means miscarry, I again acknowledge the receipt of 
the notes and satisfactory report which you have trans- 
mitted to the department, as renting agent, &c. 

I still regard the present unpleasant state of things 
in your neighborhood as temporary, and as growing out 
of the causes pointed out in my former letter, which I 
hope you have received before this time. 

Very respectfully, yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, 

Milledgeville, May loth. 1833. 
Gen'l Thomas Glascock, 

Augusta, Georgia. 

Sir : — Having put you fully in possession of my views 
and policy in regard to the existing relations between 
thi= State, the Cherokee Indians, and the Federal Gov- 
ernment, and having also laid before you a full view of 
the present state of our Indian affairs, as well as the in- 
formation and evidence upon which my opinions have 
been formed, I deem it, therefore, unnecessary, in this 
letter of general instructions, to refer specifically to the 


evidence which has led me to the conckisions to which 
I have arrived. 

First. It may be proper to remark that in appealing 
to your patriotism to undertake the agency of attending 
the approaching Cherokee Council, I have done so on my 
own responsibility, as the only officer of government who 
has the power to meet the present contingency in repre- 
senting the indispensable and great interest of the people 
of Georgia at the approaching Cherokee Council. Your 
expenses, and a reasonable compensation, will, therefore, 
be paid out of the contingent fund. 

Second. You will consider yourself particularly in- 
structed, should you have an opportunity of conferring 
with any responsible agents of the Federal Government 
who may be entitled to your confidence, to explain to 
them fully the objects of your mission. Assure them of 
our unabating confidence in the Executive authorities of 
the United States, and of our disposition to co-operate 
with the Federal authorities in carrying into eflfect the 
joint object of Indian emigration. 

Third. I am not at this time prepared to determine 
how far you may have the authority of the Executive Gov- 
ernment of the United States in a direct form which may 
enable you to contradict and disprove the various false 
reports which have been propagated amongst the Chero- 
kees, with a view of preventing them from making a treaty. 

The great and leading object, however, of }-our mis- 
sion will be to convince the Indians and Indian country- 
men, a.'-^ well as our citizens of every description, of the 
imperative necessity of respecting and enforcing the laws 
of Georgia throughout what is still called the Cherokee 
Country. If reason and considerations of interest should 
fail to sustain the execution of our laws, other and strong- 
er measures must and will be resorted to. The kind re- 
gards which the authorities of Georgia have manifested 
and practised towards the Indians since I entered upon 
my Executive duties might be urged with force. The 
agents whom I have sent amongst the Indians have treated 
them not only with justice, but with much kindness. 

Many considerations of deep interest to the Cherokees 
may be urged upon them with a view of convincing them 
that the present is the most favorable and auspicious time 
for them to close with the terms proposed by the Fed- 
eral Government. If they refuse to treat, a door will be 
forthwith opened for enrollment and emigration, which 
will divide and take ofT a great part of their present popu- 


lation whose places will immediately be filled up by the 
whites. Moreover, the Legislature of Georgia will not 
much longer permit white men to remain in the country, 
in the full enjoyment of the double rights of being citizens 
of the State and, at the same time, enjoy exclusive privil- 
eges under the pretext of native rights. Those who re- 
main in the country cannot expect, as our population in- 
creases, to enjoy the extraordinary privileges and pro- 
tection now guaranteed to them. It is extreme folly and 
wholly fallacious for the Cherokees to entertain the shad- 
ow of a hope that the Federal Government will ever at- 
, tempt, in the slightest degree, to overturn the laws of 
Georgia in regard to the soil or population within the 
chartered limits of the State. Upon all these various 
heads I have full confidence in your qualifications to do 
ample justice to the rights and views of the State, and 
therefore deem it unnecessary to enlarge upon the sev- 
eral subjects adverted to. After the Coimcil shall have 
met, should you deem it expedient under the circum- 
stances which may be presented, you will deliver the talk 
herewith presented to the Cherokees in Council assembled ; 
otherwise, you can withhold and return it to this depart- 
ment. In conclusion, permit me to urge the importance 
of your using ever)^ exertion to procure accurate and cor- 
rect information in regard to the present state of feel- 
ings amongst the Indians and whites now residing in the 
new country, and of every important transaction which 
may take place at the Council, and report to me with all 
possible dispatch after the adjournment of the Council. 

I look to the information which you may communi- 
cate with much confidence, as being useful in affording 
an index for our future operations in relation to our In- 
dian affairs. 

I am, dr. sir, with great respect, 

Yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, May 13th, 1833. 
Hon. Lewis Cass, 

Secretary of War. 

Sir : — I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of 
your letter of the 2d inst., together with the copies of the 
letters therein referred to, by the hand of Col. Abbott. 


The course which you have adopted, and the means 
which you have afforded to correct the false impressions 
which have been made upon the minds of the Cherokees 
and other dekided persons, meet my approbation, and 
are hi^i^lily satisfactory. 

I have made arrangements which will accomplish the 
desirable object of having- the contents of these papers 
made known to the Cherokees who may assemble in Coun- 
cil. Moreover, with a view of correcting the misrepre- 
sentations which have been made through the press, and 
other channels, I shall take the liberty of having these 
communications laid before the public (and your official 
letter, together with copies of the letters of Mr. Herring 
to the agents of the United States and to the Cherokees). 
Under all the circumstances, I trust you will concur with 
me in regard to the propriety of the publication of these 
official letters. My agent, Gen'l Glascock, who will at- 
tend the Cherokee Council, will report to me the result, 
immediately after which you may expect to hear from me 
on the subject of our Cherokee affairs ; and, if necessary, 
you shall have my views fully on the subject of emigra- 

I have the honor to be. very respectfully. 

Yours, &c., 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, May 30th. 1833. 

To the President and Directors of the Central Bank. 

Gentlemen : — I have this morning received a notice and 
extract from your minutes, through Mr. Malone, the 
Cashier of the Bank, apprising me of the resignation of 
Mr. H. V. Howard, as bookkeeper in the Bank, and 
further, that you would this day, at 3 o'clock p. m., pro- 
ceed to the election of an individual to fill said vacancy. 
You have my approbation to carry into effect your reso- 
lution in regard to filling said vacancy, and should I de- 
cline the exercise of my right in participating in the se- 
lection of an individual to fill said vacancy, it will be done 
under the conviction that the public interest will be duly 
regarded by those whom I have appointed under the laws 
of the State to manage and govern the affairs of this pub- 


lie institution, in which the whole community have the 
right to feel a deep interest. 

I am, gentlemen, very respectfully, &c., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, May 31st, 1833. 
Major Benj. F. Curry, 

New Echota. 

Sir: — Your favors of the nth and i8th inst. have been 
duly received, and for which I thank you, as they will aid 
me in prosecuting my views to promote the public inter- 

I fully concur with you as to the results which will 
grow out of all that has transpired at the late Cherokee 

Your views in regard to the policy which ought forth- 
with to be adopted, and your plan of execution in every 
important point, coincide with my own, and I have so in- 
formed the Secretary of War. I have, moreover, apprised 
the Secretary of the great importance which I attach to 
a judicious selection of agents to enter upon the enrolling 
business. They should be men of weight of character, 
capacity, and high standing — the situation of the country 
at this time requires such qualifications in the agents of 
the Government. 

Present circumstances place what remains to be done 
in consummating the emigration of the Cherokees prin- 
cipally on the authorities of Georgia. I therefore am 
highly gratified at the harmonious understanding and ac- 
tion which exists between the agents of the Federal and 
State Governments. It is necessary that our efforts 
should be united to produce the best results. Indeed, the 
present Federal administration has performed its whole 
duty in endeavoring to remove the Indians from Georgia, 
and thereby fulfil its engagements to the State, en- 
tered into by the Compact of 1802. A judicious 
exercise of State authority must accomplish what 
remains to be done. The suggestions contained in your 
different communications will be highly useful to me, in 
fixing upon the details of such legislation as will become 
necessary for me to recommend to the next Legislature. 

Every week afifords me Some new light calculated to 
point out the defects of our existing laws in relation to 
the Indians. And I shall carefully note the various dif- 


ficulties which may grow out of the defects of our present 
laws, and urge the appropriate remedy on the considera- 
tion of the Legislature. 1 regret to find under our pres- 
ent laws it is extremely diflficult, in many cases, to guard 
the rights and interests of our newly settled population. 
But all that can be done by me has been and shall be done 
to get through the present year as much to the interest 
of our citizens as can be effected under the existing state 
of things. And our people may rest assured that the day 
is not far distant when the evils complained of will be 
fully and completely remedied. The case of the woman 
which you mention shall not be passed over with entire 
impunity. I will write to the Solicitor General on the 
subject, and direct that no pains be spared in the investi- 
gation of the case. And if any part of the conduct of 
Ross, or his co-workers, can be reached by our existing 
laws, they shall feel the force and penalty of the law. 
However inadequate our laws are, they must be executed 
as we find them. Their supremacy must be maintained. 
The defects must be remedied by constituted authority. 
Verv respectfullv, &c., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, May 3Tst, 1833. 
Hon. Lewis Cass, 

Secretary of War. 
Sir : — Before this reaches you you will have learned 
through other channels, the result of the late Cherokee 
Council. You will also have discovered the use which I 
have made of the means which you were so kind as to af- 
ford me, to dispel the delusions imbibed by the Chero- 
kecs through the false statements of bad men. and evil 
counsellors. From the report of Gen'l Glascock (who 
attended the Council as my agent), and letters which I 
have received from Maj. Curry, special agent of the 
United States, I entertain no doubt of the good efTects 
which have and will result from what transpired at the 
late Council. It has afforded a favorable opportunity 
which has been well improved by l:)oth the agents of the 
Federal and State Governments, to enlighten the minds 
of the Cherokee people, by the force of truth and docu- 
mentary evidence which will hereafter prevent the recur- 
rence of practising upon them gross and deceptive false- 
hoods in regnrd to the real state of their present affairs. 


Everything is now harmonious and well understood upon 
this subject between the agents of the Federal and State 
Governments ; and the important duty which now pre- 
sents itself is to use to the best advantage the means un- 
der our control in bringing to the most speedy and happy 
issue the great and benevolent object of removing the In- 
dians beyond the limits of the States — the only hope of 
rescuing them from speedy extermination. 

Circumstances now place much of the responsibility 
of what remains to be done in regard to the Indians who 
still remain in Georgia upon the authorities of the State. 
The present administration of the Federal Government 
has performed every duty in endeavoring to fulfil the Com- 
pact of 1802. What remains to be done depends very 
much upon a judicious management of State authority. 
Under this view of the subject I hope I shall not be con- 
sidered as assuming too much in mingling my efforts with 
yours in accomplishing the same desired object. I con- 
cur with Major Curry and Gen'l Glascock in believing 
that the business of enrolling names, in favor of a treaty, 
should be commenced throughout the Cherokee country, 
with a condition that if no treaty is concluded during the 
ensuing fall or early in the winter, they shall be removed 
on the terms proposed by the President to the Cherokees, 
through Mr. Chester, guaranteeing to them, as well as all 
those who have preceded them, an equal share of any com- 
pensation, or annuity, which may hereafter be secured by 
those remaining, by any final arrangement which may be 
made by the Government ; also, that they shall be paid 
their proportion of the three years' annuity now due them 
before their departure hence, and be entitled to their pro- 
portion of the moneys arising from the sale of the twelve 
miles square, under the Treaty of 1819, for the benefit of 
schools in the Eastern nation. I deem it unnecessary to 
enter upon further particulars at this time, having here- 
tofore signified my general assent to the plan submitted 
to you by Maj. Curry, whose judgment in these matters 
I consider entitled to much weight and consideration. 

I am clearly of the opinion that enrolling agents ought 
to be immediately appointed ; and pardon me for saying 
that great caution in their selection should be observed, 
for much will depend on their weight of character and 
standing in the country. 

I am. sir, with great respect, 

Yr. obt. servt., 



Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, May 31st, 1833. 
Gen'l Thos. Glascock, 

Augusta, Ga. 

Dear Sir : — ( )n my return to this place (after a week's 
absence) I was gratified in the perusal of your interesting 
report of your late tour to, and attendance at, the Chero- 
kee Council. I feel confident that your mission has been, 
and will be, extensively useful to the State. As far as I 
am able to judge from your communication, I am highly 
pleased with the mode and manner in which you have per- 
formed the several duties confided to your charge. I re- 
gret, however, I could not have had the pleasure of full 
and free consultation with you on all subjects relating to 
the present posture of our Indian afifairs. It was very de- 
sirable that I should have seen you previous to my cor- 
responding with the Secretary of War on the subject of 
the enrolling agency which it now becomes necessary to 
establish ; for I concur with you fully in attaching great 
importance to a judicious selection of the agents who are 
to be employed in this business. I know that much de- 
pends upon the character and prudence, capacity and good 
standing, of the agents who may be engaged in the Cher- 
okee countr}' at this time; and I find myself placed (as I 
have often been heretofore) in the unpleasant situation 
of having incompetent men pressing themselves on me, 
while those who are competent are restrained, from self- 
respect, from even informing me whether their services 
can be obtained or not. Do speak freely to me on this 
subject. Who can be obtained? And who would be the 
best selection? How many agents are necessary? If 
you do not visit here shortly, please write to me fully and 
plainly. We must not shrink from any responsibility which 
tlie interest of the country requires, let it offend whom it 

Since you left here I have received a second commu- 
nication from Maj. Curry, from which I learn that noth- 
ing of importance transpired at the Council after you left 
there. I shall write to the Secretary of War to-day, but 
shall leave open the subject of the appointment of agents, 
&c., until I see or hear from you. Upon the whole, I see 
my way clearly in bringing to a hapnv issue our Indian 
and territorial perplexities, notwithstanding the many em- 
barrassments which have been thrown in my way by those 
who ought to have lent a helping hand to promote the 


interest of the State in the adjustment of these our long 
standing strifes. Under the present administration of 
the Federal Government, everything has been done that 
could be effected, to comply with the Compact of 1802. 
What remains to be done must now be executed by a 
judicious exercise of State authority, and which I trust 
will be completed by the end of my present Executive 

I am, sir, with great respect, 

Yr. obt. scrvt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, July 13th, 1833. 
Major B. F. Curry, 

Calhoun, Tenn. 

Sir : — I have received a communication from the War 
Department requesting me to select two suitable persons 
to assist you in the performance of your duties in the en- 
rolling of the Cherokees ; and, further, to direct the per- 
sons thus selected to report themselves to you for instruc- 
tions at as early a day as possible. I have been delayed 
in acting upon this business with that promptitude which 
I desired, on account of the disappointments which I have 
met with, in ascertaining whether the services of gentle- 
men whom I deemed most suitable could be obtained; 
and I regret to say that, to some extent, I am still in sus- 

However, I have come to the conclusion to submit 
to you the name of Col. Wm. Harden, of Cass County, 
as one of the persons selected by me, and shall report his 
name to the War D'^^^partment as such. The selection of the 
other assistant will be made in a few days, and communi- 
cated to you without delay. I trust you will find Col. Har- 
den a vigilant, competent, and efficient assistant, and 
ready to co-operate with you in all measures calculated 
to promote the objects of your appointment. I shall, sir, 
be disposed to communicate freely and fully with you, on 
all subjects connected with your agency so far, at least, 
as the interest of the State of Georgia may be concerned. 

I am, with great respect, &c., 



Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledg-eville, Aug. 19th, 1833. 

His Excellency, Gov. Gayle, 

of Alabama. 

Sir: — I have the honor to transmit to your Excellency 
the enclosed affidavit of James P. Guerry. and other pro- 
ceedings had thereon before the Hon. Lott Warren, 
Judge of the Superior Court in the Southern District of 
Georgia, by which Wm. Alday, of the County of Wilkin- 
son, in this State, stands charged with the ofifense of negro 
stealing. And it being represented to me that the said 
William Alday has fled from justice and is now within the 
limits of the State over which you preside, I have to re- 
quest that your Excellency will cause the said fugitive 
to be delivered to Jno. T. McCrary, whom I have ap- 
pointed agent on the part of this State, under the provis- 
ions of the act of Congress, passed 12 Feb'ry, 1793, re- 
specting fugitives, to receive and bring him to the County 
of Twiggs, in this State, where the said ofifense is alleged 
to have been committed. It being represented that the 
said fugitive has been arrested and confined in the jail 
at Montgomery, it will be a great convenience to the said 
agent to meet your order for the delivery of the accused 
in that place, and for this purpose I take the libertv to 
request that a warrant to that effect be transmitted to the 
jailer at Montgomery without delay. 

I have the honor to be 

Yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, August 26th. 1833. 
Col. Wm. C. Lyman. 

Sir : — I have received several communications on the 
subject of routes for roads in the new counties, anticipat- 
ing, as they do, some aid from the State hands, all of 
which I should like to lav before vou, for consideration, 

Your overseer, Mr. Hill, informed me a few davs ago 
that his negroes were becoming very sickly, and that he 
thought it necessary to remove them to a more healthy 
neighborhood. We are also urged upon every hand to 
remove said hands to the road from Macon to this place. 



I shall be glad to see you, and consult with you on these 
and other matters connected with the public service in 
which you are engaged. In anticipation of what wnl be 
necessary to lay before the approaching session of the 
Legislature, I take this occasion to suggest to you that 
it is very desirable on my part, and cannot fail to be use- 
ful to the Legislature and the public interest, for the Ex- 
ecutive to be able to lay before the Legislature the most 
ample, clear and distinct views of the progress and pres- 
ent condition of every branch of the public interest. I 
should therefore like to have from you a condensed state- 
ment which would exhibit at one view, first, the aggre- 
gate of your disbursements since you came into oflfice ; 
the aggregate of road made by the hands under your 
command ; a full and fair description of each slave under 
your command at present, and their respective stations ; 
the number of deaths ; the number disposed of under Ex- 
ecutive orders, and how the proceeds have been applied. 
Also the number, quantity, &c., of mules, oxen, vehicles, 
tools, implements, &c. 

I consider this information the more important from 
the apprehension that the Legislature may deem it ex- 
pedient to discontinue our present plan of operations, 
and may therefore provide for disposing of the stock on 
hand, including the negroes. All of which is respectfully 
suggested to you, with a view to the interest and infor- 
mation of the public. 

Very respectfully, 


Executive Department, Georgia, 

Milledgeville, Dec. loth, 1833. 

To E. P. Gaines, Isaac Rawlings, Jno. Pope, Robertson 

Tapp, and James Ross, Esquires. 

Gentlemen :■ — Your communication of the 25th ult., 
with the papers therein referred to. have been duly re- 
ceived at this department, and, without delay communi- 
cated to the General Assembly of this State, now in ses- 
sion. The objects contemplated by the "Atlantic & Mis- 
sissippi Railroad Company" are entitled to the respectful 
consideration of the public authorities of the several 
States, whose citizens are so deeply interested in the 
grand work contemplated. I can but regret that your 


views and communications did not reach this department 
at an early period of the session of the General Assembly 
feanng as I do, that the near approach of the adjourn- 
ment of that body will prevent that investigation which 
might otherwise have been reasonably expected. 
I have the honor to be 

Yr. obt. servt., 




Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, Jan'y 6th, 1834. 
Wm. G. Springer, Esq. 

Sir : — Under the authority of an act of the General 
Assembly, passed on the 20th of Dec'r last, I have ap- 
pointed you agent for the purpose of carrying into effect 
the provisions of the act referred to, which act is intended 
to provide more fully for the government and protection 
of the Cherokee Indians residing within the limits of this 

Upon a careful examination of the law under which 
you receive your appointment, and which prescribes your 
various duties and responsibilities, you will readily per- 
ceive your duties will be arduous, complicated, and often 
have to be executed with difficulty. At the same time, 
the compensation allowed you by law, I feel free to say, 
I deem to be inadequate to the services and responsibili- 
ties imposed upon the agent. 

Nevertheless, the services to which you are called are 
deeply interesting to the people of the State, and if you 
should succeed in accomplishing, to the satisfaction of the 
country, the important objects contemplated by the Leg- 
islature, your labors will no doubt be duly appreciated 
by the people, and their representatives, hereafter. 

The best instruction which I am able to give you is 
to urge upon your consideration, in all questions which 
may arise, that you make the law under which you act 
your rule and guide. Let the law be executed according 
to its letter and spirit, and you will have discharged your 
duty. Whenever you find yourself at a loss upon any 
legal question which may arise, you are hereby instructed 
to consult and employ, when you may deem it necessary, 
the best legal counsel that you may be able to obtain, the 
expense of which I shall feel myself authorized to defray 
from the contingent fund. You will, whenever necessary, 
feel yourself more especially authorized to call upon any 



one or more of the Solicitors General for legal advice, 
considering- them, as I do, in duty bound to defend the 
rights and interest of the State, so far as legal questions 
may be involved. In all engagements with counsel you 
will, however, have a due regard to economy, and have 
it distinctly understood that their charges for legal serv- 
ices shall not exceed what is customary for similar serv- 

I herewith present you with a list of the names of 
Cherokees, and their descendants, who are enrolled un- 
der the Treaty of 1817, and who received the articles al- 
lowed to emigrants under said Treaty, and many of whom 
are supposed to be still remaining in Georgia. I also 
herewith furnish you with a list of all the lots embracing 
Indian improvements, in what is generally called the 
Cherokee Country, according to the several returns of the 
surveyors — which list has been furnished this department 
by the Surveyor General, and may therefore be relied on 
as correct. 

Under the provisions of the law, it is highly impor- 
tant that the information upon which your oflficial acts are 
predicated should be well authenticated. I would there- 
fore recommend to you that, at as early a day as practi- 
cable, you repair to the Cherokee Agency, and hold a con- 
ference with Col. Montgomery, the Cherokee Agent. 
Lay before him the late act of the Legislature of Georgia, 
under which you act (a copy of which is herewith furnish- 
ed you), and request him, in the name and authority of 
Georgia, to furnish you with all such information and 
copies of the records of his office as may aid and assist 
you in the execution of your official agency. The list of 
persons who have heretofore enrolled for emigration may 
be correctly obtained at the Cherokee Agencv ; also a 
complete list of the names of the persons who have taken 
reserves in fee simple, or for life, under former treaties. 
Indeed, you may obtain much useful information from 
Col. Montgomery, the Indian Agent, and I feel assured 
that you will find him disposed to afTord you every neces- 
sary aid which may be within his official control. More- 
over, I would advise you to confer freely and fullv with 
Maj. Curry, the Enrolling Agent, and his assistants. 
These several gentlemen, from their official situations, 
are, of course, in the possession of much useful informa- 
tion, calculated to aid you in the discharge of the delicate 
and highly responsible duties of the agency to which you 
are called. Free intercourse with the most intelligent 


county officers of the new counties may contribute much 
to an agreeable and useful discharge of your official 

A great press of important official duties at the pres- 
ent time forbids my entering more fully upon the sub- 
ject of your official agency, and, indeed, from the nature 
of the business upon which you are about to enter, it 
would be wholly out of my power at this time to give you 
special instructions which might be calculated to meet 
the various cases which will necessarily occur. The best 
general advice which I can offer is that you should keep 
me constantly apprised of your progress, and especially 
in the cases of difficulty which may require my advice. 

It will, however, be necessary for you constantly to 
bear in mind that a principal object of your agency is to 
obtain and communicate to this department, with all prac- 
ticable dispatch, an accurate exhibition of all such lots 
and fractional lots as are contemplated to be granted to 
the drawers under the provisions of the late act of the 

Permit me also to suggest to you the expediency of 
keeping a record, in such form as you may deem most 
convenient, which will exhibit at all times a sketch of the 
testimony and evidence upon which your official decis- 
ions are made, especially in regard to the granting of 
lands under the late act of the Legislature. 

I am, sir, very respectfully, 

Yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, Jan'v i8th, 1834. 
Maj. B. F. Curry, 

Spring Place, Ga. 

Sir : — I this morning had the satisfaction to receive 
your favor of the 25th ult. And I am much gratified to 
find that the prospect of a speedy termination of our In- 
dian perplexities is brightening. I am apprised of the 
facts stated in your letter in regard to Col. Harden's in- 
attention to the enrolling business, and, while I fully con- 
cur with you in admitting his qualifications, I no less con- 
cur in believing that it is his duty to decline the service 
altogether, or devote himself entirely to it. The several 
gentlemen named by you as suitable persons to assist 


yon in the enrolling service are all of them entirely ac- 
ceptable to me ; and I hereby authorize you (as far as I 
have authority) to confer the appointment of assistant 
enrolling agent on any one, or more, of them as you may 
deem best calculated for the service. Moreover, you will 
please to communicate to the person or persons you may 
select, and give them instructions, at the same time, that 
they may thereby be enabled to enter upon the service 
without delay, tinder all the circumstances, I deem the 
course which I have suggested best calculated to promote 
the public interest, and shall therefore decline writing to 
any of them on the subject. Having entire confidence in 
your interest and capacity to manage the enrolling busi- 
ness to the best advantage, I think it best to leave you 
untrammelled by any further interference on my part in 
regard to the selection of agents, and bringing them 
speedily into the service, except by merely repeating that 
I shall be content with any of the gentlemen named in 
your letter. 

I will immediately address the Secretary of War on 
the subjects suggested in your letter, and other matters 
in relation to our Indian afifairs, for I most fully concur 
in the views which you have submitted. 

Very respectfully, &c., 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, Jan'y i8th, 1834. 
Hon. Lewis Cass, 

Secretary of War. 

Sir : — From a letter received at this department by the 
last mail, from Maj'r B. F. Curry, Enrolling Agent 
among the Cherokees, I am much pleased to learn that 
the spirit of emigration is constantly increasing amongst 
that long deluded remnant tribe. Maj. Curry suggests, 
and I think with great propriety, that, if the President 
will consent, that from one-fourth to one-half the valua- 
tion of abandoned improvements shall be paid before their 
embarkation, and allow intelligent and influential Chero- 
kees pay for services actually rendered in assisting the 
Enrolling Agent, no doubts may be entertained but that 
a treaty will be effected in the course of the present year 
— even without the benefit of the influence of Ross, 
Prompt payments, in fact, for Indian improvements is ren- 


dered necessary to enable them to pay their debts. I be- 
heve al! the States, except Georgia, enforce the settlement 
of their contracts before they are permitted to depart, 
and in Georgia there is no such thing as getting them off 
until their debts are settled. You will please let me hear 
from you soon on this subject. 
I have the honor to be 

Yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, Jan'y 29, 1834. 
Mr. John Marlor. 

Sir : — Yours of this date has been duly received, in 
v^hich you state that, in order that the object of the Leg- 
islature * may be carried into effect, in regard to the 
emancipation of your negro man, Sam, you will sell him, 
and that the price you have fixed upon him is eighteen 
hundred dollars. You will, therefore, please to attend at 
this ofBce as soon as it may suit your convenience, in or- 
der to consummate the object in view, by receiving pay- 
ment, and executing a relinquishment of title to said man. 

I feel it due to myself, however, to state to you that 
the price put upon said negro is considered high by most 
of the gentlemen whom I have consulted on the subject, 
and nothing but the consideration of the nature of the ob- 
ject contemplated by the Legislature, and the present 
state of the case, seems to justify my giving the sum re- 

I am, respectfully, 

Yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, Jan'y 31st. 1834. 
Wm. G. Springer, Esq., 

Agent, &c. 

Sir : — Yours of the 26th inst. has just been received 
at this department. Since you left here for the purpose 

*In resolving that "the services rendered by the negro man, Sam, in his 
exertions to extingiiish the fire at the State House, in which he could have no 
interest, merit nothing short of his emancipation." See Gov. Lumpkin's Annual 
Message for 1834, 


of entering on the duties of your agency, we have had 
daily applications for grants to lands supposed to have 
been authorized by the Legislature under which you are 
acting. The persons for grants, in every case, present the 
certificates of the late Indian agents of the several new 
counties, as the evidence upon which they expect an ex- 
ecutive order for the grants to issue. These agents (as 
you are apprised) being legislated out of office, I can no 
longer recognize their reports, or certificates, as legal 
authority upon which to predicate an official act of so 
much importance. Indeed, it is clear to my mind that I 
have no legal authority to order grants to issue for any 
lot, or lots, of lands returned by the surveyors as having 
Indian improvements thereon, until I receive a report, or 
certificate, from you that said lots are liable to be granted, 
under the provisions of the late act of the General As- 

This construction which I put upon the law (and en- 
tertain no doubts of its correctness) will at once urge upon 
your consideration the great importance of your making 
the best possible arrangements for expediting your re- 
ports of lots liable to be granted, and which were returned 
by the surveyors as having Indian improvements thereon. 

To elTect this important object the arrangement which 
you suggest may be the most judicious, and of this you 
are the best judge ; but I feel it my duty to state to you 
that, so far, most of the applications for grants under the 
late act of the Legislature have come from a different 
section of the country from that which you propose to 
attend to first. The applications, so far, have been chiefly 
from the gold region and eastern side of the country. It 
occurs to my mind, forcibly, that much service would be 
rendered to those interested if you could make weekly re- 
ports to this department of all such lots as you may have 
examined and decided on. It will require some time and 
experience to determine where your services will be needed 
most and first, and I therefore doubt the wisdom of your 
hastily tying yourself down to any particular arrange- 
ment which may hereafter deprive you of the exercise 
of a proper discretion which might enable you to benefit 
the greater portion of those interested most. I should 
suppose that any public notice which you may deem neces- 
sary would be sufficiently promulgated bv inserting it in 
the Cherokee IntelH^eyicer, which is published near the 
centre of the new counties. Upon the subject of an in- 
terpreter. I have to say that I have no legal authoritv for 


appointing or paying such an agent, and therefore it may 
not be expected. It appears to me that it might reheve 
you of much labor and trouble if you could obtain from 
Maj'r Curry and his assistant enrolling agents accurate 
written information of lots liable to be granted under our 
existing laws, embracing the number and district of the 
lot, the name or names of the person or persons resid- 
ing thereon, and the grounds on which said lot is liable 
to be granted. The evidence of these responsible and 
respectable agents is more entitled to your confidence 
and reliance than almost any testimony which you can 
obtain, except by your own personal observation and ex- 

These persons are more to be relied on, as to names of 
occupant Indians and their descendants, than almost any 
person you can f.nd in the country. Any evidence, derived 
from these agei ts and certified by you, will be duly re- 
spected at this cepartment. I hope to hear from you fre- 
quently and fully upon all subjects connected with your 

Very respectfully, yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, Feb'ry ist, 1834. 
Hon. James M. Wayne. 

Dear Sir : — I this morning received a letter from C. 
D. Terhune, Esq., of Cassville, Ga., who is a gentleman 
of intelligence, character, and fair standing, wherein he 
states ''Judge Hooper has yesterday sanctioned a bill of 
injunction, sworn to by an Indian, to remove the owner 
of the lot on which the celebrated missionary, Butler, 
lives, and to stop him from pursuing his business of re- 
pairing and improving the farm on said lot." He then 
adds : "I fear this is going to present a new era in our 
Cherokee difficulties. I learn that there has recently been 
a meeting of John Ross and other principal Cherokees, 
at Mr. Adair's, and that Judge Underwood and Judge 
Hooper, and some other white men, were in that meet- 
ing. And I have heard from high authority that the na- 
tion have determined to give to counsel, &c., one hun- 
dred thousand dollars to carry on their case against 

Although I entertain no fears for the rights of the 
State and interest of her citizens in this case, I have, 


nevertheless, deemed it necessary to apprise you, and, 
throu.^h you, such of your colleagues as you may think 
expedient, of what is going- on in Georgia, and also that 
you might be better prepared to watch the movements 
at Washington in relation to our Cherokee affairs. These 
movements here no doubt originated at headquarters 
(Washington), and are under the guidance of the ''new 
coalition,'' who are so loving and complimentary to each 
other in Congress. The enemies of the country — the agi- 
tators, the revolutionists — care not what subject, so that 
the great object of excitement among the people and em- 
barrassment to the Government can be effected. I shall 
use all prudent means to procure such proof against Judge 
Hooper as will successfully sustain an impeachment 
against him beiPore the next Legislature. Underwood, 
Hooper, Ross, &c., will be sustained by the nullifiers gen- 
erally in Georgia, as I apprehend. 

I perceive from the tone of several of their papers, 
when hinting at this subject, that they are prepared to 
break ground, against the State, and in favor of the Cher- 

Well, let them do so. I w^ll trust the people to take 
care of and sustain their own interest. The President and 
Secretary of War should be apprised of these movements, 
and if anything can be done to avert further controversy, 
it ought to be done. I request you to make the commu- 
nication, and confer with them on the subject, and inform 
me, if you please, of the result. 

Our Senators, Messrs. Forsyth and King, and Judge 
Schley and Gen'l Coffee, I am sure, feel as we do on this 

I am, sir, with great regard, 

Yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department. Ga., 

Milledgeville, Feb'ry ist, 1834. 
Wm. G. Springer, Esq. 

Sir : — I this morning received a letter from C. D. Ter- 
hune. Esq., dated Cassville, JanV 16th, 1834, in which he 
states "Judge Hooper has yesterday sanctioned a bill of in- 
junction, sworn to by an Indian, to remove the owner of the 
lot on which the celebrated missionary, Butler, lives, and 
to stop him from pursuing his business of repairing and 


improving the farm on that lot." He then adds : "I fear 
this is going to present a new era in our Cherokee dif- 
ficulties. I learn there has recently been a meeting of 
Jno. Ross, and other principal Cherokees, at Mr. Adair's, 
and that Judge Underwood and Judge Hooper, and some 
other white men, were in that meeting, and I have heard, 
from high authority, that the nation have determined to 
give to counsel, &c., one hundred thousand dollars to 
carry on their case against Georgia." 

Now, sir, while I entertain no apprehensions for the 
rights of the State and the interest of her citizens from 
the machinations of such a combination of assuming 
would-be great men, I nevertheless feel it my official duty 
to use every proper exertion to obtain the highest and 
most authentic testimony which can be procured for the 
purpose of establishing the guilt of the nefarious intri- 
guers, plotters, aiders and abettors of Jno. Ross and com- 
pany. You will, therefore, please procure, through such 
agency as you may deem necessary, copies of all records 
and proceedings which may be had under the pretended 
sanction of legal authority. I presvmie there will be no 
difficulty in procuring a copy of the bill of injunction, as 
well as the testimony going to sustain it. Moreover, any 
and all testimony going to sustain the charge of Judge 
Hooper being in council with Underwood, Ross & Co., 
I deem to be important ; also any testimony which will 
establish the fact of the enormous fee of one hundred 
thousand dollars being promised to counsel for the pur- 
pose of overturning the rights of Georgia. I trust you 
will have this business thoroughly investigated, and, for 
that purpose, you are authorized to say to any competent 
attorney who may be trusted I will pay any reasonable 
fee. Do let me hear from you on this subject soon. 

I am, sir, very respectfully, 

Yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, Feb'ry 5th, 1834. 
Hon. Lewis Cass, 

Secretary of War. 
Sir: — It has been with some degree of surprise that 
I have, for several months past, been receiving commu- 
nications from the citizens of Irwin, and other adjoining 
counties, in this State, complaining of the lawless depre- 


dations of a large number of vagabond and strolling In- 
dians, belons^ing to the remnant tribe of the Creeks who 
yet remain in the State of Alabama. The present pos- 
sessions of these Indians do not approach within fifty 
miles of any part of the County of Irwin. The intervening 
coimtry, however, from the Indian settlements to the 
County of Irwin, is but very thinly populated by the whites, 
being chiefly a poor pine barren country, interspersed 
with extensive swamps which are rarely penetrated by 
civilized men, and therefore affords a hiding place and 
refuge for wild beasts and more savage men. These In- 
dians have, in considerable numbers, taken up their abode 
in this section of the State, and have done immense dam- 
age to the peaceable citizens who have settled in that part 
of the country, by killing their cattle and hogs, and steal- 
ing and consuming their corn, potatoes, &c. They are 
sufficiently strong in number to bid defiance to the thinly 
settled population. Attempts, under my instructions, 
have been made to apprehend and bring to justice this 
lawless band of robbers, but whenever a force sufficiently 
formidable presents itself the Indians immediately take 
refuge in the swamps, and evade apprehension and further 
pursuit. I would not trouble you with this subject, if I 
was not at a loss for means to correct this evil without 
resorting to a remedy which, from every consideration 
and feeling of my nature, I am anxious if possible to 

I am convinced that I have no means under my con- 
trol to put an end to these unsufiferable depredations but 
by exterminating, in the best way I can, the miserable 
band of robbers. My object, therefore, in communicating 
to you directly on this subject is to suggest to you that 
it has occurred to me that some direct instructions, or 
orders, from you to the principal men amongst the Creeks, 
through such agent or agents as you mav deem best (per- 
haps to the commandant of the United States troops now 
stationed on the western border of Georgia), might be 
the most efifectual and peaceable method of suppressing 
and ending this unsufiferable difficulty. It is certain that 
the evils complained of cannot be much longer borne. If 
you cannot control these Indians, through some agency, 
the authorities of Georgia will be under the painful neces- 
sity of exterminating the evil in the only practical way. 

I have the honor to be 

Yr. obt. servt., 



Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, Feb. loth, 1834. 
Hon. Lewis Cass, 

Secretary of War. 

Sir: — I thank you for your favor of the 28th ult., and 
am content with the views of the President which you 
have been pleased to communicate. 

I am, very respectfully, 

Your obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, Feb'ry 14th, 1834. 
Wm. G. Spfinger, Esq., 

Agent, &c. 

Dear Sir : — Your two favors of the 3d and 7th inst. 
came to hand this morning. I proceed to reply to your 
most important inquiry. 

The 13th section of the law under which you are act- 
ing as agent confers no authority on you which is not 
specifically pointed out in the other sections of the act. 
It only declares it to be your official duty to see that the 
provisions embraced in the act be carried into effect — 
which must obviously, from the nature of things, be con- 
strued so as to be confined to the official deeds which you 
are required to discharge. You can, by no means, be 
bound to supervise the official acts of the Executive and 
judicial officers who are required to perform various 
duties under the provisions of said act. 

The only cases, I believe, in which you are authorized 
and required to put the drawer, or owner, into the pos- 
session of his premises are pointed out in the loth section 
of the act. By reference to the 9th section of the act, it 
appears clearly that it was the intention of the Legisla- 
ture that, in most cases, the drawers, or owners, of lands 
should look to the courts, and not to the agent, for redress 
in cases where peaceable possession should be obstructed. 
L^nless the courts do their duty, the laws of the land can- 
not be carried into effect by the other departments of the 
Government. I hope you will have received my commu- 
nications to you, of the 31st inst. and ist ult., to which I 
have received no rpely. I am gratified to find, however, 



by your present communications, that the most important 
subject to which 1 had adverted has already attracted 
your attention. 

Very respectfully, yr. obt. servt., 


Gen'l Coffee. 

Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, Feb'ry 27th, 1834. 

Dear Sir: — Your favor of the 19th inst. is now before 
me, and is highly useful, so far as it keeps me apprised 
of the state of things at Washington, in relation to our 
Cherokee affairs. My confidence remains undiminished 
in the President and Secretary of War doing their duty 
in using every proper exertion to close our long standing 
perplexities upon Indian affairs. But the embarrassments 
thrown in the way of the President and myself, upon this 
and every subject in which we are using our best efforts 
to promote the public interest, are unparalleled in the 
history of our country. At every step, and upon every 
subject, we have to encounter an opposition wholly desti- 
tute of any fixed principle, or object, save o?ie: that is, 
to thwart, misrepresent, and defeat our plans of useful- 
ness to the country, and thereby deprive us of the confi- 
dence and support of our constituents, by whose voice 
we have been so often and so highly honored. 

I deeply sympathize with the President, but it is human 
nature to find some relief from being associated with good 
company, even in our greatest trials. Surely the oppon- 
ents of our State administration, as well as those of the 
Federal, have lost every vestage of pure patriotism — dis- 
interested love of country. 

The conduct of Judge Hooper and his associates is 
unparalleled, and I entertain no doubt but he will back out 
from the lofty ground which he has taken the first mo- 
ment after he has effected the object of his employers: to 
wit, get a new case, or cases, before the L^nited States 
Courts. The agitators of the country cannot rest easy 
without some litigation between the Federal and State 

The first ground taken in the bills which Hooper has 
sanctioned assumes that the complainants "are natives 
of the Cherokee Nation of Indians, east of the river Mis- 
sissippi, and reside hi th<' said Nation, having- all the priv- 


ileges and rights of citizens of the said Nation, and that from 
thne immemorial the Cherokee Natio?i have composed an inde- 
pendent State. ' ' 

This broad and preposterous position is the point upon 
which these cases must eventually turn, and, in my judg- 
ment, presents a most novel question for discussion, to 
come before a court of equity. It is a case of no less mag- 
nitude than that of deciding between conflicting sover- 
eignties — each claiming to be an independent nation. 

From whence a judge of 07ir own courts assumes the 
power to sustain and bring up such questions is beyond 
my conception. I have carefully examined our Consti- 
tution and laws. They confer no such power on our 
judges. The powers assumed by the judge belong to 
diplomacy, and are wholly beyond the limit of all judicial 
authority derived from any source. 

But we will suppose, for the sake of placing Judge 
Hooper in a proper light, that the sovereignty and in- 
dependence of the Cherokee Nation be admitted and rec- 
ognized. In what a predicament would Judge Hooper 
himself be placed? He must abandon the bench for want 
of jurisdiction. Therefore, any decree passed by him can- 
not be obligatory on any party ; because, if the Cherokee 
assumptions be admitted, then a judge of the courts of 
Georgia can have no right of jurisdiction over the people 
and territory of this sovereign nation. If he shrinks from 
the ground which he has taken, and retires from the 
bench, to avoid a decission, it will be a direct abandon- 
ment of his ofificial duty, and a palpable violation of the 
duties of his office. 

If it be said that the sanction of these bills is a mere 
matter of form, I deny the position. The fundamental 
principles contained in these bills have received the sanc- 
tion of Judge Hooper, and he cannot evade decision. He 
must hear argument, and decide upon it. Therefore, a 
question which involves the political rights of the State 
and must determine its sovereignty (according to Judge 
Hooper) as well as the political rights and sovereignty 
of an independent foreign nation, with which Georgia is 
now contending, is, by the course of Judge Hooper, to 
me made a legal or constitutional subject of discussion 
before a court of equity, his honor, Judge Hooper, pre- 
siding. But, sir, my indignant feelings will not permit me 
to pursue this subject further. 

I turn from it in disgust, and have to regret my views 
were not sustained by the Legislature, in giving prompt 


power to punish the pettifogginjj; attempts of a base com- 
bination who are leagued together to overturn the rights 
of the State. Show this to such of your colleagues as you 
think fit, and continue to write frequently. 

Yours truly, 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, March 3d, 1834. 
Maj. Gen'l E. P. Gaines. 

Dear Sir : — Your letter of the loth Jan. last, upon the 
deeply interesting subject of the practicability, expedi- 
ency, immediate local advantages, and prospective public 
utility of a railroad, from the Tennessee section of the 
Mississippi river to the Atlantic Ocean, to pass through 
the intervening Southern States to the most convenient 
seaport on the Atlantic coast — together with a copy of 
the letter therein referred to — has been duly received. 

Our lots have been cast at a time and in the midst of 
a people who have distinguished their generation for the 
most extraordinary and gigantic conceptions, upon almost 
every subject which relates to the great objects of facili- 
tating commerce and communication between distant 
points. Moreover, theories have now been so far reduced 
to practice that the confidence of the community may be 
inspired to any reasonable extent in the support of any 
laudable work of improvement. The splendid project 
contemplated by you and your associates very far sur- 
passes, in my estimation, every other work either executed 
or which has been submitted to the consideration of the 
American people. 

After full examination, and much reflection, I fully 
coincide with vou in regard to the vast importance of the 
contemplated improvement, both in a commercial and 
national point of view. The military aspect of the sub- 
ject which you have presented I deem to be an object of 
primary importance to the people of our whole Union. 
Works like the one under consideration will consolidate 
the interest, and unite in the most fraternal manner the 
feelings of the whole people of the L'nion, and tend to 
make us in reality, what we are in theory, ''one peopled 
Your plan and commencement are well advised, and, if 
persevered in. must succeed. However, as far as I have 
been able to ascertain, your views in regard to the precise 


location of the road and my own views are somewhat dif- 
ferent. Supposing the work to commence near the south- 
western extremity of the State of Tennessee, and from 
thence in anything Hke a direct hne to Athens, in Geor- 
gia, and from thence to Charleston, in South Carolina, 
you will necessarily have to encounter between the start- 
ing point and Athens all the difficulties and expense ol 
passing a considerable portion of mountainous and broken 

Again, should the road be completed on this route, 
but a very limited portion of the States of Alabama and 
Georgia would be benefited thereby ; whereas, should the 
road commence and proceed as nearly in a direct line as 
may be practicable to Savannah, in Georgia, you would 
avoid the mountains and most of the hill country, shorten 
the distance greatly to the Atlantic by passing through 
the center of the States of Alabama and Georgia, and a 
great part of the route would run parallel with the waters 
of the Atlantic, instead of directly across them, and you 
would enlist the feelings and interest of the great body of 
the people of these States, and thereby secure the co- 
operation of their respective constituted authorities in 
the accomplishment of the enterprise. I take it for grant- 
ed that the grand conception of a direct communication 
(by a railroad) between the Mississippi and the Atlantic 
originated in the purest motive of disinterested patriot- 
ism, without regard to sectional or State interest, having 
in view the greatest amount of benefit to the people of 
our beloved confederacy. 

But the route by the way of Athens to Charleston, 
which I shall call the upper route, while it may be admit- 
ted to combine as many advantages to the whole Union, 
when completed, as any other which might be substituted, 
yet it can never become, or be considered, a work of first 
importance to the State of Georgia. True, it will run 
through a highly interesting and valuable portion of the 
State, but, in its whole line it will continue near the mar- 
gin of the State, without producing any advantage to the 
centre, or extensive sea coast of Georgia. Indeed, may 
we not have some just apprehensions that, so far as Geor- 
gia may be concerned, the accomplishment of such a work 
would only tend to deprive the State of the aid and co- 
operation of the Northern section of her own hardy and 
enterprising population in any future attempt to aflford 
commercial and other facilities of intercommunication to 
the great body of the people of the State, by work of in- 


ternal improvement ? Lay the map of the State of Geor- 
gia before you, and you will at once see the force of my 
remarks. I would readily advise and urge upon the peo- 
ple and public functionaries of Georgia the vast impor- 
tance and propriety of directing the whole energies and 
resources of the State to the single object of furthering 
the project which you have in view, provided it could be 
directed through a central part of the State ; but, if the 
upper route be determined upon, the policy of Georgia 
will be to begin on her own sea coast, and proceed through 
the most productive and central part of the State, until 
we can intersect your road at some point in the western 
part of the State. From Savannah, or some other sea- 
port of Georgia, we must proceed to Macon, or this place, 
and thence make our way, in the best and most practica- 
ble route, to intersect your contemplated highway. This 
would be a State work and well worth the application of 
State capital. If, however, the citizens of the northern 
section of the State choose to direct their individual en- 
terprise to a great and meritorious object, and one which 
will afiford to themselves great and advantageous com- 
mercial facilities without regard to the interest and con- 
venience of the balance of the people of the State, then 
be it so ; they should be left free to exercise their enter- 
prise and capital as to them may seem best. Whatever 
may be the location of the contemplated road, I sincerely 
wish it great success. It cannot fail to benefit our com- 
mon country ; and the upper route will, perhaps, combine 
the greatest general advantages, by drawing to its line a 
greater portion of the product of the rich mountain val- 
leys of the interior. But, if it should take that direction, 
the true policy of Georgia will be to pursue the course 
which I have hereinbefore suggested. It is the only one 
which can supply the wants of her own citizens, and do 
justice to the character of the State, so far as relates to 
the part which nature and circumstances seem to indicate 
is allotted to our care and superintendence. I very sin- 
cerely congratulate the country, and return you my cordial 
thanks, as one of your fellow citizens, for the prominent 
part which you have taken in the valuable and laudable 
enterprise which is the present subject of consideration, 
and trust that such encouragement may be extended in 
aid of your enterprise as may. before a distant day, con- 
summate your entire plan. 
I am, dear, sir. 

Your friend and humble servt., 



Executive Department. Ga., 

Milledgeville, March 4, 1834. 
Hon. John Forsyth. 

Dear Sir: — Being apprised that the subject of the 
boundary Hne between the State of Georgia and Florida 
is now a subject of consideration (in some stage) before 
the present Congress, I have with much care examined 
the files of this department, and reviewed the voluminous 
documents connected with that subject. 

I have not been able, however, to find anything of 
which you are not possessed at Washington which I con- 
sider important to throw additional light on the subject 
at issue. The best argument in support of the views of 
Georgia which I have examined is found in your letter of 
the 29th of Dec'r, 1827, to the President of the United 
States, which you will find republished in the documents 
of the House of Representatives of the present session 
(No. y'f). Rut we are embarrassed by the disagreement 
of the various reports of our own agents. Every new 
commission which has been authorized by the State to ex- 
amine, survey, and report upon the subject invalidates the 
reports and proceedings of all those who have preceded 
them. The report and survey of Mr. McBride, in which 
we once confided, has since been set aside by the report 
of Messrs. Crawford and Couper, and the survey made 
under their direction by Mr. Thomas. No two of our own 
witnesses seem to agree. The greatest importance which 
I attach to the boundary line between Georgia and Florida 
does not arise so much from any consideration of the value 
of the sterile soil in dispute ; but our State Constitution 
having defined the boundaries of the State, no indemnity 
can authorize our relinquishing our claim to a single acre 
within our legal boundaries. The line between Georgia 
and Alabama is also still a fair subject of interest to the 
general Government, as well as the two States. At the 
instance of Alabama, this subject was brought to the con- 
sideration of our Legislature at its last session, with an 
Executive recommendation favorable to some efifort to- 
wards a final adjustment. But the response of the Legis- 
lature indicated no disposition to any further action on 
the subject. My object in calling your attention to these 
subjects is to authorize my suggesting to you the opinion 
which I entertain, that to secure the peace and harmony 
of the people of Georgia requires a speedy and final ad- 
justment of both these boundary lines. And, moreover. 


I entertain no doubt but that the subject can be more 
easily adjusted with the Federal Government, who is now 
the owner of the soil in dispute, than can hereafter be 
done with the State and Territorial Governments. If you 
can devise any plan to further the object of final and ami- 
cable adjustment, you would thereby render an im])ortant 
service to the State. 

Very respectfully, your obt. servt,, 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, March 5th, '34. 
Dr. N. B. Powell, 

Superintendent, &c., 

Liberty, Talbot Co., Ga. 

Dear Sir : — Yours of the 3d inst. has just been receiv- 
ed. The dif^culty of executing the act of the last Legisla- 
ture, authorizing the sale of the negroes belonging to the 
State, is to me no new discovery. The incongruity, and, 
often, the ambiguity, of our legislation, is such as to ren- 
der it almost impracticable to execute our laws at all. Yet 
it is the obvious duty of executive ofBcers to make the 
laws their guide, and, as far as practicable, to execute the 
statutes of the State according to their letter and spirit. 
I hear of negroes in every direction out of place, and fear 
many of them will be absent on the day of sales. But 
they must be sold where the law directs, or, under the 
proviso of the law in case of their absence, I can order no 
change until after the day of sale passes. In the course 
of the last ten days I have found at this place several of 
the public hands who belong to Col. Lyman's division, 
and to companies one hundred miles from here. Nine of 
the Brunswick gang have absconded, or have been in- 
veigled away. It is a troublesome duty we have to per- 
form, and requires great vigilance to prevent the State 
sustaining immense loss. It was a great oversight in the 
Legislature which you point out, and I have no doubt but 
such difficulties as the one pointed out by you will occur. 
But in the event of the negroes absconding between the 
time of sale and the time of delivery to the purchaser, you 
can only return the purchaser the amount of money paid, 
and the negro must be resold. It appears to me that the 
previous arrangements made with the bank which you 



suggest might be practicable ; but this must be left to the 
parties concerned, and not to the Executive. 

It is a subject over which I can exercise no control. 
Although thirty days are allowed for purchasers filing 
the notes required by the act, and procuring the certifi- 
cate of the cashier, yet, in most cases, it may be done in a 
few days, and, when it can be done promptly, the negro 
might remain a few days in actual confinement, until de- 
livered to the purchaser. It is very much to be regretted 
that the whole of the negroes could not have been sold 
at this place, as I urged upon many of the members of 
the Legislature. That would have prevented most of 
the perplexities we have to encounter, and caused the 
negroes to have sold for a much larger aggregate amount. 

Very respectfully, yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, March 6th, 1834. 

Mr. Elias Boudinot, 

New Echota, Ga. 

Dear Sir : — Yours of the 22d ult. is now before me, 
from a hasty perusal of which I incline to concur with the 
views which you have presented. And, should the facts 
stated by you be sustained by testimony, I should sup- 
pose Mr. Springer, the Agent under the late act of the 
Legislature, would not feel himself authorized to report 
said lot to the Executive as being liable to be granted. 
The grant shall not issue without a full and fair examina- 
tion of the case. And you may rest assured of a disposi- 
tion on my part to do you, and others in your situation, 
ample justice. I will write to Mr. Springer on the sub- 
ject presented in your letter, which will no doubt induce 
him to reconsider any hasty action on the subject, so far 
as to afford you an opportunity of presenting the case on 
its true basis. 

I am, sir, very sincerely 

Your friend and obt. servant, 



Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, March nth, 1834. 
Col. Lyman. 

Dear Sir : — Yours of the 7th inst. was received this 
morning. I should have written to you before now, but, 
from your former letters, I calculated that I should not 
fail in seeing you at this place previous to the commence- 
ment of the sales of the public hands. Many considera- 
tions made it very desirable that I should have seen you, 
or communicated with you, more fully on subjects con- 
nected with your official agency. Your bond, sent b\' rnail, 
was duly received, and is entirely satisfactory. The in- 
congruity and ambiguity of the late act of the Legisla- 
ture, authorizing the sale of the public hands, did not 
escape my attention at the time of giving to it my assent. 
It was by no means framed to suit my views, and the dif- 
ficulties suggested in your letter, now open before me, 
would have been wholly avoided, if all the negroes could 
have been sold at this place, as I desired ; but it now be- 
comes our duty to execute the law as we find it. You 
will, therefore, be under the necessity of retaining the 
possession of the negroes in every case, until the terms 
of sale are fully complied with. After having sold and 
received the one-fifth in hand, you must use a sound dis- 
cretion as to the best mode to ensure the safe keeping of 
the negroes, until the further requisitions of the act are 
complied with. I foresee the danger of the negroes ab- 
sconding, when they do not fall into the hands of pur- 
chasers whom they prefer, but I am unable to see how 
you are to avoid these difficulties, except it be in the way 
that you have suggested. Should any purchaser desire to 
make the entire payment in cash, on the day of sale, I can 
see no objection to your receiving the money, and giving 
a deduction of the interest and paying the money over to 
the Central Bank, in lieu of the notes authorized to be 
deposited under the law. I fear many of the negroes will 
be out of place on the days of sale, and that many of the 
purchasers may fail to comply with the terms of the law 
— all of which will increase our labors — but we must do 
the best we can, and, as far as possible, carry into eflfect 
the act of the Legislature. If any negro should abscond 
between the day of sale and the time of the purchaser 
producing to you the certificate of the cashier of the Cen- 
tral Bank in terms of the law, if the purchaser requires it. 
I would advise the refunding to him the one-fifth paid. 


upon his relinquishing claim to the negro, and we could 
then proceed to sell, under the provision of the act to 
meet such cases. I am pleased to hear of your arrange- 
ment in regard to the road from Monroe to Lawrence- 
ville, and I have only to regret that the balance of the 
public hands are not equally well employed. 

Very respectfully yrs., &c., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, March 25, 1834. 
Wm. G. Springer, Esq., 

Agent, &c. 

Sir : — It is expected this will be handed to you by John 
A. Cuthbert, Esq., whom I have employed as counsel to 
sustain your legal acts as Agent, &c., in the injunction 
cases returned to Cass Superior Court, &c. While Mr. 
Cuthbert is instructed to sustain you, to the full extent 
of our legal authority, he is, at the same time, advised to 
counsel you to retreat from any error into which, from 
the intricate nature and novelty of your agency, you may 
by possibility have fallen. By this last remark you will 
not consider me as passing judgment against any act of 
yours, but as anticipating what may have possibly occur- 

I deeply regret the perplexing litigation into which 
many of our good citizens will be forced, by the sublility 
of selfish and unprincipled lawyers, and the imbecility of 
a novice judge. But you and myself, as executive oflficers 
of the Government, must be content with a faithful and 
vigorous discharge of our official duties. We have no 
legal and constitutional pov\/er to relieve our fellowmen 
from the assumptions of these assuming gentry. The 
sovereiqp. people, tlirourrh their constituted organ, the 
General Assembly, must correct the evil. I regret to 
learn, from, the last letters rec^^ived from you, that many 
of the communications which I had made to you had not 
been received. 

Respectfully, yr. obt. servt., 



Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, March 14th, 1834. 
John A . Cuthbert, Esq., 

Dear Sir : — Having' consulted you on the bill of in- 
junction said to have been sanctioned by Judge Hooper, 
which proceedings are supposed to be intended to stay, 
interrupt, or embarrass the official functions of Wm. G. 
Springer, Esq., in the exercise of the agency confided to 
him, under the authority of a special act of the Legisla- 
ture, and considering it my imperative and constitutional 
duty to sustain the Agent aforesaid, to the full extent of 
the powers vested in him by the provisions of the act of 
the Legislature referred to ; and having obtained your 
consent to attend at the time and place designated in 
said bills, as counsel on the part and in behalf of the 
Agent aforesaid, for the purpose of defending his legal 
and constitutional acts done and performed under the 
provisions of said act ; I have, on reflection, deemed it 
my duty to put you in possession of such facts and cir- 
cumstances as may tend to prevent any misapprehension 
in regard to the subject under consideration, and make 
some additional suggestions which have occurred to me 
in connection with the subject. 

The Agent (Mr. Springer), when about to enter upon 
the duties of his appointment, received from me written 
instructions, of a general and specific character, direct- 
ing him, in the most emphatic terms, to make the law 
under which he received his appointment his rule ayid 
guide, and, in every case, to be careful not to transcend 
its limitations. When at a loss he was instructed to pro- 
cure legal advice. Since he entered upon the duties of 
his office, I have given him additional advice, whenever 
any new idea occurred to me, or when he has sought my 
opinions upon any case which has arisen under the law. 
Mr. Springer is, therefore, fully in possession of my views, 
in regard to his official course, as well as my construc- 
tion of the act, on all important points relating to his duty 
as Agent. You will, therefore, feel yourself at liberty to 
request Mr. Springer to give you the perusal of my in- 
structions and advice given to him at different times, 
which will place you in possession of my general views, 
and enable you to judge whether the Agent has trans- 
cended my instructions or not. T have been thus particu- 
lar in order to guard you against misapprehension in re- 



gard to my object of engaging your legal services in this 
business. So far as the law has imposed duties upon the 
Excutive, or the Agent appointed by him, and the duties 
of the Agent have been performed in conformity with the 
law and the instructions which he has received from the 
Executive, I consider your services engaged in behalf of 
the State, and its public functionaries. But should the 
Agent have departed from his duty in any case, he should 
retreat from his error and not be sustained, except in 
the faithful discharge of his lawful duty. A distinction, 
too, must be drawn between the official acts of the Agent 
and the acts of individuals. I deeply regret that our citi- 
zens should be harassed by the subtlity of selfish lawyers 
and the assuming imbecility of a novice judge ; but these 
are evils beyond the interposition of Executive authority. 
Ofificially, my only concern is to see that the Agent is not 
impeded in the discharge of his lawful duty. Judging 
from the bill of injunction which we have examined, it 
appears to be the object of the proceeding to prevent the 
Agent from doing a certain act which I apprehend he has 
never intended or threatened that he would do, because 
the law requires no such act from him. Why the Agent 
should be brought before the court, in connection with 
litigant citizens, I cannot comprehend. The Agent must 
do his duty and answer for his own conduct. Every citi- 
zen must manage and prosecute his own rights as secured 
to him by law, without making the State a party in every 
trivial case to be brought before an unqualified judge who 
by accident happens to be clothed with a little brief au- 
thority. The political rights of Georgia are not to be 
tried by any court under Heaven. Much less can such 
rights be permitted to come before Judge Hooper. While 
the Agent will be promptly and fully sustained in the vig- 
orous discharge of his duty, he must yield to the courts 
everything which the laws and Constitution have confided 
to that department of the Government. If the citizens 
cannot obtain justice before the present court, the consti- 
tutional remedy must be looked to for redress. I think 
proper to add that, humble as my pretentions are to legal 
acquirements, I protest against the jurisdiction of the 
court, in sanctioning or sustaining such bills of injunc- 
tion as those which have been submitted to my examina- 
tion. If, however, the allegations contained in the bill 
be admitted, and the court required to make up its decree 
and order accordingly, what would be the predicament 
of the judge ? Would he not be under the necessity of 


makint^ a decree on a question involving the vital politi- 
cal rights of two distinct communities, both claiming the 
rights of sovereign State Government? 

The judge, by the sanction and countenance already 
given to these proceedings, has, in my estimation, greatly 
transcended his official bounds, and has attempted to give 
support to the efforts of the enemies of the State and its 
Government, by undermining the very foundation upon 
which all our claims to State sovereignty are based. 

I am, dr. sir. very respectfully, 

Yr. obt. servant, 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, March 28th, 1834. 
C. D. Terhune, Esq. 

Dear Sir : — I thank you for the information contained 
in your letter of the 20th inst., giving me the details of 
the progress and prospects of the enrolling business in 
which you are engaged. 

Notwithstanding all the efforts which have been made 
and which are still persevered in, to keep the Cherokees 
back from emigration, from the nature of things as they 
now exist, this benevolent policy of the Government must 
and will prevail, because it is the interest of the Indians 
that it should. The enemies of the Government seem de- 
termined to struggle in their opposition to the last. They 
have said : "They will not let the people go." But events 
of Providence point to a different decree. The tide of 
Indian emigration sets West, and. if a treaty with the 
Cherokees cannot be effected, emigration will gradually 
take them away, until not a hoof will be left behind. 

The suggestions which you make are not new to me, 
and will receive due attention. If we fail in a treaty, the 
best measures will be resorted to for the purpose of ef- 
fecting the desired object. I am wholly unprepared to 
say what will be the future course of Judge Hooper ; but, 
judging from the past, I anticipate nothing good from 

But Hooper and his co-workers are not able to ac- 
complish as much evil as many seem to anticipate. The 
evils and confusion of the present moment, produced by 
his course of conduct, can only last until the meeting of 
the next Legislature, by which time I hope the represen- 


tatives of the people will concur with me in believing that 
the security of the State and its citizens can only be main- 
tained by restraining the assumptions of lawyers and 
judges who seem disposed to trample on the rights of the 
people secured to them by their own laws. Indignant as 
I feel at the conduct of the Judge, and determined as I 
am not to permit him to extend his usurpations to any of 
my constitutional and legal rights, I nevertheless feel 
bound not to transcend my own limits, but to execute 
the laws as / Ji?td them, and not, by construction, to as- 
sume what I desired that the law should be. I regret to 
find the people have been induced to believe that I am 
clothed with power which is not to be found in the law. 
Investigation, however, will rectify misapprehension on 
this subject, when they will not expect their Executive 
(even for the righteous purpose of giving them speedy 
and summary justice) to usurp legislative and judiciarv 

Very respectfully, yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, March 28th, 1834. 

Wm. G. Springer, Esq. 

Sir : — Your letter of the 20th inst. was received this 
morning, and its contents carefully examined. A letter of 
the same date was also received from Z. B. Hargrove, 
Esqr. These two letters, taken in connection, would seem 
to render it doubtful whether I should address you on the 
subject of your agency, or enter upon a defense of my 
own conduct, with a view of relieving myself from the 
many imputations which it seems that my unprincipled 
enemies have had the address to impress upon the minds 
of my sensitive and suspicious friends. In a case like the 
one under consideration, I should feel myself degraded in 
making strong protestations of frankness and candor and 
sincerity to you, or Col. Hargrove either, if I had not the 
slightest regard or respect for either of you. You stand 
related to me before the public in a point of view that 
neither of you can be lessened in the public estimation, 
without injury to myself. Therefore, the first law of na- 
ture, self-love, would forbid my detracting from your 
merits while you stand in the relation which you now do 
towards me. I have condemned none of your acts, to 


any i)erson whatever ; but, from letters heretofore received 
from both you and Col. Hargrove, I have entertained 
some apprehension that you might be induced to trans- 
cend your official duties, and these apprehensions are 
by no means removed by your present communications. 
My views and construction of the law under which you 
are now engaged as Agent, &c., have been freely given 
to you and Col. Hargrove, as well as to others who have 
sought to know my opinions. I have uniformly declared 
in my writings and conversations (including my instruc- 
tions to you), my determination that the late act of the 
Legislature, so far as depended upon the Executive, 
should be faithfully and fully carried into effect, and that 
any interference by Judge Hooper, or any other person, 
or persons, whatever, intended to interrupt or hinder you 
from the performance of your official duties, would be 
disregarded by me, and that I would sustain you in all 
the legal acts which might devolve on you. It is my im- 
perative and sworn duty to execute the laws as / find 
them, and not what we might desire should be the lazv. 
Consequently, I cannot consent to be guided by what 
members of the Legislature may say they intended to en- 
act, when there is an obvious failure to carry such inten- 
tion into effect by the words of the law itself. My writ- 
ten notes, furnished to the Committee who reported the 
bill under consideration, will prove that it was my wish 
that the Executive should have been clothed with power 
to put the rightful owners of all lots authorized to be 
granted by the late act into the immediate possession of 
their lands. And I believe the bill was so reported to the 
House, but. during its progress, was changed and altered 
to its present shape. I have no doubt but that a large 
majority of the people of Georgia agree with my own 
views on this subject, and the people have been taught 
to believe, without examining the law, that the Governor 
and his Agent had the power under the law to afiford them 
summary and speedy relief. But this is not the law ; that 
instruments will always speak for itself ; and those who are 
endeavoring to make the people believe that I have pow- 
ers to relieve them, and have shrunk from my duty, shall 
be exposed, let it cost me what trouble and expense it 
may. It has been wickedly done to injure me, and shall 
not escape public notice. Knowing my desire to have 
this authority, and having been denied it by the intrigues 
and management of my opponents, the policy now is to 
make my friends believe that I have the power, but am 


too timid to exercise it ! Those who take the lead in mis- 
leading the public on this subject would be the first to 
raise the cry of ass2iniption , if in any case you transcend 
the laws. 

You have not acknowledged my letter giving you my 
construction of the act, and I am therefore left to con- 
jecture whether this and other letters which I have writ- 
ten have been received or not. For my views of the 
laws, I refer you to Mr. Cuthbert, who visits Cass Court 
for the express purpose of aiding you with his legal ad- 
vice, &c. Neither friends nor foes can provoke me to 
depart knowingly from my duty in assuming power which 
the Legislature have refused to give me, and that, too, 
after I had sought it at their hands. The false impres- 
sions which have evidently been made on the minds of 
yourself and Hargrove, by mischievous persons, have 
grown out of the fact of your names being united in the 
bill of injunction sued out by Adair. This has led to con- 
versations with various persons, in which your names have 
necessarily been united. And my being apprised of the 
construction placed on the law by Col. Hargrove, in re- 
gard to the powers of the Agent, necessarily induced me to 
apprehend that, as far as his influence might extend, it 
would be exercised to carry into eflfect his own views of 
the meaning of the law. But am I, therefore, to be con- 
sidered unkind to you, or Col. Hargrove, either? I trust 
not. I know I ought not. I have a high and sacred duty 
to perform, for which I am acountable to the whole peo- 
ple of Georgia. And am I to be controlled in the per- 
formance of this duty, contrary to the convictions of my 
own judgment and conscience, by the opinions of any in- 
dividual (however much I respect him), or be considered 
as giving grievous ofifense for an honest difference of 
opinion? What are the arguments, or reasons, advanced 
by you and Col. Hargrove in your letter now open be- 
fore me to sustain your opinions? Neither of you refer 
to, or quote, a sentence of the law or attempt the slight- 
est comment on it, which goes to sustain the opinions 
which you have avowed ! You both say that members 
of the Legislature state that they intended the law should 
be thus and so, and that public opinion demands it. You 
also refer me to the opinions expressed by Grand Juries, 
&c. In reply to all this I assure you that no man in Geor- 
gia can or ought to respect public opinion more than I 
do. The basis of my whole political creed is, and always 
has been, that our Government is founded on public opin- 



n — that the will of the people ought to and will prevail. 
Moreover, that the majority will finally do right. There- 
fore, I have no fear but what the people will correct the 
evils of the present moment, and bring order out of con- 
fusion, and put down the assumptions of Hooper, Under- 
wood & Co. But the people will effect this in a legal and 
constitutional mode. They do not expect, or require, 
their Chief Magistrate to transcend the limits of his law- 
ful and constitutional duty. They do not expect their 
Executive, in a summary way, to usurp legislative, judi- 
cial and unlimited power, not even for the righteous ob- 
ject of administering speedy justice to them. Although 

1 may be censured for a time under an erroneous impres- 
sion that I have failed to do my duty, and that I have 
yielded a portion of my official prerogative to the usur- 
pations of the judiciary, yet I entertain not the shadow 
of a doubt but that my constituents, when the whole truth 
is laid before them, will do me justice. And from the pres- 
ent appearances I may find it necessary at an early day 
to lay before the public such information as, under or- 
dinary circumstances, would refer itself to the next ses- 
sion of the Legislature. I find my enemies have the ad- 
dress to subject me to the cross-fire of friends and foes. 
However. I rely upon truth and the intelligence of the 
people, and entertain no fears of the result. 

Respectfully, your obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, April 17th, 1834. 
Dr. N. B. Powell, 

Superintendent, &c. 

Sir : — Having expected to see you here before this, 
your favor of the 15th inst., received this day. relieved 
me from suspense. I have been pleased to hear of the 
advantageous sale which you have made of the public 
hands, and am glad to learn that you had so few absent. 
When and where do you sell the two which you have ob- 
tained who were then absent? Would you not do well to 
advertise the one that still remains out? Col. Lyman has 
recently left here, after having arranged his business and 
made a settlement with the Bank as far as practicable. 
Eight of the negroes under his superintendence were ab- 


sent at the time of his sales, three of which we have since 
heard of in jail. He has advertised the others. 

Respectfully, your obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, May 14th, 1834. 
To the Inspectors of the Penitentiary. 

Gentlemen : — I have received your note of yesterday, 
informing me that a difference of opinion has arisen in 
the Board of Inspectors, with regard to the true construc- 
tion of the 30th, 31st and 32nd rules for the government 
of the Penitentiary, and in relation to the power therein 
vested in the Principal Keeper, and you further request 
my opinion on the subject. 

These rules confide extensive and indispensable pow- 
ers to the Principal Keeper, without which no such insti- 
tution could be properly governed, or managed. But the 
various duties which devolve on the Inspectors evince 
the propriety of the Principal Keeper paying due respect 
and regard to the views and opinions of Inspectors, in 
all important matters relating to the management and 
government of the institution. In the first two rules re- 
ferred to, the duties and responsibilities of the Principal 
Keeper are clear and explicit. In the 32d rule, when taken 
alone, there may appear to be some vagueness or ambig- 
uity, in that part of the rule which relates to the Assistant 
Keepers obtaining leave of absefice. The reading clearly 
indicates the right of the Inspectors to grant leave of ab- 
sence to the Assistant Keepers, but, from the general 
powers confided to the Principal Keeper, by the rules re- 
ferred to, I should not consider the Principal Keeper as 
transcending his authority in granting such leave as cir- 
cumstances may clearly justify, in the absence of the 
Board of Inspectors. I would, however, advise that all 
officers, in the exercise of any doubtful or delicate trust, 
should be careful, at all times, to make respectful ex- 
planations to those with whom they are associated in the 
joint object of executing an important law of the country. 

I consider the Inspectors not only authorized, but re- 
quired, to scrutinize eve7i the legal exercise of all powers 
confided to every officer of the Penitentiary, and not only 
interpose to prevent everything in the nature of usurpa- 
tion, but to use their influence in promoting a wise and 


])riident administration of the laws of the institution, re- 
garding the spirit as well as the letter of the law. 

Very respectfully, &c., 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, May 30, 1834. 
Hon. John Forsyth. 

Dear Sir : — I have just read the report of the debate 
and proceedings in the Senate of the United States (as 
published in the papers), which occurred on the presen- 
tation of the memorial of John Ross and other Cherokees, 
claiming to be the representatives of the Cherokee Na- 
tion. The part taken by you on the occasion will receive 
the approbation of the people of the State which you rep- 
resent, and their constituted authorities. If anything 
could surprise me which comes from the opponents of the 
present Federal administration, the revival of excitement 
on the Indian subject could not fail to do so. 

From letters which I have received from part of our 
delegation in Congress, and from an intimate knowledge 
of the present state of things amongst the Cherokees, I 
had indulged a hope that, before the close of the present 
session of Congress, a final and satisfactory arrangement 
might be effected with the Cherokees for their entire re- 
moval to the West. But, after seeing the course of Ross 
and his political allies, at Washington, as well as in Geor- 
gia, I am forced to the conclusion that we should place 
no reliance upon such a desperate faction. 

Before this reaches you, you will be able to perceive, 
from various articles in the Georgia papers, that there 
has been a perfect concert of action between the Ross 
party here and at Washington, in getting up a new Indian 
excitement. The conduct of the Indians and their allies 
in the Cherokee part of Georgia has recently produced 
a most extraordinary excitement among our white popu- 
lation, in that part of the State. In some places the peo- 
ple have become so much alarmed at the insolence and 
outrage of the Indians as to send expresses to me, stat- 
ing their belief that the lives of the whites were in danger, 
and requesting the aid of a military guard to ensure their 
tranquillity and safety. I have received, however, no evi- 
dence which, in my opinion, would justify their apprehen- 
sions, or authorize military operations. Nothing but ab- 


solute necessity will induce me to supersede the civil au- 
thority by the interposition of the military. When the 
population will admit of it in the new counties, I am en- 
deavoring to effect the organization of volunteer com- 
panies, to be placed under the command of prudent and 
intelligent men, who will be furnished with arms from 
our public arsenals to meet any emergency which may 
possibly occur. 

I have instructed the most intelligent of our citizens, 
consisting of civil and military officers, to rely upon the 
civil authority, and render every aid in the due execution 
of the laws of the State. But you may be assured that 
the excitement is such in some neighborhoods that I find 
at this moment a current of opposition to any calm and 
peaceful measures which requires firmness and decision 
to withstand. Although I cannot apprehend any exten- 
sive mischief being done to our new settlers, nevertheless 
I must admit to you that I am not without fears that 
enough may occur to produce great and extensive ex- 

If the reckless enemies of Georgia and the adminis- 
tration are determined upon evil and confusion in the 
Cherokee part of Georgia, be it so. We cannot prevent 
it. We must meet the crisis when it comes ; and I am 
resolved to be in readiness to act with promptitude and 
decision. Before the close of the year it may become 
necessary to remove every Cherokee from the limits of 
Georgia, peaceably if we can, forcibly if we must. 

The State shall no longer be trifled with and harassed 
by the enemies of good order and all civil government! 
The friends of anarchy and revolution will be disappoint- 
ed in their plans of evil. No friend of humanity can, un- 
der the existing state of things, any longer encourage 
the unfortunate Cherokees to persevere in a controversy 
which has already brought them to the verge of ruin. 
You will consider this an official letter, and the use of it 
is left to your own discretion. To save me the trouble of 
writing, you are at liberty to communicate it to such of 
your colleagues as you may think proper. You can also 
confer on these subjects with the President of the United 
States and Secretary of War. Please to keep me advised 
of passing events at Washington on this subject. 

Very respectfully, yr. obt. servt., 




Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, August 27th, 1834. 
Maj. Gen'l E. P. Gaines, 

Memphis, Tenn. 

Dear Sir : — Your favor of the 5th inst. was received 
yesterday, accompanied by your printed answer (dated 
the 5th of April last) to my letter of the 3d March last. I 
have now, for the first time, hastily read your interesting 
answer to my letter — very properly intended for the pub- 
lic eye, because the public, like myself, will, on many 
points, be enlightened by its contents. I have only time 
at present to say that I feel assured our great end and ob- 
ject is the same — to benefit our fellowmen by every means 
which may be at our disposal. 

Permit me to add my entire confidence in your quali- 
fications and ability to render important aid in carrying 
into effect the noble and extensive plans of internal im- 
provement which you have been efficiently instrumental 
in bringing before the public. Any further views which 
I may have to submit on the subject under consideration 
so far as Georgia may be immediately interested, it may 
be expedient to reserve for the approaching session of the 
Legislature. I am gratified to learn Lt. Col. Long will 
pass through this place, and shall be prepared to give him 
a kind reception, and, at the same time, avail myself of 
his enlightened views on the deeply interesting subject 
now under discussion. 

I have the honor to be, with high regard and consid- 

Yr. obt. servt , 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, Sept. 25th, 1834. 

Col. M. St. Clair Clarke, 

Washington, D. C. 

Sir: — Your favor of the 15th inst. (forwarded by Mr. 
Forsyth) has been duly received, wherein you express 
the opinion that the State of Georgia has a good claim 
against the United States for about one hundred thou- 
sand dollars, growing out of services rendered and moneys 
paid by the State during the Revolutionary War. You 


further state the terms upon which you would undertake 
to investigate and prosecute the claim, and add that, if 
you are employed, it will be proper to lay the whole sub- 
ject before me, in order that I may be satisfied that the 
claim is meritorious, and one which does not compromise 
the honor and patriotism of the State in making it. 

My confidence in your intelligence and integrity of 
character at once forces me to the conclusion that the 
claim should be promptly investigated and prosecuted ; 
and the terms upon which you propose to be employed 
as the agent of the State meet my approbation. The 
subject, however, must be brought before the Legisla- 
ture, at their approaching session in November, when I 
shall probably be made the legal organ of negotiating 
with you on the subject. In the meantime, you will per- 
ceive the necessity of my being immediately put in pos- 
session of such facts as may justify me in calling the at- 
tention of the Legislature to the subject. You mention 
having named this subject to several members of the 
Georgia delegation, with a request that they woutd make 
known to me your willingness to enter upon the agency 
contemplated. Your letter contains the first and only 
intimation I have ever received upon the subject of the 
claim alluded to from any one whatever. I shall expect 
to hear from you again on this subject. 

Yr. most obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, Sept. 25th, 1834. 
Maj. B. F. Curry, 

Calhoun, Cherokee Agency, Tennessee. 

Sir: — My anxiety to hear from you, on the subject 
of Indian affairs and prospects, was this day relieved by 
the reception of your favor of the 13th inst., enclosing 
a copy of the instructions of the President of the United 
States to you and Col. Montgomery ; also a copy of a 
letter from you and Col. Montgomery to Governor Car- 
roll. The instructions of the President of the United 
States are such as might be expected from a source so 
enlightened and patriotic. But it is evident that the States, 
having assumed the exercise of their rights to govern and 
control the Indians within their respective limits, ought 
now principally to look to, and rely upon, their own laws. 


and an efficient enforcement of the same to keep the In- 
dians under proper control and subjection to the policy 
and laws of the States. As regards Georgia, you are 
doubtless apprised of the embarrassment and perplexities 
which the Executive and people have encountered, for 
the want of a faithful co-operation of the judiciary de- 

A combination of lawyers are kept in the service (and 
I presume pay) of Ross & Co. to thwart and overturn 
the whole policy of the State, and the views of the Judge 
of the Cherokee Circuit appear to coincide with this com- 
bination to a sufficient extent to encourage the delusive 
hopes of the Cherokees, and embolden them in their in- 
solence and most extraordinary assumptions and out- 
rages. I have confidence that a majority of the members 
of the approaching Legislature will be composed of the 
friends of the State and our common country; and that 
we may therefore expect such legislation as will correct 
many existing evils, especially such as you point out in 
your letter. 

Under the existing state of things, and the present 
temper manifested by the Indians, I indulge but little hope 
in regard to enrollment for emigration. The Indians have 
certainly gained confidence by the aid, countenance and 
friendship which they have received from the enemies of 
the President and myself, in Georgia and elsewhere. 

The instructions of the President to you and Col. 
Montgomery, to procure testimony in certain cases there- 
in pointed out. I deem to be of great importance. I have 
more than once given similar instructions to agents and 
officers of Georgia ; but regret the necessity of saying that 
I have never been able to collect such testimony as would 
convict the conspirators of the villany with which rumor 
had charged them. These charges generally reach me 
in a vague and heresay form. I don't expect to eflfect 
much for the better, until after the meeting of the Legis- 
lature ; but, should any recommendations to the Legis- 
lature be sustained, I trust a quietus will be given to many 
existing evils. Please let me hear from you frequently, 
and believe me to be, very respectfully, 

Yr. obt. servt., 



Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, Augt. 28th, 1834. 
Col. Wm. N. Bishop, 

Murray Co., Ga. 

Dear Sir : — Your interesting favor of the 22d inst. is 
now before me, and for which I thank you, because I feel 
assured that it places me in possession of facts as they 
really exist. 

The object of the present meeting of the Cherokees, 
near the Tennessee line, is to lay before them various 
matters relating to their annuities, and other things, as 
well as to sound their opinions in regard to the late treaty 
arrangement entered into by the emigrating delegation 
at Washington. I regret to learn from your letter, as 
well as from other sources, that the course of Judge 
Hooper, Underwood & Co. has so far succeeded in fos- 
tering the vain hope of the Cherokees that they can suc- 
cessfully resist the constituted authorities of Georgia in 
the settlement of her territory. I am perfectly aware 
of the combination of which you speak, and I perceive 
the evil tendency which has and must result from their 
'^^■fforts. It is surpassing strange that any citizen of Geor- 
gia should be found arrayed against the best interest and 
rights of the State, and yet have the ef^rontry to talk 
about "State rights," and even claim and seek the politi- 
cal confidence of the people while they are thus laboring 
to prostrate the dignity and sovereignty of the State at 
the feet of a handful of ambitious, half-savage men, who 
are the mere tools of a violent political faction, evidently 
determined upon the destruction of this Union, and with 
it the most free and happy government on earth. Every 
thing that could be done by the President of the United 
States to bring our Indian perplexities to a close has now 
been done. If the Indians continue to reject the pro- 
posal of the Federal Government vmtil the meeting of 
our State Legislature, it will then be proper for the au- 
thorities of Georgia to enter earnestly upon the work of 
bringing to a final issue these long-standing perplexities. 

Rest assured that whatever part of this duty may de- 
volve upon the Executive will be performed at all hazards. 
If the people elect men to represent them — true, firm and 
faithful to their rights and interest — all will be provided 
for, and end well. Quiet, peace and prosperity will be 
speedily given to the Cherokee part of Georgia. The 
necessary measures are plain and simple, but, if I had 


leisure, I should not at this time feel at liberty to enter 
upon the details of such measures as I would recommend. 
Suffice it to say that, whatever the people will upon the 
subject, it is the duty of the Legislature to perform ; 
otherwise they will not be the representatives of the peo- 
ple. If judges and lawyers are permitted to thwart and 
overturn the laws, for purposes of their own political or 
lucrative aggrandizement, the people are no longer free 
and sovereign — the indees a-id lawyers are their masters. 
I sincerely pity the Indians ; they are deluded and misled 
by mad men ; but they must not be indulged in their pre- 
posterous notions of overturning the laws of Georgia, and 
establishing an independent government. Their own good, 
as well as that of the white population, demands that we 
press forward to a final adjustment. The sooner, the 
better for the Indians, as well as the State and her citi- 
zens. The magistrates to whom you refer were commis- 
sioned yesterday. Where there is liberty, there must be 
political strife ; but, so long as truth is left free to com- 
bat error, I trust the Republic is safe. I feel the full 
weight of the embarrassments which have been thrown 
in our way, to prevent a happy adjustment of our Indian 
afifairs ; but my confidence in a successful issue — and that 
at a day not far distant — has been strengthened at every 
step of my administration. Indeed, I now consider the 
battle as having been fought and won. What remains to 
be done is comparatively nothing, when compared with 
what has already been accomplished. "Be strong and 
fear not !" We have contended for the interest of the 
people and of the State ! We shall be sustained ! 

Very sincerely, yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, Dec'r 13th, 1834. 
Dr. Thomas Sewall, 

Washington, D. C. 

Dear Sir : — Lender the provisions of a resolution of 
the Legislature of this State, I am authorized and re- 
quested to procure and furnish the citizens in several of 
our new counties with vaccine matter, to be used gratuit- 
ously for the public benefit. Permit me, therefore, to ask 
the special favor of you to send me of the genuine ar- 
ticle, properly put up in suitable parcels for distribution. 


with ample directions for using the same, the quantity 
that may be procured for the enclosed ten dollars ($io). 
Send it by mail, and direct to me at this place. 

My apology for thus troubling you must be found in 
the fact that my inattention to such matters leaves me 
at a loss to know a more suitable agency to apply to than 
yourself, and, from a knowledge of your disposition to do 
good, and serve your generation, I feel assured you will 
pardon the liberty which I have taken. Please to attend 
to this call speedily, as the s77iaU-pox is actually spreading 
in several of our new counties, and we are wholly desti- 
tute of the vaccine matter which is considered the most 
eflficient remedy to avert the calamity. 

Sincerely and truly yr. friend, 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, Dec. 13th, 1834. 
Lewis Weld, Esq., 

Augusta, Ga. 

Sir : — Your favor of the 8th inst. is now before me . 
The information received at this department, through the 
politeness of Gov'r Foote, of Connecticut, and yourself, 
on the subject of the education of the deaf and dumb, and 
for which I thank you both, was laid before the Legisla- 
ture of Georgia at the commencement of the present 
session, and together with information derived from other 
sources, was referred to the appropriate committee, whose 
views may be seen by a copy of their report on the sub- 
ject herewith enclosed. This report will show that the 
views of the committee, on every important point, coin- 
cide with your own. The session of the General Assem- 
bly is hastening to a close, and what may be the final ac- 
tion on the report I consider uncertain. I hope, however, 
that it may be sustained by appropriate legislation before 
the session closes. I should be very much pleased to see 
you and your pupils here. I have seen your exhibition 
of them at Washington, and know that such an exhibition 
here could not fail deeply to impress the public mind in 
favor of laudable efforts to educate this unfortunate class 
of our fellow beings. But I fear before you can arrive 
here it will be too near the close of the session to effect 
anything in regard to the action of our Legislature on 
the subject. Indeed, everything here, from this time to 


the close of the session, partakes too much of that hurry 
and impatience so unfavorable to calm deliberation on 
subjects of the greatest importance. Should you, how- 
ever, think proper to come, you may rely upon a kind re- 
ception, and will be prepared to make the proper allow- 
ance for any seeming inattention which may be attri- 
buted to the peculiar circumstances of the moment. 

I am, sir, with great respect, 

Yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, Dec, 13th, 1834. 
Maj. B. F. Curry, 

Spring Place, Ga. 

Sir : — Your two very interesting letters of the i8th 
and 30th ult, have been duly received. The information 
they contain will be useful to this department, and to the 
public. Your first letter (leaving out such parts as were 
deemed improper to be made public at this time) has 
been communicated to the General Assembly. My ob- 
ject in making this public use of your letter was, if pos- 
sible, to induce the Legislature to act efficiently upon the 
subject of our Indian relations. Your views coincide with 
my ovvU, which have so repeatedly been urged upon the 
Legislature, but, from various causes which I have not 
time at present to explain to you, it is a very difficult 
matter to induce that body to take a correct view of this 
subject, and legislate accordingly. The lawyer influence 
of the State is chiefly engaged against the policy and peo- 
ple of the State on this subject. It is their interest to 
keep up and continue the present litigation and strife 
which exist in that section of the State. 

The opposition to the Federal and State administra- 
tions throws every possible obstacle in the way of an 
amicable adjustment of our Cherokee difficulties. In a 
few days I shall be able to communicate to you the re- 
sult of our legislation on the Indian subject, when you 
may expect to hear from me more fully. In the mean- 
time, you may assure Boudinot. Ridge, and their friends 
of State protection under any circumstances. I shall feel 
it my imperative dtity to pay due regard to their situa- 



tion, and afiford them every security, aid and protection 
which our laws will justify or authorize. 

In haste, I am, very respectfully, 

Yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, Dec'r 19th, 1834. 
Joseph Day, Esq., 

Chairman, &c. 

Sir : — After reflection, I consider it my duty respect- 
fully to state to you that I shall decline obeying the re- 
quirements of your subpoena to appear before the Com- 
mittee of the House of Representatives and give testi- 
mony in the case stated to be pending before the Com- 
mittee, or to answer any interrogatories which may be 
propounded to me as a witness in said case. I cannot 
recognize the right of the Legislature, or its Committees, 
to compel the Executive to give testimony in any case 
pending before that body, when the testimony sought must 
obviouslv have a bearing upon the official acts of the Ex- 
ecutive. All proper information, respectfully sought by 
the Legislature, or its committees, will, as heretofore, be 
promptly furnished by me, so long as I occupy the Execu- 
tive chair. The insulting and accusatory interrogatories 
which the Committee are apprised have already been sub- 
mitted to me, bearing the signature of John W. Hooper, 
wholly forbid the idea of the Executive of the State of 
Georgia degrading itself and bringing reproach and con- 
tempt upon the authorities of the State, by entering into 
a personal controversy with Judge Hooper and his coun- 
sel who have sought to divert the public mind from their 
own conduct, by endeavoring to substitute a controversy 
with the Executive. In all my official communications 
to the General Assembly, and others, I feel that I am 
fully sustained by the documents heretofore submitted 
to the Legislature. And, to support mv opinion, I beg 
leave to refer to the bill of injunction, the reports of Mr. 
Cuthbert, and the opinion of Judge Warner, which ac- 
companied my annual message. 

Very respectfully, 



Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, Dec'r 23d, 1834. 
Col. Wm. N. Bishop, 

Murray County, Ga. 

Sir : — Under the provisions of an act of the General 
Assembly, assented to on the 20th inst., entitled "An Act 
to amend an act more efifectually to provide for the gov- 
ernment and protection of the Cherokee Indians residing 
within the limits of Georgia," &c., I have this day ap- 
pointed you an agent to carry into efifect the provisions 
of said act, and herewith furnish you with a copy of the 
law and the order of your appointment. The best guide 
and instructions for all officers and agents under our gov- 
ernment is the letter and spirit of the laws which they are 
called to administer and execute. Therefore, you will 
consider your various duties as being best defined by the 
acts of the Legislature under which you are called to of- 
ficiate. After filing your bond, and taking the oath of 
office pointed out in the law, you will be ready forthwith 
to enter upon the duties of your appointment. The prin- 
cipal duties required of you, as agent aforesaid, will be 
to examine and report to this department, when so re- 
quired, in terms of the law, all lots of land subject to be 
granted under the act of the 20th of Dec, 1833, and to 
deliver possession to all applicants who are the legal or 
rightful owners of all lots of land which are, or may be. 
granted under the provisions of the said act of 1833. In 
performing the latter duty, to wit : placing the legal owner 
holding claim under a grant from the State in possession 
of his premises, you may, as has evidently been contem- 
plated by the Legislature, meet with resistance. Permit 
me, therefore, to suggest to you the importance of exer- 
cising a prudent forecast in making proper arrangements 
to meet any exigency which circumstances may cause you 
to apprehend. In all cases, where the laws require you to 
demand a change of pos?ession, the laiv must be stis- 
tamed. But I would advise in all cases that you, in the 
first instance, rely upon the moral force of the law as 
the authority of the State, without menace, threat, or ir- 
ritating discussion of any kind. Rely first upon the law 
and reason. If, unfortunately, these fail, be prepared to 
use the means provided by the law. It is true the law 
confides the power of using force to the Executive, when, 
according to the report of the agent, this force may be 
deemed necessary. But you are the agent, and upon your 


reports I should have to supply you with force when 
needed. And I therefore deem it most expedient, eco- 
nomical and proper, to authorize you at once to exercise 
a sound discretion, and, when you deem it necessary, call 
to your aid such force as may be necessary to carry this 
provision of the law into immediate efifect. Should any 
case, however, occur which, in your judgment, shall re- 
quire a greater force than you are able to command, you 
will immediately report the case to me, with all the cir- 
cumstances attending the same. I have not yet come to 
a definite conclusion whether I shall appoint one or more 
agents to assist you in the service or not, but shall finally 
determine as I may think the interest of the country de- 
mands. In the meantime, you will, for the present, and 
until otherwise instructed, consider your agency as being 
extended to the entire duties contemplated by the Legis- 
lature. The Legislature having provided a per diem al- 
lowance for your compensation, will make it necessary 
for you to keep an account of the days you may devote 
to this particular service. In the execution of the delicate 
and important trust herein confided to you, permit me 
respectfully to suggest to you the importance of keeping 
me constantly advised of every important matter which 
may transpire in any way connected with your present 
agency. Should any difficulty arise, calculated to obstruct 
the due and faithful execution of the law, report the same 
to me, and you shall promptly have the aid of the best 
advice which I may be able to afford. These suggestions 
and instructions having been written, as you are apprised, 
in much haste, I have probably omitted something that 
you may deem important. If so, I shall take great pleas- 
ure, at all times, in communicating to you my views, with- 
out reserve, upon all subjects connected with your official 

I am, with great respect, 

Yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, Dec'r 23d, 1834. 
(Private and confidential.) 
Col. Wm. N. Bishop. 

Dear Sir : — Connected with the duties of the agency 
to which you have been invited by me, I consider it my 
dutv to advert to the past course of conduct of the Judge 
of the Cherokee Circuit, in relation to our Indian popu- 


lation, and the laws enacted for their government. Highly 
reprehensible as I have considered the conduct of Judge 
Hooper, I have always placed the most favorable con- 
struction on his actings and doings. I have not charged 
him with corruption, but with imbecility and assumption ; 
and 1 believe he has been led into his hightoned assump- 
tions by the ingenuity of selfish and bad men of capacities 
very far superior to his own. The embarrassments thrown 
in the way of the policy and interest of the State, and the 
peace and prosperity of its citizens, by the conduct of the 
Judge, and those who are believed to govern him, is of 
the most serious nature. It may be denied, but this Jtids;e 
and his counsel have evidently commenced a system which, 
if submitted to, will very soon destroy the efificiency of 
the Legislative and Executive departments of the Govern- 

Under the circumstances, permit me to say to you, 
and let it be distinctly impressed upon your mind, that 
Judge Hooper will not be permitted, in any case what- 
ever, to judge and determine for me what laws are con- 
stitutional, or otherwise. As the Executive of Georgia, 
in the performance of my official duties, I shall judge of 
the laws and constitution for myself. No writ of injunc- 
tion, or prohibition, will stay the Executive from a faith- 
ful execution of the laws of the State, where that execu- 
tion has been specificallv confided to the Executive by 
the Legislature and the Constitution of the State. 

From Hooper and his counsel I expect further at- 
tempts to thwart the policy of the State. All vague and 
ambiguous legislation upon the Indian subject will be 
seized upon to embarrass and hinder the policy of the 
State ; and that much of our legislation is vague must be 
admitted ; but that it is intended by our legislation and 
willed by our people that the rightful owners of all lands 
authorized to be granted in what is called the Cherokee 
Country shall go into the immediate possession of their 
premises no one dare controvert. And the effecting of 
this object is confided to the Executive. Nor will I be 
hindered from discharging this duty by the pettifogging 
artifice of lawyers, or the embecility of jucfges who may 
condescend to be made the mere tools of a class of sel- 
fish men. If the good people of Georgia support me, the 
laws shall be executed. 

In haste, respectfully, 

Yr. obt. servt., 



Correspondence and documents in relation to the alarm 
of the citizens of Cherokee County, and exhibiting the 
character of the various excitements in the Cherokee part 
of Georgia, as also the measures adopted by the Execu- 
tive in relation thereto. 

Headquarters ist Brigade, 12th Division, G. M., 

May 13th, 1834. 
To His Excellency Wilson Lumpkin. 

Dear Sir : — You will receive, by the hand of Mr. Bry- 
ant, the proceedings of a meeting of the citizens of Cher- 
okee County, on the subject of our Indian ^'elations. They 
are such as require immediate attention. It is obvious 
to every person in this section of the country that is at 
all acquainted with the Indians, that they are more des- 
perate and hostile of late than is usual among them. From 
the situation of our settlements and sparsely populated 
country, I deem it necessary that some measures should 
be resorted to by your Excellency to quell the invasion 
that is daily expected. The plan I think most advisable 
is to forward a sufficient quantity of arms and ammuni- 
tion to the Court House, with a small guard sufficient to 
keep the arms, &c., so that the citizens could any time 
be supplied with arms and ammunition to meet any exig- 
ency that may present itself. I think their mode of at- 
tack will be on persons traveling, or on small settlements, 
so that it will be diflficLilt to detect them. Should you 
think the necessity calls for the aid requested, you can- 
not have it attended to any too soon, as our citizens are 
in daily expectation of being massacred. 

I am, with due respect, 

Yr. obt. servt., 

Br. Gen. ist B., 12th D., G. M. 

P. S. — Mr. Moses Bryant has been employed as an 
express to inform you of the outrages, &c. 


The Committee appointed make the following report : 

Whereas, the relations now existing between the white 

and Indian settlers of this country is daily growing more 

and more important, both to the white inhabitants and to 


the traveler, in that we hear of repeated murders, vio- 
lences, robberies, and thefts having- been committed by the 
Indians, and our own County is not exempted from those 
outrages. No longer ago than last evening one of our 
citizens. Dr. James Burnes, was met in the public road, 
about three miles from Etowah, about the setting of the 
sun, by two Indians unknown to Dr. B., the one havmg 
a rifle gun, the other probably unarmed, at least with fire- 
arms. So soon as Dr. B. had passed some fifty or sixty 
steps from the Indians (still keeping his eye upon them 
from suspicion excited from the manner and behavior of 
the Indians), the moment Dr. B. had taken his eye off 
them, they fired on him, and shot a rifle ball through the 
left side of his hat, the ball passing first above the ear, 
burying about half the breadth of the bullet in the skin. 
We are glad to say Dr. B. is not dangerously wounded, 
though the eighth of an inch deeper would have undoubt- 
edly destroyed his life. It is also true that there is a 
growing disposition of hostility in the Indians generally, 
which disposition must be arrested, in order to ensure the 
safety of the white settlers of this country. 

Threats of the lives of our white citizens are daily and 
publicly made by the Indians. It therefore becomes the 
duty, as well as the interest of the white settlers of this 
country to adopt some strong and energetic measures 
upon this all important subject. 

1. Resolved, therefore, That, owing to the sparse 
population of this county, the locality of the country, and 
the facilities of concealment of Indian outlaws, we are 
satisfied of the utter impracticability of enforcing the 
laws of the State in an efficient manner, unless aided by 
military force from the State or General Government, 
that his Excellency, the Governor, be requested promptly 
to cause such force to be stationed at suitable points as 
will protect our citizens and aid the civil authorities in 
executing the laws of the State. 

2. Resolved, That the citizens of Cherokee County 
are in constant danger of assassination, and other law- 
less violence, and in this situation it cannot be expected 
that the ordinary operations of agriculture and increase 
of population can progress, and that, consequently, with- 
out the aid required in the foregoing resolution, the policy 
of the State and the General Government must be de- 
feated by a disgraceful but necessary retreat of the popu- 
lation now here to a peaceful asylum for their families. 


and a surrender of the country to the original savage oc- 

3. Resolved, That we pledge ourselves mutually, that 
for every citizen of the County of Cherokee assassinated 
by a Cherokee Indian, and where the offender is not given 
up to the civil authorities within two weeks (or satisfac- 
tory evidence of their inability of arresting the offender) 
from the date of the offense, we will select three male In- 
dians out of the Countv of Cherokee, and put them to death 
as an atonement for the murder of such citizen. 

4. Resolved, That we deprecate the necessity of the 
desperate course pointed out in the above resolution, but, 
unless timely aid be afforded us, we must strictly pursue 
it, or disgracefully abandon the country. 

5. Resolved, That the proceedings of this meeting 
be forwarded by dispatch to his Excellency the Governor, 
with a request that he cause it to be published in each of 
the public journals in Milledgeville. 

6. Resolved, That a committee be appointed by the 
chair to draft and forward circulars to the several counties 
in the Cherokee territory, requesting their co-operation 
in the design of the foregoing resolution. 

7. Resolved, That the editor of the Cherokee Phoenix 
be furnished with a copy of the third and fourth resolu- 
tions, with a request that it be published in the Cherokee 
language in the said paper. 

8. Resolved. That we recommend to the merchants of 
this County not to retail spirituous liquors, or suffer them 
to be drunk on their premises by Cherokee Indians; and 
that thev be also requested to refuse to sell any arms or 
ammunition to such Indians. 

9. Resolved, That we pledge ourselves to prosecute 
all and every person or persons who may be found illegally 
retpiling spirits to Indians, suffering violations of the 
Spbb-'th d''y, and oth'^r disorderly conduct suffered on 
their premises bv the Indians, and that we will promptly 
prosecute all offences relating to the compromise of 
felonies and other offenses committed by the Indians. 


D. R. Mitchell, Secretary. 


Etowah, May 12, 1834. 

To His Excellency Wilson Lumpkin. 

Sir : — Since the convention of a meeting of the citi- 
zens of this town and neighborhood, an additional por- 
tion of intelligence has come to us, circumstances which 
we believe to be true. An Indian girl has been brought 
before us, who gives the following facts, with tears in her 
eyes and every emotion of excitement. There has been, 
and now is, a concerted plan amongst the Indians for the 
purpose of a massacre of the white inhabitants of this 
country. She says she received the information from her 
grandfather, who is a chief, under an injunction that, if 
she revealed the plan, he himself would put her to the 
most cruel death she could die. She says about three 
weeks since her grandfather went to John Ross's house, 
and returned with a circular written in the Indian lan- 
guage, in which it was planned about the coming up of 
corn, and at the time the leaves were fully grown, the 
Cherokees were to be organized in squads of twenty and 
thirty, who were to attack the thickest settlements and 
towns at one general signal. The Cherokee girl is a girl 
of very general intelligence, reads and writes both in Eng- 
lish and Cherokee language, and has been raised in a 
white family. The Indian girl says that when she heard 
of the attempt upon the life of Dr. Burnes, she believed 
it to be the signal of attack. We have taken the girl with 
us, and shall, as soon as possible, carry her and our wives 
and children into some of the old counties, and return 
and defend the country to the last. We are, as it were, 
in the beginning of war. Aid from the State must be had 
instantly. In addition to our perilous condition we are 
without arms or ammunition — we must have arms as well 
instantly. In addition to our perilous condition, we are 
in such a state of excitement from the situation that we 
have not time to give further particulars. We are a com- 
mittee appointed to report the facts. The Indians have 
been for some time past purchasing unusual quantities of 
powder and lead, and have been seen for some time past 
rapidly passing and repassing with guns. 

Yours, &c., 
R. M. HOLT. 



Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, 15 May, 1834. 
Brigadier General Eli M'Connell. 

Sir : — I have just read your communication of the 13th 
inst. (by express), accompanied by two other communi- 
cations — one signed by Howell Cobb and D. R. Mitchell, 
Esqrs., as Chairman and Secretary of a meeting held by 
the citizens of Cherokee County, and the other signed 
by D. R. Mitchell, Jno. Brewster and R. M. Holt, Esqrs., 
all of which communications tend to confirm the belief 
that a very great and extraordinary excitement has been 
produced in the County of Cherokee, on account of the 
recent conduct of certain Cherokee Indians, in having 
shot a gun at, and wounded, one of your citizens ; and, 
from the communications of a certain Indian girl, that 
hostilities were planned and intended by the Cherokees 
against the whites, and the general allegation of other 
insolent and outrageous acts of the Cherokees, without, 
however, specifying particular acts. Now, sir, before I 
proceed to a more detailed reply, permit me to assure 
you, and, through you, the community embraced in your 
Brigade, that, so far as may depend upon the Executive, 
the most energetic lawful means will be used to defend 
the persons and property of our citizens. And you will 
consider this as your direct order and authority from the 
Commander in Chief to aid the civil authority to the full 
extent of your official command, in a legal and faithful 
execution of the laws of the State, should such military 
aid be required to carry into effect the judicial authorities 
of the State. Moreover, should the sparseness of the pop- 
ulation and the want of arms in your Brigade be deemed 
inefficient to meet any real or apprehended emergency, 
you will then, in that case, feel yourself authorized and di- 
rected to call upon Maj. General Bates for such aid and 
assistance as may be deemed necessary, who will, in the 
meantime, be instructed to hold in readiness such portion 
of the volunteers as may be attached to his Division, for 
the purpose of meeting such emergencies as you and 
other citizens apprehend. The present state of disquietude 
which pervades the minds of many of the Cherokees who 
still remain in Georgia is by no means a matter of sur- 
prise ; under existing circumstances nothing else could 
reasonably be expected. These people have resisted emi- 
gration to the last moment, and some of them, under ex- 
asperated feelings of despair, may resort to acts of des- 


peration. But that anything like a plan of general hos- 
tility has been aranged and agreed upon by the remnant 
of Cherokees, I am very far from crediting. I know that 
ten days ago the two delegations at Washington were 
seriously engaged upon the subject of negotiating a final 
treaty with the Federal Government. And I know that 
intelligent men among the Cherokees rely upon negotia- 
tion, and have too much light to countenance the idea of 
hostilities. I attribute all the desperate acts which have 
been or may be committed by the Cherokees to the wicked 
and selfish influence of certain citizens of Georgia who 
are, and have long been, engaged in the diabolical work 
of endeavoring to produce a state of anarchy and civil 
war in the Cherokee section of our State. We all know 
that the Cherokees have in pay a feed combination of men 
who are using every efifort to overturn the laws and Con- 
stitution of the State. Tt is those men who are producing 
the evils complained of, and upon them, and not the poor 
unlettered Cherokees. be the vengeance of Heaven ! 

The causes pointed out by you and others will not jus- 
tify- a resort to military force, until a fair and full trial 
is made to enforce the civil authority. From what is be- 
fore me I can certainly see nothing to justify the belief 
that the laws of the country cannot be executed in the 
punishment of the offenders complained of. Should, how- 
ever, the population of the new counties be found insuf- 
ficient to enforce our laws and maintain civil government, 
and should the conduct of the natives, aided by the dis- 
turbers of the peace and quiet of the country, render it 
necessary and proper, be assured the people shall be pro- 
tected in their homes, and the guiltv shall not escape the 
power of the Government. You will please to communi- 
cate the contents of this letter to the other gentlemen 
who have addressed me on the subject of your present 

\'ery respectfully, yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, May 15, 1834. 
Major Gen'l John Bates, 

Gainesville, Ga. 

Sir : — I have received this day, by express, several 
communications from the citizens of Cherokee County, 


which exhibit the most unexpected and extraordinary 
state of alarm and apprehension. 

Before this reaches you I have no doubt you will have 
heard of all the causes of alarm which have reached me. 
I therefore omit to detail them to you. There has noth- 
ing yet come to my knowledge which would justify mili- 
tary operations. 

I have directed Brigadier General M'Connell to aid the 
civil authority in executing the laws of the State. And 
further, I have informed him that you would be instructed 
by me (should circumstances render it necessary) to fur- 
nish the whole or any part of the volunteers attached to 
your Division, for the purpose of suppressing any hostile 
movements which may occur among the remnant of the 
Cherokees still remaining in our new counties. In their 
present state of alarm they complain of their want of 
population and arms. Your Division has the population, 
and, if arms should be wanted, the Arsenal at this place 
will afiford a sufficiency for the contemplated emergency. 
I cannot, however, apprehend the results which the citi- 
zens of Cherokee seem to anticipate in their present ex- 
cited state of feeling. Should these unfortunate and de- 
luded people be urged on to acts of desperation, it may 
be traced to the selfish and wicked counsel of a combina- 
tion of our own citizens who are the feed enemies of the 
rights and interest of the State. 

In great haste, yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, May i6, 1834. 
Brigadier General Eli M'Connell, 

Cherokee Court House. 

Sir : — Since writing to you yesterday, by express, on 
the subject of our Indian relations in your section, further 
and more mature reflection fully confirms the hasty sug- 
gestions contained in my letter referred to. And I now 
consider it my duty to give you my views more fully on 
the subjects presented in the communications received 
from yourself and countrymen, and must beg leave to 
make you the organ of my opinions to our fellow citi- 
zens who have addressed me on these subjects. 

I must be permitted to express my surprise at being 
informed by a committee of citizens of Cherokee County 


that they entertained the opinion that nothing short of 
military force could enforce the laws of the State in that 
County, and further, that without the aid of military 
protection, a necessary but disgraceful retreat and aban- 
donment of the country might be expected, and a formal 
surrender made to the aboriginal savage occupants ; 
and, further, a formal resolve (notwithstanding the 
apprehension of weakness) promptly to execute a savage 
retribution, by taking three lives for one in every instance 
of murder ; and, further, the Governor is requested to 
be the organ of promulgating these resolutions and opin- 
ions to the world ; and the citizens of the other new coun- 
ties are to be called upon to co-operate in these measures. 
Now, sir, permit me to ask, where is the evidence that 
our laws cannot be executed ? When, or where, have they 
been resisted so as to require military force to aid the 
judiciary? The Legislature, the immediate representa- 
tives of the people, eighteen months ago determined that 
the laws of the country could be executed, without a guard 
or military force, and although I was of a different opin- 
ion at the time, now that the white population has in- 
creased (I presume four-fold) and the Indian population 
has greatly decreased, and we have ten organized coun- 
ties in place of one, all ofificered and prepared to adminis- 
ter the government ; can it, I say, under such circum- 
stances, be necessary and expedient (if legal and consti- 
tutional) to supersede the civil government of this coun- 
try by a military (and consequently arbitrary) govern- 
ment ? It is evident and clear that the scattered remnant 
of the Cherokees now remaining in Georgia are too far 
reduced to be considered in the light of a formidable foe. 
And while it may be admitted that even the lives of inno- 
cent individuals may be more endangered in the Cherokee 
part of Georgia than in other sections of the State, never- 
theless, justice requires the assertion of the fact that no 
portion of the State, for two years past, has been more 
free and exempt from assassination and murder than that 
which is inhabited by this unfortunate people. When we 
look for the true cause of increasing excitement amongst 
these people, will it not be found arising out of the im- 
proper conduct of a portion of our own white population? 
Do not our people supply the facilities of their obtaining 
the intoxicatin":" drink v'-'rli is often the immediate cause 
of acts of horror and desperation ? Since the organiza- 
tion of our courts in the new country, have not many of 
our citizens, distinguished for their legal acquirements, 


used every exertion, publicly and privately, to impress 
the minds of these people with the belief that they are 
greatly oppressed, and arbitrarily deprived of their rights 
by the Government of Georgia? Have not men traversed 
the country, from county to county, and court to court, 
for the express purpose of engendering and stirring up 
strife between the red and white men? Are not these men 
fed and paid to produce, increase and perpetuate litiga- 
tion, strife and heart burnings? The wise man says, 
"Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad." 

Need we, then, be surprised that these men of the for- 
est, when goaded on by our own courts and lawyers, 
should be induced to feel a spirit of revenge for their sup-' 
posed oppression ? I have reason to believe that the day 
is not distant when we shall be entirely relieved from this 
troublesome portion of our population (the Cherokees.) 

But, until we are thus relieved, our laws should be en- 
acted and executed with a view of striking at the root, and 
not the branches, of the evil. The moral criminals are 
the white men who stimulate and excite these unlettered 
sons of the forest against their white neighbors. All this 
is done " for the sake cf flthyhicref and yet the vile in- 
struments of these enormities receive the countenance and 
courtesies due to honorable men alone. 

My confidence in your patriotism and good judgment 
produces much delicacy of feeling in dissenting from any 
opinion which you express. But, under all the circum- 
stances, I cannot deem it necessary at present to place 
a guard at Cherokee Court House. If a guard were 
placed there, the immediate consequence would be that 
every neighborhood in the ten new counties thought to 
be exposed would call for and demand similar protection. 
The timid, the women and children, throughout the coun- 
try, would catch the excitement, feel the panic and spread 
the alarm. We would open the door for unparalleled 
confusion and alarm. Those whose business it is to excite 
and agitate the country would find an ample field for 
their destructive heresies. 

The prompt and efificient course which suggests itself 
to my mind is the immediate organization of volunteer 
companies throughout the new counties, when the popu- 
lation can afiford such corps. The most enlightened, pa- 
triotic and energetic citizens of every county should im- 
mediately aid in the organization suggested. Although 
our supply of arms is limited, we have a sufficient number 
of excellent muskets and ammunition at this place to 


meet the present emergency ; and, under the circum- 
5Cances, I should feel myself authorized to grant the sup- 

I would suggest the propriety of your communicating 
these my views in regard to volunteer companies to 
Major General Terrell, and other officers and individuals 
of infii^.ence, with all practicable dispatch. In the mean- 
time, I shall encourage the organization of such companies 
in the new counties, through various other channels. Len- 
der existing circumstances, every good citizen of that 
country should consider himself a volunteer and sentinel. 
In conclusion, I have no idea at this time of guarding by 
military force the ten new counties of Georgia. The pol- 
icy would be both degrading and ruinous to the State. 
If the laws of the country are resisted, or an insurrec- 
tionary spirit should break out into acts of violence, wt 
must make short work of it. The enemy must be pun- 
ished, or driven from the country. The people need not 
fear. When a proper occasion arises for military move- 
ments, prompt and energetic measures will be put in op- 
eration. I think, however, by a due exercise of prudence 
on the part of the good and wise, the serious evils appre- 
hended may be avoided, and our long-standing perplexi- 
ties be brought to a happy issue. 

With great respect, 

Yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, May i6, 1834. 

Sir : — I have received information of a most extraor- 
dinary excitement which has recently taken place in Cher- 
okee County, growing out of the fact of an Indian having 
shot at and wounded one of our citizens, and certain in- 
formation, communicated by an Indian girl to certain 
citizens of Cherokee County, of contemplated hostile 
movements (as she states) of the Indians against our white 
citizens. Having reason to suppose that before this 
reaches you you will have heard the details of the excite- 
ment alluded to, I deem it unnecessary to extend this 
communication by giving you the reports which have 
reached this department. It is necessary, however, to the 
object which I have in view to state to you that some of 
the citizens of Cherokee Countv have communicated to 


me their belief that they are in danger of being massa- 
cred by the Indians, unless military protection is imme- 
diately afforded them. They say, without such aid the 
country must be disgracefully abandoned, and surrend- 
ered to its original savage occupants, &c., &c. The evi- 
dence before me by no means justifies any such appre- 
hensions. And I trust and believe that their fears will 
never be realized. At any rate, I never can consent to 
the expediency and policy, under the existing state of 
things, of organizing a military government or standing 
army to supersede or protect the civil authority of the 
new counties. Should a state of things unfortunately arise 
which may require military operations, why, then we must 
make short and prompt work of it. The enemies of the 
State who attempt insurrection must be punished or driven 
from the State. It will never do to sustain an army for 
the purpose of guarding an enemy pampered and nour- 
ished in our own bosom. 

As the best means of defence and security, I have sug- 
gested to General M'Connell, and others, the importance 
of an immediate organization of volunteer companies 
throughout the new counties, where the population will 
afford it. And the corps thus organized should be sup- 
plied with good arms and ammunition from the Arsenal 
at this place. And, moreover, should any emergency 
render it necessary, General Bates has been instructed 
to furnish a sufficient force from his Division to quell any 
insurrection or disorder which may possibly arise. This 
state of things requires prudence and forecast on the part 
of every patriotic and intelligent citizen of the State, and 
especially of those who reside in the new counties. We 
should closely watch the movements of the enemies of the 
State who have long been engaged in the unholy work 
of exciting the prejudices of the natives against the au- 
thorities of the State. These individuals, and not the In- 
dians, are the root of all the evils complained of. My 
principal object is to request your aid and influence in 
the organization of volunteer companies, and to teach the 
people to rely upon a faithful execution and enforcement 
of the laws of the State, and inducing our citizens to rely 
upon the civil measures, as long as practicable, assuring 
them that, if necessary, the militia will be called to the 
aid of the civil authorities. Upon the reception of this 


you will please to let me hear from you without delay, 
in regard to the state of things in your section. 

, I am, respectfully, &c., 


Col. S. D. Crane. Col. Wm. N. Bishop, Gen'l Jas. 

Hemphill, Col. Hargrove. 

Cherokee County, May 17, 1834. 

Dear Sir : — From the general excitement, caused by 
the frequent depredations committed on our good citizens 
of this County, I have ordered out a guard of twelve or 
fifteen men, under the command of Captain Robert John- 
son, for their protection, not having arms to defend them- 

He is ordered to take peaceably from the Indians their 
guns, tow7i by town, from all the hostiles (sixes) of this 
County ; or from such other hostile town of the Indians 
as may be known and proven to be unfriendly to the 
whites. This was the most efficient plan that suggested 
itself to my view. The arms will be taken good care of, 
and returned to the Indians when ordered by your Ex- 
cellency, and we trust not before a regular guard of at 
least thirty men, either of the United States or State 
troops, are known to the Indians to be stationed with us. 
This step will promote emigration. The lives and prop- 
erty of the citizens demand a guard. 

With much respect, 

Yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, May 24, 1834. 

Major General Henry M. Terrell, 

Cherokee Court House. 

Sir: — Yours of the 17th inst. was received this morn- 
ing, in which you state that you had ordered out a guard 
of twelve or fifteen men, under the command of Capt. 
Robert Johnson, for the protection of the citizens of 
Cherokee County. You add that Captain Johnson has 
been ordered to take from the Indians their guns, "town 
by town, from all the hostile (sixes) of Cherokee Countv. 


or from such other hostile towns as may be known to be 
unfriendly to the whites." You moreover urge that a mili- 
tary guard of thirty men, at least, be stationed in the 
County, &c., &c, I have nothing before me ivhatever in 
the nature of evidence that would justify the conclusions 
or measures which you have resorted to and recommend- 
ed. If there be hostile towns of Indians within the limits 
of Georgia, they are unknown to me. And I feel myself 
compelled, by a sense of the highest obligation to the peo- 
ple and to the laws and Constitution of the State which 
I am sworn to support, not to violate and overturn the 
civil authority of the country by substituting and estab- 
lishing a military and arbitrary government in lieu there- 
of. Two years ago, I recommended and urged the Leg- 
islature to authorize such a guard as you now recommend. 
But that body deemed it unnecessary, and declined doing 
so, even at that time. Now that our population has in- 
creased four-fold, and we have ten organized counties in 
the place of one, and the Indian population has greatly 
decreased, can it be reasonable to suppose that the mili- 
tary operations which you propose can be proper and ex- 
pedient? We live in a country of laws, and the highest 
officer known to our Government is bound to obey the 
law. Officers must execute the laws as they find them, 
and not assume to say what the law shall be. It is true 
that the very extraordinary excitement which seems to 
prevail in the County of Cherokee, if kept up and encour- 
aged, cannot fail, in a very short time, to produce a state 
of confusion which will unsettle everything like order and 
civil government. If the rights secured to the Indians 
by the laws of the State are wholly disregarded — their lives 
taken without law or legal trial ; their property wrested 
from them by arbitrary force — then indeed we mav ex- 
pect to see the laws of the state prostrated and the ad- 
vocates of revolution glorying in their success. 

I hope before this reaches vou you will have seen my 
communications to General M'Connell (who was requested 
to aprise you of my views) and vou and he, I trust, after 
due deliberation, will concur in the measures which I have 
suggested, and lend your aid in carrying my views into 
effect. Be assured that nothing has yet been laid before 
me which will justify the measures which have been con- 
templated by those who are unfortunately laboring under 
feelings of strong and extraordinary excitement. Under 
the existing state of things, very much depends upon the 
course nursued bv vourself and General M'Connell. It 


requires great firmness to resist popular excitement ; but 
every public man should make up his mind to do his duty, 
and trust the people for the rest. 

In haste, yr. obt servt., 


Etowah, May i8th, 1834. 
Sir : — The haste that was required in sending- an ex- 
press to you a few days ago, upon the subject of our In- 
dian difficulties, made it necessary that we should send 
you the original papers. As they are wanting, we request 
you to enclose them to us by mail. 

Yr. obt servts., 
HOWELL COBB, Chairman. 
D. R. MITCHELL, Secretary. 
Governor Lumpkin. 

Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, May 24, 1834. 
Howell Cobb and D. R. Mitchell, Esqrs. 

Gentlemen: — I have received yours of the i8th inst., 
requesting me to return to you the papers forwarded to 
me by you a few days ago (by express.) I should be 
pleased to oblige you, if it could be done consistently ; but 
these papers have now become a record and file of this 
department, upon which your official acts and correspond- 
ence have been predicated. Therefore, your request can- 
not be granted. 

Yr. obt. servt., 


Cherokee C. H., May 22, 1834. 
Sir: — We respectfully request the favor of your Excel- 
lency to return the letter we addressed you a short tim? 
since (on the subject of our difficulties with the Cherokee 
Indians), as a committee on behalf of the citizens of Cher- 
okee County. 

Respectfully, yr. obt. servts., 

R. M. HOLT, 

Governor Lumpkin. 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, May 31st, 1834. 

To D. R. Mitchell, John Brewster and R. M. Holt, Esqrs., 

Cherokee County. 

Gentlemen : — I have received your request contained 
in your note of the 22d inst., that I would return your 
letter addressed to me some time past, and sent by ex- 
press, on the subject of our Cherokee relations, &c. I 
am under the necessity of respectfully declining a com- 
pliance with your request, because that letter is now on 
the files of this department, as one amongst other papers 
upon which ofificial acts and correspondence have been 
predicated, and must remain here for the justification of 
the course pursued by the Executive. 

Very respectfully, gentlemen, 


Correspondence on the subject of the intrusion and 
settlement of some of the Creek Indians among the Cher- 
okees resident in Georgia. 

Cedartown, Paulding Co., Ga., 
May 27, 1834. 

Dear Sir : — We hasten to inform your Excellency that 
recently a large number of Creek Indians who have dis- 
posed of their reservations in the State of Alabama have 
moved to and settled in this county, near the line of Ala- 
bama, and continue to come in daily. 

We have held a friendly talk with them on the sub- 
ject of their removal here. They say the Creeks have 
sold their lands to the white people, and that they are 
not willing to go to Arkansas, and that they have come 
to reside permanently among the Cherokees, who are 
willing and wish them to do so. Since their arrival here 
the Cherokees have become much more impudent and 
hostile than they were before, and say the Creeks are 
willing to aid them in killing up the white people, and 
taking their lands back again. They have been continual- 
ly robbing and plundering our citizens ever since they 
came here, and we do assure your Excellency that, un- 
less the Creek Indians are speedily removed from this 
country, our honest white citizens must either remove from 
the country or submit to savage ambition and violence. 


We then hope that your Excellency will adopt some 
speedy measure to have them removed from our country. 

With the highest esteem, we remain, your Excellency's 

obedient servants, 











Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledg-eville, June 7, 1834. 
Hon. Lewis Cass, 

Secretary of War. 

Sir : — I herewith enclose you the copy of a communi- 
cation received this mornin;": from a number of highly 
respectable citizens of Paulding County, Georgia, from 
which you will perceive the immediate necessity of using 
the most efficient means to correct the evils complained 
of. Under the existing state of things in the Cherokee 
part of Georgia, it cannot be permitted for the Creek In- 
dians, of Alabama, to think of taking up their abode with- 
in the limits of Georgia (even for a short time) if they 
manifest the most friendly disposition towards the citi- 
zens of Georgia. Rut, on the contrary, while they mani- 
fest a hostile spirit, accompanied by the most daring and 
insolent assumptions of menace and threats towards the 
whites, not a moment should be lost in suppressing the 
dangers which must be anticipated. 

I shall apprise the citizens of Paulding County of hav- 
ing made this communication to you, and shall venture 
to assure them that you will promptly resort to the most 
efficient means within your control to remove the cause 
of complaint. In the meantime, T shall have in prepara- 
tion such measures as will enable me to meet the depre- 


ciated necessity of using the militia of Georgia to meet 
any emergency wliich may demand a resort to such means. 
I will not conceal from you that the interest, peace and 
quiet of the citizens of Georgia and Alabama require that 
we should, if possible, avoid calling upon the militin to 
suppress Indian menace or irregularity. Should such a 
necessity occur, you can readily conceive how very difficult 
it may be to restrain such force within the limits which 
prudence and humanity would inculcate on the feelings 
of the disinterested. Of late I have received manv com- 
munications from highly respectable citizens of the Chero- 
kee part of Georgia, complaining of the hostile feelings 
indicated by the Cherokees who reside amongst them. 
And in some cases the excitement has been very strong, 
and I have been urged to use military force to guard 
against and suppress the evils complained of. I have con- 
tinued to rely upon the civil authority, and trust we shall 
be sble to govern and restrain these people bv a vigilant 
enforcement of our laws, unless they are stimulated to 
acts of desperation bv a desperate political faction, who 
are ardentlv engaged in the unholy work of agitating the 
country with a view to confusion, if not revolution. In 
haste, I have the honor to be 

Yr. obt. servant, 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, June 7, 1834. 

Gentlemen : — On the reception (this morning) of your 
communication of the 27th ult., I lost not a moment in 
communicating its contents to the Secretary of War, 
whom I have urged to use the most prompt and efficient 
means to correct the evils of which you so justly com- 
plain. It is the duty of the Federal authorities to attend 
to this matter, and many considerations induce one to 
place the responsibility and duty where it properly be- 
longs. But you may rest assured, and also assure our 
fellow citizens, that they shall be promptly relieved and 
shielded from the evils complained of. I have entire con- 
fidence that the Secretary of War will promptly do his 
duty in removing these vagabond intruders. But, in case 
of failure, I shall take the proper steps to put in speedy 
requisition such militia force, and under such organiza- 


tion, as shall insure a complete correction of the evils 
complained of. 

You may rest assured that, if necessary, the full ex- 
tent of my constitutional power shall be exerted to sup- 
press the insufferable assumptions of which you so justly 

With great respect, &c., 


To Turman \\'althall, Hiram Wright, and others. 

Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, June 9, 1834. 
Brigadier General James Hemphill, of Floyd County, and 
Colonel Z. B. Hargrove, of Cass County. 

Gentlemen :— On the 7th inst. I received a communi- 
cation, signed by ten of the citizens of Paulding County, 
wherein they state that a large number of the Creek In- 
dians have recently disposed of their possessions in the 
State of Alabama, and have since intruded themselves 
as settlers in Paulding County ; and, moreover, that the 
said Creek Indians state that they intend to reside per- 
manently amongst the Cherokees within the limits of 
Georgia, upon whose invitation and desire they have thus 
taken up their abodes. And it is further stated that the 
Indians are daily becoming' more insolent and hostile in 
their deportment to the whites ; and even have the assur- 
ance to talk of killing the whites and taking their lands 
from them, &c. This communication was immediately 
m.ade knovvn to the Secretary of War by me, w'ith an urg- 
ent request that he would forthwith resort to the most 
speedy and efifectual means to remove the intruding and 
insolent Creeks, and the evils complained of. And fur- 
ther, I have explicitly stated to the Secretary of War 
that if these Indians were not immediately removed by 
the Federal authorities I should feel myself under the 
deprecated necessity of using the militia of Georgia for 
that purpose. My ofBcial course, herein detailed to you. 
I have communicated to the citizens of Paulding County, 
with the assurance that their grievances and complaints 
should receive the most prompt and energetic attention. 
L'pon further reflection it has occurred to me that it would 
be expedient and proper, and perhaps prevent much evil 
and bloodshed, to warn these unfortunate remnants of 


Indians of the impending evils which they will inevitably 
bring upon themselves, if they persist in the unlawful and 
insufferable course with which they stand charged. I have 
therefore, gentlemen, after full reflection, selected you 
jointly as the most suitable persons in that section of the 
State to visit the Indians complained of, both Creeks and 
Cherokees, and inform them fully and explicitly in regard 
to the evils which they will speedily and inevitably bring 
upon themselves by persevering in their present course. 
Every Creek Indian must quit the country instantly, and 
not be permitted to remain, under any pretence whatever. 

And every Cherokee who shall be found guilty of en- 
couraging the Creeks to settle and remain in Georgia 
may expect to suffer the penalty of such lawless aggres- 
sion. You will inform them that military force, either 
from the United States or Georgia, will forthwith visit 
them, vmless they immediately leave the State ; and they 
will consider your notification as my official order for 
every Creek Indian to leave the State of Georgia without 
delay, and in case of refusal, they must abide the conse- 

Moreover, you will notify the Cherokees who are com- 
plained of that, if we are urged to the necessity of using 
military force, their lawless conduct will not escape proper 
scrutiny and punishment. Under all circumstances I 
hope, gentlemen, you will not hesitate promptly to com- 
ply with my request in performing the delicate duties 
herein pointed out, jointly if you can, but separately if 

At any rate, let me hear from you immediately on this 

Very respectfully, yr. obt. servt.. 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, June 9, 1834. 

Major General R. M. Echols. 

Dear Sir : — Through the ordinary channels of infor- 
mation you cannot have failed to discover the late ex- 
citements which have been engendered in various neigh- 
borhoods in the Cherokee part of the State. I assure you 
our good citizens in many neighborhoods are, and have 
been, under serious apprehensions of Indian hostility and 
outrage. While I have been slow to believe that these 


deluded remnants of the Indian race could be so far mis- 
led as to venture upon any general plan of hostility, I 
must confess to you that we have sufficient indications 
of increased insolence and assumptions. 

A number of our excited citizens. lal)oring under feel- 
ings of alarm growing out of individual Indian depreda- 
tions, have called upon me for protection, and advised 
the organization of a military guard to protect our citi- 
zens in the new counties. Nothing yet, however, has oc- 
curred which would, in my opinion, justify military opera- 
tions. So long as the civil authority can be enforced, it 
ought not to be superseded by the military. I have re- 
cently received a communication from a numl)er of citi- 
zens of Paulding County, informing me that many of the 
Creek Indians from Alabama have, on the invitation of 
the Cherokees of that County, come over and settled 
amongst them, and with a view of a permanent residence. 
Moreover, they add that these Indians, Creeks and Cher- 
okees, are insolent and hostile in their feelings ; and that 
some of them have even threatened the extermination 
of the whites. I have communicated these things to the 
Secretary of War, and urged the immediate removal of 
these Creeks, as a duty devolving on the Federal authori- 
ties. I have informed him that, on the failure of the Fed- 
eral Government to attend to this business promptly, the 
militia of Georgia would be used. I have assured the 
alarmed citizens everywhere that they should be pro- 
tected at all hazards; and, when the occasion would jus- 
tify it, we would make short work of it ; that we cculd 
not think of the expense and degradation of guarding the 
ten new counties, to protect them from the outrage of 
thi."? small remnant of Indians ; that every citizen should 
consider himself a soldier and sentinel to protect his fire- 
side and family, and, when it becomes necessary, they 
should have aid from proper authority. I have to warn 
them of the evils which await them in case of refusal. Mv 
object in apprising you of these events is to prepare your 
mind for what may possibly occur. I have also written 
to ox^r friend. General Rates, upon this subject (this re- 
cent excitement). Should it become necessary to use 
military force to chastise these unfortunate Indians, who 
are urged to acts of desperation by one of the vilest po- 
litical factions that ever agitated our beloved country, our 
movements should be made with celerity. In case of such 
emergency, may I not rely that, from the two divisions, 
commanded bv vou and General Bates, vou and he should 


raise a sufficient number of volunteers who would at once 
mount their horses, seize their arms, and drive every In- 
dian from Georgia, before the news extended over the 
country? Do not misunderstand me; I have no idea of 
any such rash and violent means, unless circumstances 
should actually justify and demand it. But, sir, we are 
not to be sported with on this subject. If a massacre of 
our people should take place, exemplary punishment must 
folio, V. Georgia must at once be relieved from her In- 
dian perplexities. 

You will please to let me hear from you on this sub- 
ject; especially let me know, if force is demanded, what 
can be done in your division. 

Yr. friend, &c., 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, June 28, 1834. 
Hon. Lewis Cass, 

Secretary of War, 


Sir : — I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of 
your letter of the 19th inst. informing me of the measures 
which you have adopted for the removal of the causes of 
complaint against the Creek Indians who have intruded 
themselves on the territory of Georgia, to the annoyance 
and injviry o£ the citizens of this State. I approve of the 
direction which you have given to this subject, and hope 
that, in connection with the measures adopted by my- 
self, it will prove efifectual, and that these deluded people 
will yield to the friendly and united advice of both the 
Federal and State authorities, and thereby avert all ap- 
prehended evils. 

In my former letter on this subject I omitted to in- 
form you that, immediately on receiving the communi- 
cation of the citizens of Paulding County complaining of 
the conduct of the Creeks, I, without delay, instructed 
and requested two of the most competent citizens of that 
section of the State to visit the Indians complained of, 
and to explain to them the impropriety and danger of 
their procedure ; and to order them to abandon, without 
delay, the country upon which they have so lawlessly in- 
truded. I have not heard yet from these agents, but in- 
dulge the hope that their report may be favorable to our 


wishes and the quiet of the country. I learn from Wash- 
ington that a treaty has been concluded and signed by 
certain Cherokee delegates now at that place. Will you 
have the kindness to keep me advised of everything re- 
lating to this subject, in any way connected with my of- 
ficial duties, and which may be proper for me to know? 

I am, sir, with great respect, 

Yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, June 28, 1834. 
Sir : — Yesterday's mail brought me a communication 
from the Secretary of War, in reply to mine on the subject 
of the complaints of yourself and fellow citizens against 
the Indians in your section. As was anticipated in my 
former letter to you, I have the assurance of the Secre- 
tary of War that his prompt attention has been directed 
to the subject, and that the present agent of the Creeks 
(Mr. Tarrant) has been fully instructed on the subject; 
and that, if remonstrance should avail nothing, more ef- 
ficient means will be immediately resorted to. Be assur- 
ed, and assure your communit\-, that proper means and 
vigilance will be used to shield their rights and guard 
their persons and property from savage depredations. 

Very respectfully, 


To Turman Walthall, Paulding County. 

Cassville, June 28, 1834. 
Dear Sir : — Your favor of date 9th inst. was received 
by us. Immediately upon its reception we visited Pauld- 
ing County, and the Creek Indians as'^ainst whom com- 
plaints had been made. On our first approach to their 
habitations they manifested great hostility, and appeared 
prepared for battle. We had, in Floyd County, procured 
the services of Mr. Chnrles Vann, an intell'gent Chero- 
kee, to act as interpreter. Through him, we informed 
them of the object of our visit, the instructions which had 
been given to us, and the consequences of a refusal quiet- 
ly to leave the country. They then made very little reply 
to us, but agreed to meet us the day following, when they 
would more fullv hear our talk. We accordinelv met 


them, and fully explained to them the nature of the ten- 
ure by which the Cherokees held their homes and your 
determination that our citizens should not be intruded 
upon. They replied that they had come amongst the 
Cherokees in conformity to a usage which had long ex- 
isted between the Creeks and Cherokees, that they were 
ignorant of having violated the rights of Georgia, and ex- 
pressly disavowed any hostile intent. They further re- 
marked that if the principal chief of the Cherokees was to 
order them to leave the country, they would do so. We 
informed them distinctly that they must not look to the 
chief of the Cherokees for authority to remain within the 
limits of Georgia, and that your orders must be implicit- 
ly obeyed. They required until the 24th inst. to answer 
us fully, which, with the consent of the citizens of Pauld- 
ing in the immediate neighborhood, was granted. Their 
final determination was to have been made known to us 
on that day, at the head of the Coosa, but we heard noth- 
ing authentic from them. Turman Walthall and John 
Witcher, Esqrs., of Paulding, met at that place on the ap- 
pointed day, by whom we were informed that the Creeks 
had not departed ; and from all they could learn it was 
not their intention to do so. Mr. Vann thinks it will re- 
quire but a small force to remove them ; such is our opin- 
ion also. We therefore recommend that Capt. Peyton 
Randolph, of Floyd County, may be ordered to perform 
this duty. We consider the militia under his command 
fully competent, and we know that they are to be depend- 
ed on, both for bravery and prudence. You will address 
Capt. Randolph, at Livingston, Georgia, care of James 
Hemphill. At our request, Mr. Vann collected as many 
of the Cherokees in Paulding as he could, and informed 
them of the charges made against them. They assured 
him that they had not participated in the controversy be- 
tween the whites and Creeks, and that they were deter- 
mined to keep themselves aloof from it. Mr. Vann said 
to us that he did not apprehend the least danger from the 

Very respectfully, yr. obt. servts., 

His Excellency W. Lumpkin. 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, July 5, 1834. 

Gentlemen : — In acknowledging your favor of the 28th 
ult., permit me to express my sense of your being entitled 
to the public gratitude, as well as my individual acknowl- 
edgements, for the prompt and proper manner in which 
you have performed the delicate and necessary duty to 
which you were invited by my letter of the 9th ult. I en- 
tirely approve of the views and suggestions which you 
have submitted, and should immediately take the course 
which you suggest, but for the fact of having received a 
communication from the Secretary of War, assuring me 
that the most prompt means would be immediately put in 
operation to effect the withdrawal of the Creeks from the 
territory of Georgia. I have communicated the course 
determined on by the War Department to the citizens of 
Paulding County, through T. Walthall, Esq. Therefore, 
it will be necessary, under all the circumstances, for us 
to pause until suitable time shall elapse, for the action of 
the Federal measures ; and then, if necessary, we will 
promptly resort to the means within our owm command. 

Very respectfully yrs., 


Col. Z. B. Hargrove and Gen. James Hemphill, Cassville. 

War Department, 
July 6, 1834. 

Sir : — I have had the honor to receive your letter of 
the 28th ultimo, and am happy to find that the measures 
taken by this department to obviate the anticipated dif- 
ficulties from the removal of the Creek Indians meet your 

During the recent session of Congress an arrange- 
ment was made with the emigrating portion of the Chero- 
kees for the removal of their people to the country west 
of the Mississippi. This arrangement, in the form of a 
treaty, was submitted tc the Senate for their ratification, 
but, not having been acted upon by that body, it still re- 
mains before them. 

In the meantime, how^ever, the efforts in Georgia for 
the removal of the Indians will be continued, though upon 
a plan somewhat changed. Books will be opened for en- 
rollment in which the substance of the treaty will be stated, 


and the assent of the signers will be given to it. If a ma- 
jority of the nation should signify their acquiesence, it is 
presumed that no difficulty will occur in the ratification 
of the treaty. But, if not, then the enrolled persons agree 
to remove as soon after the ist of January as the public 
agents may be prepared for operation. 

The Indians will be assembled at some convenient 
place during the season for the purpose of taking their 
opinion, under a recent act of Congress, respecting the 
mode of paying their annuity. A convenient opportunity 
will then be aflforded to ascertain their general sentiments 
respecting emigration. Major Curry will be instructed 
to report his progress and prospects from time to time to 
your Excellency. 

Very respectfully, yr. most obt. servt., 

His Excellency Wilson Lumpkin, Governor of Georgia. 

War Department, 
September 10, 1834. 

Sir : — I have the honor to transmit a copy of a letter 
recently received from the Sub-Agent of the Creeks, on 
the subject of the injuries committed by their people 
within the State of Georgia. 

So far as this department is informed, no change has 
taken place in the Cherokee relations. Should anything 
important occur, I shall not fail to apprise your Excel- 
lency of it. 

Very respectfully, yr. most obt servt., 


His Excellency Wilson Lumpkin, Governor of Georgia. 

Mardisville, Alabama, Aug. 20, 1834. 

Sir : — I have been to see the head chiefs of the upper 
and lower town, and communicated to them the informa- 
tion you had received from the Governor of Georgia, and 
stated to them the necessity of withdrawing their people 
from Georgia, and preventing any more from going into 
that State. I stated to them the consequences which 
would result from such a course of conduct as their peo- 
ple were charged with, and urged upon them to attend 
to this matter as early as possible. The reply of Neah- 


Mice, the head chief of the lower towns, in presence of 
a council of the whole tribe, was that he had no knowl- 
edge of any mischief committed by the Indians in Geor- 
gia ; but stated that he would inquire into the matter, and 
if he could ascertain where, and by whom, it was com- 
mitted, he would exert his influence to put a stop to it. 

I am, sir, very respectfully, 

Yr. obt. servt., 


Hon. Lewis Cass, Dept. of War, Washington City. 


Official Letters, 1835. 

Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, Jan'y 12th, 1835. 
Hon. Lewis Cass, 

Secretary of War. 

Sir : — I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of 
your favor of the 26th ult., enclosing a copy of the opinion 
of the Attorney General of the United States in relation 
to the act of the 30th of June last, providing for the in- 
vestigation and payment of certain claims under the Creek 
Treaty of 182 1. After examining the act referred to, in 
connection with the opinion of the Attorney General, I 
take pleasure in acknowledging the liberal and just dis- 
position which I perceive is manifested by the Federal 
authorities to bring to a speedy and fair adjustment the 
long-delayed claims of the citizens of the State of Georgia 
connected with this subject. Under all the circumstances, 
I feel it my duty, and am therefore willing, to render every 
aid which may be placed under my control to bring to a 
proper close this long standing subject of complaint. 

I have the honor to be. 

Very respectfully, yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, Jan'y 12th, 1835. 
Col. C. H. Nelson, 

Long Swamp P. O., 

Cherokee Co., Ga. 

Sir: — I have received yours of the 3d inst., signifying 
your aceptance of a part of the agency contemplated by 
the late act of the Legislature entitled "An act to amend 
an act more efifectually to provide for the government 
and protection of the Cherokee Indians residing within 


the limits of Georgia," a printed copy of which is here- 
with enclosed, together with the order of your appoint- 

The sure guide for all officers and agents under our 
Government is the letter and spirit of the laws which they 
are called to administer and execute. You will, therefore, 
consider your various duties as being best defined by the 
several acts of the Legislature under which you are called 
to of^ciate. 

After filing your bond and taking the oath of office 
required by law, you will be ready forthwith to enter upon 
the duties of your appointment. A blank bond, with a 
"Dedimus Potestatem," directed to any two of the Infe- 
rior Courts of Cherokee County to administer to you the 
oath of your office, is herewith enclosed, and, when exe- 
cuted, may be returned to this department by mail. 

The principal duties which will be required of you as 
Agent will be to examine and report to this department, 
when required to do so in terms of the law, all lots of 
land which are still subject to be granted, under the act 
of the 20th of Dec, 1833, and to deliver possession to all 
applicants who are the legal or rightful owners of all lots 
of land which have been, or may be, granted under the 
provisions of the act of 1833 above referred to. In per- 
forming the latter duty, to wit : placing the legal owner, 
holding claims under a grant from the State, in possession 
of his premises, you may, as has evidently been antici- 
pated by the Legislature, meet with obstructions or re- 
sistance. Permit me. therefore, to suggest to you the im- 
portance of exercising a precedent forecast in making 
proper arrangements to meet any exigency which may be 
apprehended by you. In all cases where the law requires 
you to demand a change of possession, the lazv must be 
snstaiyied. But I would advise, in every case, that you 
should, in the first instance, rely upon the moral force of 
the laws of the State, without menace, threat, or irritat- 
ing discussion of any kind whatever. If, unfortunately, 
the moral force and authority of the State enforced by 
reason and right should fail, be prepared to do you duty, 
by the use of the forcible means provided by law. It is 
true the law confides the power of using force to the Ex- 
ecutive, when, according to the report of the Agent, force 
may be deemed necessary ; but you are an Agent, and 
upon your reports I should have to supply the force when 
deemed necessary. And I therefore deem it most expe- 
dient, economical and proper to authorize you at once 



to exercise a sound discretion, and when you may deem it 
indispensable you will call to your aid such force as may 
be necessary to carry this provision of the law into im- 
mediate effect. Should any case, however, occur, which 
should, in your judgment, require a greater force than 
you may be able to command, you will, without delay, 
report the case to me, with all the circumstances attend- 
ing the same. The Legislature having promised a per 
diem allowance for your compensation, will make it neces- 
sary for you to keep an accurate account of all the days 
you may devote to this particular service. In the execu- 
tion of the delicate and important trust herein confided 
to you, permit me respectfully to urge the importance 
of your keeping mc constantly advised of every impor- 
tant matter which may transpire in any way connected 
with your present agency. Should any difficulty occur 
which may be calculated to obstruct a due and faithful 
execution of the law, report the same to me, and you 
shall promptly have the aid of the best advice which I may 
be able to afiford. The haste with which these instructions 
have been written will not justify the idea that nothing 
of importance has been omitted. You will, therefore, 
without hesitancy, call upon me freely for my further 
views upon any and all subjects connected with your of- 
ficial duty. 

Very respectfully yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, Jan'y 14th, 1835. 
Col. M. St. Clair Clarke, 

Washington, Dist. Columbia. 

Sir : — Under the provisions of a joint resolution of the 
General Assembly of this State, approved on the 20th of 
December last, the Governor is authorized to employ 
some fit and proper agent to prosecute the claims of the 
State of Georgia against the United States, for services 
rendered and moneys paid by the State during the Revo- 
lutionary War. And, further, the Governor is authorized 
to stipulate with the agent who may be employed that he 
shall receive a sum not exceeding ten per cent, on the 
amount received from the United States, which may be 
as a full compensation for his services. Under all the 
circumstances connected with the investigation of this 


subject (and with which you are fully acquainted) I fed 
authorized to say to you that I am pleased to have it in 
my power to tender to you the agency contemplated by 
the Legislature, and deem it unnecessary to use the for- 
mality of inquiring whether you are willing to accept the 
appointment. I shall therefore herewith enclose to you 
the necessary order of appointment, which will suffice as 
your credentials for entering upon the investigation as 
soon as may suit your convenience. Any preliminary 
arrangements which may be deemed necessary will, on 
my part, receive prompt attention. Upon the reception 
of this an answer will be expected. 
I am, sir, with great respect, 

Yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, Jan'y 26, 1835. 
Hon. Lewis Cass, 

Washington, D, C. 

Sir : — I regret the necessity of having again to com- 
plain of the lawless depredations of a party of vagabond 
and strolling Creek Indians (who yet remain in the State 
of Alabama), on the property and persons of some of the 
citizens of this State, who reside in the Counties of Lee, 
Irwin, &c. On the 5th day of Feb'ry last I wrote you on 
this subject, and had the honor to receive your satisfac- 
tory answer, dated the 17th of the same month. Since 
that time there has been but little disturbance on the sub- 
ject, until very recently. 

I have learned recently, however, through communi- 
cations entitled to entire credit, that the scenes described 
in my letter above referred to are again disturbing the 
repose of the country. Indeed, I have reason to believe 
that several lives have been lost, both by whites and In- 
dians, growing out of the intrusions and depredations of 
these savage vagabonds and robbers. If anything can 
be devised by you to put a final stop to these evils, it will 
relieve the authorities of Georgia from the painful neces- 
sity of resorting to the severe measures of chastisement 
which the growing insolence of these outlaws calls for. 

With great respect. I have the honor to be 
Yr. obt. servant, 



Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, Jan'y 30, 1835. 
Gen'l John Coffee. 

Dear Sir : — I have this day written to our Senator in 
Congress, Mr. King, and the Secretary of War, on the 
subject of the present aspect of our Indian affairs. The 
immediate inducement for my doing so originated from 
having seen in the published proceedings of the Senate 
of the United States the report of a memorial presented 
by Mr. Frelinghuysen, of New Jersey, in the name of 
John Ross, on the subject of Cherokee claims, interest, 
&c. The assumptions contained in this memorial cannot 
be countenanced for a moment by the people and author- 
ities of Georgia. Without reiterating what I have said 
to the gentlemen named on this subject, you and our 
friend Schley will please excuse me for referring you to 
Mr. King, and request him to show you my letter. You 
can then see the Secretary of War and the President, if 
you find it convenient, and let my views be distinctly un- 
derstood by the Executive Department of the Federal 
Government, which I have every reason to believe will 
concur in my conclusions on this subject. I should like 
to hear from you and Judge Schley on this or any other 
subject of interest, and have the honor to remain, 

Yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, Jan'y 30, 1835. 
Hon. John P. King, 

Washington, D. C. 

Dear Sir : — In the published proceedings of the Senate 
of the United States I perceive that, on the 21st inst., Mr. 
Frelinghuysen, in presenting the petition of John Ross, 
the principal manager of the Cherokees, and who is under 
the control of a most infamous faction of selfish white 
men, amongst other things stated to the Senate "that the 
controversy which existed between the Cherokees and 
the State of Georgia had reached a crisis, which required 
the interposition of the United States. They proposed 
that the part of the territory which they occupied should 
be purchased by the United States and ceded to the State 



of Georgia, and, as to the rest of the territory, they wished 
it to be confirmed to the Cherokees in fee simple ; that, 
under this state of things, the Cherokees would submit 
to the laws of the State of Georgia, provided they had 
conceded to them those equal civil and political rights 
which were conferred on other citizens of Georgia," &c. 
Now, sir, I feel it my ofilicial duty not only to call the at- 
tention of the Senators and Representatives of the people 
of Georgia who represent them in the Congress of the 
United States at this time to this deeply interesting sub- 
ject, but, through you, most respectfully to suggest the 
expediency of the Congress of the United States being 
informed at once what is the true state of the question 
to which their attention has been invited by Ross and 
his friends and counsel. I know that it wovild be super- 
fluous for me to enter upon the details of this subject, 
with a view of giving any new light or information to the 
Georgia delegation on this subject. Every Georgian of 
ordinary information is familiar with the whole history of 
this subject. Sulitice it to say that Georgia, upwards of 
thirty years ago, ceded to the United States the garden 
spots of the Union, now known as the flourishing States 
of Alabama and Mississippi, for a most paltry considera- 
tion, the principal part of which was that the Government 
was bound to extinguish the Indian title to the residue 
of the lands of Georgia, as embraced in her present ad- 
mitted boundaries, as soon as it could be done on reason- 
able and peaceable terms. I regret the necessity of say- 
ing that the United States has been wanting in good faith 
to Georgia on this subject. Instead of a faithful and hon- 
est compliance with the terms of this compact, some one 
or other of the departments of the Federal Government 
have constantly aided, if not created, the insurmountable 
obstacles which have hindered and continue to hinder 
and incapacitate the Government from a faithful compli- 
ance of a contract deliberately entered into with one of 
the old thirteen States of this Union. 

Bad faith and the want of honesty on the part of the 
Federal Government have alone created the perplexities 
and deep injuries with which Georgia has been embar- 
rassed and calumniated on account of her Indian popu- 
lation. Moreover, to the same cause may be fairly traced 
the whole of the unparalleled assumptions of the Chero- 
kee Indians and their aiders and abettors in and out of 
this State. Finally, the assumptions of the Cherokees, 
urged on as they were by a desperate political faction, 


forced the people and authorities of Georgia to take the 
management of her Indian afifairs and territory under 
their own control. And, whatever may be said to the con- 
trary, more has been accomplished by the people and au- 
thorities of this State, during the last three years, towards 
a final and advantageous adjustment of all these long- 
standing conflicts between the red and white men than 
has been accomplished for thirty years before. In the 
policy which has been pursued by Georgia, not only has 
the interest of the State and its citizens been greatly ad- 
vanced and promoted, but the Indians themselves have 
been enlightened to a sense of their true interest. They 
are convinced that there is no resting place for the foot 
of an Indian, or prosperity in store for them, so long as 
they remain in the midst of a white population. Their 
only remaining hope of salvation is by turning their eyes 
to the West. And why do we see enlightened men en- 
gaged in the ruinous work of keeping these people back 
from entering the promised land? They will not let the 
people go until they fleece them of their last dollar. 

Ross and his advisers well know that their proposals 
to Congress are wholly inadmissible, as well as highly in- 
sulting to the people and authorities of Georgia. What 
right has the United States to cede to Georgia her own 
territory? What has she to do with the fee simple title 
to lands in Georgia? What arrogance on the part of Ross 
and his counsellors to propose conditions to the Congress 
of the United States upon which they will submit to the 
laws of Georgia ! Now, sir, I assure you that there is 
not a Cherokee Indian proper within the limits of Geor- 
gia who would be willing to become a citizen of the State 
upon any terms or conditions whatever. The object of the 
proposed arrangement is twofold, at least. First, Ross 
and his counsellors know that he (Ross) can control and 
dictate to the whole of his party or followers. If, there- 
fore, he could secure to them fee simple, instead of oc- 
cupant rights, he and his lawyers would immediately 
make their fortunes out of these resources. Secondly, 
They know such an arrangement would conflict with the 
existing laws of Georgia, as well as the rights of many 
of the citizens of the State. 

With the favorable opinion which I entertain of the 
moral rectitude and intelligence of Mr. Frelinghuysen, 
and many others who are evidently the dupes of Ross and 
his Georgia counsel, I would take the liberty of suggest- 
ing to you the expediency of taking some pains to explain 


this whole subject, as it is, to such individuals. So far 
as Ross is concerned, it is impossible for the Federal Gov- 
ernment to effect any just arrangement with him on this 
subject. His sole object is to provide for himself, his 
counsel and his friends. You are at liberty to make any 
use you may think proper of this communication, I shall, 
as heretofore, faithfully endeavor to protect the legal 
rights and promote the best interest of the Indian popu- 
lation who yet remain in Georgia by a due execution of 
the laws of the State. Submission to the laws of the State 
will be expected from every caste of our population, with- 
out asking the consent of John Ross, or his counsel, or 
even the Congress of the United States. 

I am, sir, with very great respect, 

Yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, Jan'y 30, 1835. 
Hon. Lewis Cass, 

Secretary of War. 

Sir: — Being apprised that delegations from the Chero- 
kee Indians who still reside in Georgia are now at Wash- 
ington on business connected with their territorial and 
other claims, and having seen a statement of the contents 
of a memorial laid before the United States Senate, in 
the name of Jno. Ross and other Cherokees, I think proper 
to communicate to you, and through you, to the Presi- 
dent, that, anxious as the people of Georgia still are for 
a final adjustment and termination of all conflicting claims 
with this remnant tribe of Indians, neither the people nor 
authorities of Georgia can ever be induced to accede to 
the arrogant and assuming terms proposed by Ross and 
his advisers to the Congress of the L^nited States. Geor- 
gia can never submit to the degradation of purchasing 
submission to her laws, within her own limits and con- 
stitutional jurisdiction, from any caste, or portion, of her 
population whatever. 

The occupant rights of the Indians will be duly re- 
spected ; but fee simple rights will not be granted to them 
under any conditions whatever. Ross is the dictator of 
his party amongst the Cherokees, and if fee simple rights 
were given to them, he and his counsel would derive the 


entire benefit. I most ardently desire an arrangement 
which shall benefit the whole of the Cherokees, and for- 
ever and at once put to rest the disquietudes growing out 
of our present Indian relations. But I would prefer 
things remaining as they are to an arrangement which 
would increase existing evils. 
I have the honor to be 

Yr. obt. servant, 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, Jan'y 31st, 1835. 

Major General Daniel McDougald, 

Columbus, Ga. 
Sir : — For years past a portion of the hunting, vaga- 
bond, or strolling Creek Indians, who still remain in Ala- 
bama, have been in the habit of crossing the line, and 
coming over to our State, to spend the cold season of the 
year for hunting and other more villainous purposes of 
a more objectionable character, very much to the annoy- 
ance and injury of our sparsely settled population in the 
lower part of your Division, and other adjoining coun- 
ties. About a year ago the evil became so serious, and 
the complaints of the people so urgent, that I found it 
necessary to take efiicient steps, with a view to remove 
the evil. Amongst other measures, I urged upon the 
Secretary of War the duty of the Federal authorities to 
take care of their own Indians, by controlling and con- 
fining them to their own limits, and thereby remove the 
evils complained of by the citizens of Georgia. I further 
suggested to the Secretary the proper use of the United 
States troops stationed at Ft. Mitchell as the most ef- 
ficient means to effect the desired object. The Secretary 
of War approved of my views, and the evil complained 
of was promptly suppressed, so far, at least, that I have 
heard no further complaints on this subject from our citi- 
zens until very recently. Within the last ten days, how- 
ever, I have received various communications from a 
number of highly respectable citizens of the Counties of 
SteM^art, Lee, Randolph, and others, of that section of the 
State, informing me of increased depredations and out- 
rages, accompanied by insolence and hostility on the part 
of these vagabond savage robbers, which calls for the 
most energetic measures which can be devised to chas- 


tize the ofifendcrs, and put an end, if possible, to these 
insufferable depredations. Several engagements have al- 
read\- taken place between this savage band and our suf- 
fering population in these Counties, in which I deeply re- 
gret to learn that several valuable citizens of Georgia 
have been slain. My object in giving you these brief de- 
tails is to explain to you the necessity of the call I now 
make upon you for your ofificial aid in suppressing these 
enormities. And, first, permit me to request that you will, 
with the least possible delay, obtain an interview with 
the offtcer now in command of the United States troops 
in your vicinity, and also with the acting agent of the 
Creek Indians, and lay before them the existing state of 
things as herein detailed to you. 

I presume, from communications heretofore received 
from the Secretary of War on this subject, these ofificers 
and agents of the Federal Government are still in the pos- 
session of sufficient orders and instructions from the War 
Department to act promptly and efficiently in this busi- 
ness. At any rate I hope they are and will be disposed 
to do their duty with all practicable despatch. The cir- 
cumstances call for the most prompt and energetic meas- 
ures, for the people of Stewart, Lee, Randolph, and other 
Counties, are sending expresses to me, which evince a state 
of great apprehension and alarm. 

I sincerely trust that the officers and agents of the 
Federal Government will do their duty in this business, 
and control these Indians as they ought. A few days ago 
I again wrote fully to the Secretary of War on this sub- 
ject. But, to prevent further alarm and mischief, I would 
advise that you immediately communicate the existing 
state of things to the subordinate officers under your 
command, in order that the regimental and battalion of- 
ficers in the exposed counties may be on the alert, and 
ready to afford what assistance they may be able to com- 
mand in case of any emergency which may occur. You 
will please to let me hear from you as soon after your 
interview with the Federal officers as practicable. 

I have the honor to be 

Yrs., &c., 




Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, Jan'y 31st, 1835. 
To A. Prince and Wm. H. Dismukes, Esqrs., and other 
citizens of Stewart and adjoining Counties. 

Gentlemen : — With great surprise and unfeigned re- 
gret, I have read the statements which you have forward- 
ed to me, by express, detaiUng the unsuflferable outrages 
and depredations which have been committed on the per- 
sons and property of our unoffending citizens by a stroll- 
ing and vagabond party of savage Creek Indians, who 
seem to have assumed the character of outlaws and rob- 
bers. As far as I can command the means, these evils 
shall be suppressed and the offenders shall be pimished, 

I have communicated the existing state of things to 
the Secretary of War, urging the duty on that depart- 
ment of the Federal Government of promptly attending 
to these matters, and have suggested the propriety of 
using the United States troops now stationed at Fort 
Mitchell for that purpose. I have also apprised Maj. 
Gen'l Daniel McDougald of all these matters, together 
with my views, and have, moreover, requested him im- 
mediately to see the officer who commands the troops at 
Fort Mitchell as well as the acting agent of the Creek 
Indians, both of whom I am apprised have heretofore been 
instructed by the Secretary of War on this subject, and 
urge upon them the necessity of energetic and immediate 
measures being taken by them to remedy the evils of 
which you complain. I have, moreover, directed Gen'l 
McDougald to apprise the subordinate officers of his com- 
mand to be prepared to protect and defend the citizens 
of your division in the best manner that can be devised, 
in case of any emergency, while more stable and effectual 
operations are in preparation. In the meantime, permit 
me to say to you and, through you, to all officers, citizens 
and soldiers residing in the exposed section, that, in order 
to defend the persons and property against the increasing 
and alarming depredations of this lawless banditti, some 
well devised concert of action should be immediatelv or- 
ganized. If it is deemed necessary, let the Colonel or 
Colonels of the regiment or regiments, in the exposed 
section immediately call into requisition such portion of 
the militia as may serve to keep in check and chastise, if 
necessary, these abandoned and insolent savages. I pre- 
sume a sufficient number of volunteers may be procured 


for this temporan- service, and should therefore be pre- 
ferred to drafts. Any reasonable expense which may oc- 
cur will justly devolve upon the Government, and with- 
out doubt will be provided for by the Legislature. While 
preparations are in progress to suppress and exterminate 
these robbers, let it be remembered that self-preservation, 
the first law of nature, admonishes every good citizen to 
take a prompt and efficient part in protecting the lives 
and property of that community of which he forms a com- 
ponent part. You may be assured of the aid, counten- 
ance and support of the Executive. 

Very respectfully, 


Gen'l John Coflfee. 

Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, Feb'ry 9th, 1835. 

Dear Sir : — From the information which I daily receive 
from the Cherokee part of Georgia, I entertain but little 
doubt of the success of the late legislation of Georgia in 
conformity with my views (in putting grantees in the pos- 
session of their land, regardless of Hooper, his injunc- 
tions, and feed lawyers), having the most salutary and 
happy effect. Indeed, I have a growing confidence that 
the laws can and will be so administered as to ensure a 
happy termination of our Indian affairs. My impressions 
wnW be strengthened by the repeated arrival of Cherokee 
delegations at Washington, and, whatever may be the 
form or pretentions set forth in their memorials which 
have been presented to Congress, yet all go to confirm 
the fact that the Cherokees, as well as the people of Geor- 
gia, are tired of the long controversy. If a general ar- 
rangement can be made with the Cherokees, Washington 
is the place to efifect and conclude it. The necessary In- 
dian material is, and will be, there ; for you may look for 
Martin shortly, who will join Ridge and his party. At 
any rate, I protest against any attempt being made to 
treat with the Cherokees in their own country, by com- 
missioners who are unfriendly to the Federal and State 
administrations. Such a step would be most injurious to 
the friends of the country and Government. We should 
never condescend to use such instruments as Underwood 
& Co., while we have plenty of honest and capable men. 



You will make a prudent use of this letter, and believe 
me to be, 

Very sincerely, &c., 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, Jan'y 31st, 1835. 
Hon. Lewis Cass, 

Secretary of War. 

Sir: — Since writing to you on the 26th inst., on the 
subject of the lawless and unsufiferable depredations 
which had been committed by a strolling party of the 
Creek Indians on the citizens of Georgia, &c., I have con- 
tinued to receive additional evidence of the magnitude 
of the evils complained of, and also the hostile spirit of 
these savages. To place you fully in possession of the 
information which I have received, I herewith enclose you 
copies of several communications which have been receiv- 
ed at this department, by express. I trust the evidence 
now laid before you will be deemed sufificient to authorize 
prompt and efficient measures on the part of the Federal 
authorities to relieve the citizens of Georgia from the 
numerous depredations of this miserable band of fero- 
cious robbers. 

I am, sir, with great respect, 

Yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, Feb'ry 9th, 1835. 
Majr. Benj. F. Curry, 

Spring Place, Ga. 

Sir : — I thank you for the information you have af- 
forded me, by the hand of Mr. McCoy. I have sent for 
Col. Carter, and shall endeavor to effect the arrangement 
which you propose in relation to Martin's place ; that is, 
I shall entreat Col. Carter to accommodate Martin, with 
a view to promote the public interest. I concur with you 
in the opinion that Martin's presence and influence at 
Washington can effect much in bringing to a final close 
our Indian perplexities. Indeed, your general views in 
relation to our Indian affairs, and the conspicuous men 



connected therewith, generally coincide with my own. I 
was pleased with your letter to the President, and I have 
just written him on the subject of our Indian affairs, in 
which I protest at:^ainst the appointment of the enemies 
of the administration as Commissioners to adjust and set- 
tle our Indian affairs. Indeed, I believe if an arrange- 
ment can be made at all, it can be done to greater advan- 
tage at Washington than anywhere else, for many ob- 
vious reasons which will no doubt occur to you. 

1 am, very respectfully, 

Yr. obt. servt.. 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville. Feb'ry 9th, 1835. 

Col. Wm. N. Bishop, 

Spring Place. Ga. 

Dear Sir : — Yours of the 2d inst. was received this 
morning, by the hand of Mr. McCoy. You can readily 
believe that I was highly gratified to learn that so much 
success has thus far attended your agency and exertions 
to bring to a satisfactory close our Indian perplexities, 
I entirely approve of the prompt, energetic, yet mild, 
course which you have pursued. Indeed, its good effects 
must now be obvious to the whole country, as the Cher- 
okees are so rapidly changing their tone, and are becom- 
ing more and more reconciled to the views and measures 
of the Government. I thank you for the various items 
of information contained in your letter in relation to our 
Indian affairs, some of v.'hich were new to me, and will 
be used with a view to promote the best interest of our 
State and country. I have sent for Col. Carter, and hope 
to see him in the course of the day, and shall entreat him 
to enter into the arrangement proposed, in relation to 
Martin's place, for I entirely concur with you in believing 
that his presence at Washington will greatly strengthen 
the probability of effecting a final arrangement with the 
Cherokees. I consider Washington the proper place for 
making the arrangement, for many strong and obvious 
reasons which might be named, and many of which will 
no doubt occur to you. Should it be necessary, however, 
to attempt making a treaty in the Cherokee country, I 
have and shall continue to protest against the appoint- 


ment of Commissioners who are, or have been, opposed 
to the measures of the Federal or State Governments, 
in relation to Indian or other matters. I have no confi- 
dence in agents of such character ; and as to Ross's law- 
yers being employed in such agencies, I consider the idea 
most preposterous, and therefore wholly inadmissible. 
The interest of the State in relation to our Indian afifairs 
has been fully dwelt upon in my communications to Wash- 
ington. Our Congressmen, as well as the Executive 
Government of the United States, are, and shall be, kept 
constantly apprised of my views, and the movements of 
the Cherokees in Georgia. The present state of affairs 
is well understood at Washington before now. I hope 
you will continue to let me hear from you frequently. 
I am, sir, with great respect, 

Yr. obt servant, 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, Feb'ry loth, 1835. 
Col. Wm. N. Bishop. 

Dear Sir : — I am glad to have it in my power to in- 
form you that our friend Col. Carter, without hesitancy, 
wrote to Judge Martin, by Mr. McCoy, informing him 
that he might continue to occupy his place the present 
year, by paying a reasonable rent, and provided he used 
his influence to bring our Indian afifairs to a final issue, 
by the removal of the Cherokees. The Colonel also in- 
formed me that he should accede to your proposition, in 
regard to the place occupied by your brother, and should 
communicate to you accordingly. 

Thus, you find we have done all we could here to pro- 
mote your views, as we consider them connected with the 
public interest. 

Very respectfully, 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, Feb'ry 12th, 1835. 
Col. M. St. Clair Clarke, 

Washington, D. C. 
Sir: — Your letter of the 25th ult., formally accepting 
the agency tendered to you by me under the authority of 


the Legislature of Ga., for prosecuting the claims of the 
State on the United States, was duly received, and would 
have been answered sooner but for the consumption of 
time which we found necessary to comply with your re- 
quest, in making a full and satisfactory examination of 
the records of the Executive Department of Georgia, and 
preparing the documents which you requested. After 
full examinatii^n, and much reflection, on the subject of 
the claim of the State which you have undertaken to prose- 
cute, as an honest man T find it my duty frankly to state 
to you that the further I have investigated the subject 
the more T am inclined to the conclusion that the justice 
of the claim is more than doubtful. 

This impression, however, arises alone from the docu- 
ments and papers which I herewith enclose to you, and 
which are taken from the files and records of this depart- 
ment. We have not been able to find the certificate of 
John Pierce, dated iSth May, 1785, for $123,283.70, or 
such entries, papers, instructions, or correspondence upon 
the subject of this certificate as it appears to me our arch- 
ives ought to afford. We send you, however, such papers 
and correspondence as we consider best calculated to 
throw clear light on this old, and now much obscured, 
subject, regardless of selfish considerations, wishing only 
that justice may appertain between the State and Federal 
Government. But for the letters of Mr. Baldwin, copies 
of which I send you, I should most fully concur with you 
in believing this claim a just and valid one. I cannot, 
under all the circumstances, however, comprehend how 
Mr. Baldwin, in 1806, could arrive at the conclusions 
which he did in his letter to Governor Milledge of that 
date, if a fair and full settlement had not been made with 
the State for her advances made for Revolutionary serv- 
ices, &c. As soon as you can afiford the time, please favor 
me with your views in regard to Mr. Baldwin's letter to 
the Executive of Georgia, and any further impressions 
which you may entertain in regard to this subject. I re- 
gret the delay in forwarding these papers, but it has been 

With great respect, 

Yr. most obt. servt.. 



Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, Feb'ry 14th, 1835. 
Hon. Lewis Cass, 

Secretary of War. 

Sir : — I have had the honor to receive your letter of 
the 7th inst., in which you request that I will designate 
some State ollficer to whose charge the balance of the ap- 
propriation of $250,000 shall be intrusted, and that meas- 
ures shall be taken to remit the same on the reception of 
my order. I therefore designate Henry W. Malone, 
Cashier of the Central Bank of Georgia, at this place, as 
the proper officer to receive said amount of money, to be 
placed to the cerdit of the Governor of the State of Geor- 
gia, and his successors in office, for the purposes intended 
by the acts of Congress in relation to the same ; and you 
will please to consider this my order in compliance with 
your suggestion. I have to request that such views and 
instructions as the President may deem necessary may 
accompany the papers connected with this subject, when 
forwarded to this department. 

I am, sir, very respectfully. 

Yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, Feb'ry i8th, 1835. 
Hon. John Forsyth, 

Washington, D. C. 

Dear Sir: — I have received yours of the loth inst., and 
herewith enclose you a newspaper which contains the late 
act of the Legislature to which your letters refer, from 
which you will perceive that, so far as the execution of 
the law depends on the Excutive, but little executive dis- 
cretion is confided to me over the subject pointed out in 
your letter. 

Permit me, however, to assure the President, through 
you, that I have taken great pains to prevent any just 
complaint growing out of the execution of the law. More- 
over, broad as the law may appear to those who are un- 
informed in regard to the extent of its operations, I as- 
sure you that it will interfere with the interest of but very 
few of the Cherokees. Its chief object and bearing is on 


Ross and a few of his co-workers and white alHes, who 
were reservers under former treaties. 

Every indulgence and lenity has been, and will be, ex- 
tended by our citizens to Martin and others on whom the 
law might be brought to bear, and who are believed to 
be honestly disposed to bring to a close our Indian con- 
troversies, and prevent further litigation. Every proper 
indulgence will be extended to those who duly respect the 
authority of the State. 

With great respect, yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, Feb'ry 17. 1835. 
I'. C. Gieu. Esq. 

vSir : — Your remarks, contained in your papers of the 
1 2th and 13th inst., upon the notice which issued from this 
department in relation to the postponement of the distri- 
bution of the Academy and Poor School Funds, calls for 
some explanation, both on account of your repeated no- 
tices of the subject and the evident misapprehensions un- 
der which you are laboring in regard to the subject. Noth- 
ing unkind is intended, when I assure you that your zeal 
in this matter has carried \o\\ beyond your information. 

The Executive order which has been the subject of 
your several comments was intended merely as a notice 
that the funds specifically set apart by law for the support 
of academies and poor schools (being chiefly derived from 
the profits on bank stocks, as set forth in your paper of 
the 13th), had not, at this time, amounted to a sufficient 
sum to justify the usual annual dividend applied to these 
schools. The amount of this distribution depends in a 
very small degree on the will of the Executive, or his 
judgment and discretion. 

The Executive is simply the organ of the Government, 
to declare the dividend, and pay the distributive share 
to each county ; nor has he the power to make it one dol- 
lar more or less. Moreover, the law for the distribution 
of the Poor School Fund seems not to have been left to 
Executive discretion the time when these dividends 
should be declared, inasmuch as it provides that the divi- 
dend is to be declared when it amounts to the sum of 
$20,000. In regard to academies, the law is silent in re- 
gard to the amount which shall be necessary for a distri- 


bution. But it has been the uniform practice of all my 
predecessors, as well as myself, never to declare a dis- 
tribution of these funds except when the amount was 
$20,000, or nearly approached to that sum. 

Under the act of the Legislature, passed in 1822, the 
first distribution took place in March, 1823, since which 
time an apportionment has been made every year, ex- 
cept the years 1827 and 1829. Finding from experience 
that the investments made by law for the support of these 
schools and academies were somewhat precarious, de- 
pending, as it does, entirely upon the profits of those in- 
vestments, and being fully impressed with a sense of the 
evils which you seem so deeply to deplore, you will find 
at the annual session of the Legislature in 1833, I made 
it the subject of a '^pecial communication to the General 
Assembly, and urged the necessity of a legislative rem- 
edy — which, howev r, passed unheeded. For three years 
past an annual div'lend has been made amongst the sev- 
eral counties of th^s State, of the Academy and Poor 
School Funds. The amount distributed from each fund 
has been about $20,000 a year. At the beginning of the 
last year I found the amount which had accrued upon the 
school funds was insufficient to make the usual annual 
distribution. It was therefore postponed until May last 
(1834), when we were able to distribute the usual amount, 
having received the first half year's profit on the vested 
school funds ; consequently these funds could not reason- 
ably have been expected by this time to have yielded the 
amount of the usual annual distribution. And the object 
of the Executive notice which has given you so much 
trouble was intended to notify the public of the facts. It 
may be proper to remark that the tax on peddlers and 
other contingent incomes which by law was added to the 
Poor School Fund, has, from recent legislation, become 
wholly unavailable in keeping up the former amount of 
this fund. 

Believing you unwilling intentionally to mystify a plain 
subject to the injury of any man, public or private, I have 
been induced to make you this communication, affording 
you the means of re-examining and comparing your pub- 
lic articles with this plain statement of facts. 

Very respectfully, I am, sir, 

Yr. obt. servt.. 




Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, Feb'ry 19th, 1835. 

Major Gen'l Daniel McDougald, 

Columbus, Ga. 

Sir: — I have just received a communication from the 
Secretary of War, in reply to my communications to that 
department, on the subject of the depredations of the 
Creek Indians on our citizens, as heretofore communi- 
cated to you by me. The President of the United States 
concurs with me in believing that he has no power over 
the Indians living within the States which have extended 
their jurisdiction over them ; but he is nevertheless dis- 
posed to alTord every aid and protection to the citizens 
of the States which may be in his power. Therefore, or- 
ders have been given by the Secretary of War to the com- 
manding officer of the two companies of the United States 
troops in the Cherokee Nation to proceed to Columbus, 
m Georgia, there to receive and carry into effect any in- 
structions which 1 might give for the support of the civil 
authority, and for the purpose of enabling the proper of- 
ficers of the State to prevent these depredations, and to 
secure the offenders. The commanding officer of these 
companies has been directed by the Secretary of War to 
report himself to me, immediately on his arrival at Co- 

But, in order to save time and expense, I have thought 
proper at once to give you such instructions as I deem 
best calculated to meet and dispose of the present state 
of things. As before stated, I fully concur with the Pres- 
ident that he has no power over the Indians in the States 
which have extended their laws and jurisdiction over them, 
and therefore fully appreciate his good intentions in plac- 
ing these troops at my disposal. But I was wholly un- 
prepared to anticipate the course which has been taken ; 
nor have I made any communication to the War Depart- 
ment, requesting this kind of aid to the State. My com- 
munications to the War Department have set forth the 
complaints of our citizens against the Creek Indians, as 
they exist ; and I have urged upon the Federal authorities 
the duty of taking care of and controlling their own In- 
dians, to wit : the Creeks who reside on the territory of 
the United States ; but it seems that whatever is done in 
this matter is to be done by State authority, and you are 
apprised that my official authority does not extend beyond 


the limits of our own State line. Moreover, we need no 
assistance from the United States to punish these vaga- 
bond Creeks within our own borders. If we cannot ap- 
prehend them and bring them to punishment before the 
civil authorities of the State, we must treat them as out- 
laws and robbers, and make short work of the matter. I 
had supposed that the United States might use their own 
troops to keep these Indians within their own limits, and 
in that way relieve our citizens from further annoyance 
and injury, and that these troops might be useful in ap- 
prehending such Creeks as may have been guilty of crimes 
in Georgia, and thus aid in bringing the guilty to legal 
punishment — provided our citizens may be able to iden- 
tify such. But I have no use for these soldiers in Geor- 
gia, nor have I any right to direct their operations in the 
State of Alabama on the soil of the United States. I have 
for some days been anxiously expecting to hear further 
from our citizens of the exposed counties, when I have 
expected to learn that these Indian depredators had fled 
from Georgia, and passed over into the State of Alabama 
— indeed, I have verbal information from travelers to that 
effect. Fullv appreciating the good intentions of the Fed- 
eral authorities in this matter, I feel bound and disposed 
to treat the public authorities, as well as the officers and 
men intended to be placed under my authority, with every 
mark of respect and politeness ; but I cannot, under the 
circumstances which I have explained to you, accept of 
the honor proposed, and therefore have to request the 
favor of you to communicate these my views to the com- 
manding officer of these troops, as soon after his arrival 
at Columbus as may suit your convenience. You will 
also please to inform that officer that I shall immediately 
inform the Secretary of War of my determination in re- 
gard to this matter, and request that his immediate orders 
may be given to the commanding officer at Colutnbus. 
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, 

Yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, Feb'ry 19th, 1835. 
Hon. Lewis Cass, 

Secretary of War. 
Sir : — I have had the honor to receive your letter of 
the nth inst. 


I most fully concur with the President in the opinion 
so often expressed by him that he has no power over the 
Indians being within the States which have extended their 
jurisdiction over them, and fully appreciate his desire to 
protect the citizens of Georgia from the anoyance and 
depredations of the Creek Indians, which has so often 
been a subject of complaint. Moreover, I duly appreciate 
the good intentions which have induced you to order the 
commanding officers of the two companies of the United 
States troops in the Cherokee Nation to proceed to Co- 
lumbus, in Georgia, there to receive and carry into effect 
any instructions I may give for the support of the civil 
authority, &c. Nevertheless, under the actual existing 
state of things at this time, I have no use for the troops 
thus kindly placed at my disposal. Had these troops been 
at Columbus, at the time the depredations complained of 
were committed on the citizens of Georgia, they might 
have been used efficiently and to great advantage in ap- 
prehending these Indians; but at this time I have reason 
to believe that most, if not all, of these Indians have re- 
crossed the Georgia line, and are now in the State of Ala- 
bama, and what is more to be deplored is that we have 
not the means of identifying the guilty in but very few 
instances. The object of my communications heretofore 
made to you on this subject has been to urge upon the 
Federal authorities to take care of the Indians supposed 
to be in some degree under Federal control and influ- 
ence, and. if practicable, to restrict them to their own 
bounds, and the soil of the United States Government. 
If this cannot be done by Federal authority, it is obvious 
that the action of the authorities of Georgia must be con- 
fined to the limits of the State, and that I have no use for 
troops in Georgia at present. I have already adopted 
temporary measures, to be resorted to for the protection 
of our exposed citizens ; and, if these strolling Creeks 
continue to annoy the citizens of Georgia, I perceive that 
we must take care of ourselves, and they must abide the 
consequences for their crimes. Permit me, sir, however, 
to repeat the assurance of my confidence in the disposi- 
tion of the President and yourself to afTord every relief 
in your power to the exposed citizens of Georgia, and to 
suggest the expediency of the companies which you have 
ordered to Columbus remaining in the neighborhood, 
for a short time at least, subject to my instructions, in the 
event of any occurrence which may demand their serv- 
ices. Should these Indians again disturb the repose of 


the citizens of Georgia, in the course of the approaching 
spring, these troops, being in the vicinity, might be used 
efficiently, and without loss of time, in apprehending the 
guilty. Moreover, if we can identify those who have al- 
ready committed crimes, the troops might be useful in 
apprehending and bringing to justice these fugitives, now 
supposed to be in the State of Alabama. 

Through Maj. Gen'l Daniel McDougald, who resides 
at Columbus, in Georgia, the officer commanding the 
United States troops will be requested to await your fur- 
ther orders in that neighborhood. At the same time, re- 
ceive the necessary explanations, and be assured of the 
respectful consideration of the authorities of Georgia. 

I have the honor to be, with great respect, 

Yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville. Feb'ry 23d, 1835. 

Col. H. R. Ward. 

Sir : — Being apprised that you are about to leave this 
place for the southwestern border of Georgia, and your 
being aware of the various and contradictory reports 
which have reached this department, in regard to the in- 
trusions and depredations of the Creek Indians on our 
sparsely settled population in the Counties of Lee, Stew- 
art, &c., I very gladly avail myself of the opportunity of 
procuring your services to the State, in taking upon your- 
self the duty and trouble of procuring and communicat- 
ing to this department all such information as may enable 
me to take a just view of the subject and form a correct 
opinion in regard to the measures which may be proper 
for me to adopt, in order to relieve our citizens of this 
exposed section of the State from further annoyance from 
these strolling savages, of whose depredations they have 
so often complained. 

First. I would desire to be informed whether the In- 
dians complained of consist of those who have been in the 
habit of coming over into Georgia for the purpose of 
drinking or trading with our white population ; or whether 
they are of that class of Indians who have but little inter- 
course with the whites, and who depend on hunting, and 
other savage pursuits, to procure subsistance? 


Second. I would desire to know whether the In- 
dians complained of are chiefly such as remain for a con- 
siderable length of time in Georgia, under the pretence 
of hunting, &c., or whether they are composed of those 
who come over to trade, &c., with our population? 

Third. What has been the largest number of these 
Creeks known to have taken up camp in Georgia, with 
a view of remaining a considerable time, at any one place ; 
and how far they have advanced into the State for that 

Fourth. What amount of property have these Indians 
taken, destroyed, or carried away from our citizens ; and 
from whom ? 

Fifth. What personal injuries have they committed 
on our citizens, such as murders, wounding, &c. ? 

Sixth. Have the Indians at this time all left the State; 
or are there any at present believed to be encamped on 
our territory? If yea, where? 

Seventh. Do our citizens encourage the Indians to 
come over and trade, or not? And would they desire a 
strict enforcement of the statute of the State, passed some 
years ago. to prevent their intercourse with the citizens 
of our State ? 

Eighth. After obtaining: all the information you can 
on the subject, will you please to communicate to me 
your opinion in regard to the necessity of military force 
to restrain these Indians from further depredations. If 
you should deem military force necessary, please to de- 
fine the manner and places when this force can be em- 
ployed to most advantage. If you should come to the 
conclusion that the evils complained of can be suppressed 
by a rigid enforcement of our existing laws, and a faith- 
ful co-operation on the part of the Creek Agent of the 
United States, now residinsr in the Creek country, aided, 
as he probably will be. by the Creek chiefs. I should like 
for you to communicate that opinion to me. If the In- 
dians who have committed crime can be identified, so as 
to authorize a demand of the guilty beinsf made. I am de- 
sirous that it should be done without delay. 

You perceive, sir. my object is correct and general 
information on the subject, and T shall anxiously await 
your report. 

I am. sir. with great respect. 

Yr. obt. servt.. 



Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, Feb'ry 27th, 1835. 
Hon. Lewis Cass, 

Secretary of War. 

Sir : — I herewith enclose you a copy of a letter received 
this morning from Maj'r Gen'l Daniel McDougald, of 
Columbus, Ga., which coincides with my views on the 
subject of the Creek Indians, upon which it is written. 

I regret the necessity of so often troubling you on the 
subject of our Indian embarrassments, but I consider it 
my duty to keep you constantly advised upon a subject 
of so much importance to the country, and upon which 
our constituents feel so deep an interest. 

I have the honor to be, with great respect, 

Yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, 27 Feb'ry, 1835. 
Major General Dan'l McDougald, 

Columbus, Ga. 

Sir : — I have had the honor to receive your favor of 
the 2ist, and fully coincide with the views which you have 
submitted in relation to the Creek Indians, and shall, 
without delay, forward a copy of your letter to Washing- 
ton, to be laid before the President of the United States, 
which will no doubt be useful at this moment, and greatly 
strengthen the communications heretofore made by me 
on this subject. We shall never be wholly exempt from 
the annoyance of the Indian population, so long as a rem- 
nant remains in the States. 

You have doubtless discovered, from my communica- 
tions to you on the subject of the depredations of the 
Creeks, that I have been at a loss to determine on a defin- 
ite course of measures to meet the present state of things. 
This, sir, has arisen from the fact that the information 
received at this department has been so vague and con- 


tradictory that I have really been at a loss to form a de- 
cided opinion in regard to the prospects before us rela- 
tive to these Creek Indians. 

Moreover, I am, and have been, embarrassed by rea- 
son of the anomalous situation in which these Indians are, 
and have been placed. 

It is difificult to determine to what government they 
are accountable. The President denies the jurisdiction of 
the Federal Government over them. The State govern- 
ments are restricted to their own limits, and the Indians 
seem to consider themselves vagabonds and outcasts, 
without law, and without rule, or guide. 

From your contiguity to the scenes of complaint, you 
are, no doubt, able to form a more correct opinion as to 
the most expedient measures than any one at a distance. 
I shall, therefore, consider it a public favor if you will 
keep me fully any freely advised of your views, in regard 
to the best measures which can be devised by me to meet 
such exigencies as may occur. 

In order to obtain correct information from the ex- 
posed counties. I have sent my Aide-de-Camp, Col. Ward, 
to that section, with instructions, in detail, to procure and 
forward correct information to this department. In the 
meantime, I should like for the United States troops (if 
they arrive) to continue in the vicinity of Columbus until 
I hear from Col. Ward. 

While I am disposed carefully to protect the persons 
and property of our exposed citizens, I do not like the 
idea of any unnecessary parade over small matters. I 
have thought that a faithful execution of the existing 
laws of the State, to prevent the intrusion of the Creek In- 
dians, m.ight probably put a stop to further depredations, 
until they can be removed to the West. I am fully as- 
sured of the President's earnest anxiety to remove the 
whole of the remnant tribes from the States with all prac 
ticable dispatch ; but, like m3'self, he encounters opposi- 
tion at every step, and every attempt to promote the pub- 
lic interest is embarrassed with opposition. 

I have the honor to be 

Yr. obt. servt.. 



Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, March 6, 1835. 
Henry W. Malone, Esq. 

Dear Sir : — Your letter informing me that the present 
state of your health renders it altogether impracticable 
for you to continue to discharge the duties of the office 
of Cashier of the Central Bank has been received. 

Considerations connected with the public interest in- 
duced me to feel a deep interest in your continuance in 
office to the close of my administration, at least ; but the 
dispensation which creates this vacancy in the public serv- 
ice demands from us a spirit of calm submission. With- 
out a spirit of irreverence to Divine dispensations, I may, 
however, be permitted to say your loss from the public 
service will be deeply felt by all that portion of your fel- 
low citizens who are connected with you in the public 
service, as well as by a large portion of the community 
who have so long witnessed your unwavering fidelity and 
integrity of character, in the discharge of every duty, pri- 
vate and public. 

The highest earthly reward of a well-spent life is the 
approbation of the generation for whose benefit our lives 
have been spent ; this may well be your present consola- 
tion. And I trust, my dear sir, a more desirable reward 
and inheritance awaits you. 

I am, very sincerely, 

Yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, March 14th, 1835. 

Hon. Lewis Cass. 

Sir : — I have had the honor to receive your letter of 
the 2d inst. The papers in relation to the claims of the 
citizens of Georgia, confided to the care of Col. Foster, 
have not yet been received, but. when received, shall be 
duly acknowledged. 

The copy of the letter of the 2d Auditor, which accom- 
panied yours, showing the amount which has been hereto- 
fore remitted to my predecessors, for the purpose of be- 



ing applied to these claims, as well as the balance which 
has been remitted by the Secretary of the Treasury to 
Henry W. Malone, Esq., Cashier of the Central Bank 
of Georgia, at this place, corresponds with the records of 
this department, and is therefore satisfactory; and Mr. 
Malone has received the necessary check for the amount 
now due. 

The President having confided the adjustment and set- 
tlement of these claims to my discretion and judgment, 
you will please assure him that a sufficient portion of mv 
personal attention shall be devoted to the subject to en- 
sure the ends of justice, as contemplated by the act of 
Congress which must be my guide. It will be indispen- 
sable, however, for me to procure the assistance of a com- 
petent and well qualified individual of character to assist 
in the investigation and adjustment of these claims, as 
no such individual is officially attached to this depart- 
ment who can spare the time from other official duties. 

I have the honor to be 

Yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, March 14th, 1835. 
Hon. L. Cass, 

Secretary of War. 

Sir : — I have had the honor to receive your letter of 
the 28th ult., informing me you had given orders for the 
two companies of the United States troops ordered to 
Columbus. Ga. to be stationed for the present at Fort 
Mitchell. I approve of this arrangement, as I entertain 
no doubt of its having a favorable efifect on the conduct 
of the Creek Indians, if we should find no active service 
for them. 

Very respectfully, yr. obt. servt., 



Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, i6th March, 1835. 

Rev. E. Sinclair. 

Sir : — Having been apprised of your willingness to 
accept the appointment of Commissioner to receive and 
apply the fund appropriated by the General Assembly for 
the education of the deaf mutes in this State, I take pleas- 
ure in presenting you herewith the order of your appoint- 
ment, together with a copy of the resolutions of the Leg- 
islature under which it is made. I also present you with 
on Public Education and Free Schools, in relation to the 
subject, which was adopted by the late Legislature, and 
which contains much valuable information that may aid 
->'OU in the performance of the duties connected with your 
agency. You will, as the occasion may require, draw 
from the Treasury, by warrant from this department, such 
sums as may be found necessary to effect the object con- 
fided to your superintendence. 

I am, sir, 

Yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, March i6th, 1835. 

Hon. Lewis Cass, 

Secretary of War. 

Sir : — I have this day received the trunk of papers, 
confided to the care of Col. Foster, on the subject of the 
claims of the citizens of Georgia, under the Creek Treaty 
of 1821. As soon as the papers referred to shall be com- 
pared with the schedule furnished by Peter Hagner, Esq.. 
Third Auditor, a formal acknowledgment shall be made 
to that oflficer. 

Very respectfully, yr. obt. servt., 



Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, March 17, 1835 
John A. Cuthbert, Esq. 

Sir : — The President of the United States having- thought 
proper to commit to my judgment and discretion tlie final 
adjustment of the claims of the citizens of Georgia, provided 
for by act of Congress of the 30th of June, 1834, to carry 
into effect the Fourth Article of the Treaty of the 8th of 
January, 1821, with the Creek Indians: In order, therefore, 
to carry effect the provisions of the act and Treaty referred 
to, which is so deeply interesting to many of the citizens of 
Georgia, after due consideration, I have deemed it indis- 
pensably necessary to confide the most laborious and impor- 
tant part of this business to some individual who may be 
highly qualified for this complicated and difficult, yet inter- 
esting, duty — of investigating these claims upon principles 
of justice and impartiality, duly regarding the provisions ol 
the law under which the claims are to be adjusted ; and have, 
therefore, this day appointed you Commissioner for that 
purpose, and you will herewith receive the order of your 
appointment. You will also receive from my secretary, Mr. 
Greene, a trunk of papers, transmitted to this Department 
from the Executive Department of the Federal Government 
at Washington ; also all such records and documents as the 
archives of this Department will afford, and which may be 
calculated, in connection with the papers received from 
Washington, to put you in possession of every important 
fact connected with these claims. You are apprised of the 
public notice which I have caused to be given to claimants 
of the arrangements now in progress for the final adjustment 
of their claims, with a request that all further claims which 
have not heretofore been presented should be laid before 
this Department without delay. When we take into view 
all the circumstances under which these claims have origi- 
nated, and the procrastination and obstructions which have 
heretofore been placed in the way of every attempt at a 
final adjustment, we ought not to be surprised at any 
derangement or confusion which may obscure many of these 
claims, in the form of their presentation. Therefore, while 
some settled rule of presentation and testimony may be 
necessary to secure the ends of justice and impartiality, I 
nevertheless deem it necessary and expedient to exercise a 
patient attention to every description of claims contemplated 
under the late act of Congress, and to receive and examine 


the best testimony which the nature of the case will admit 
of, when properly taken by affidavits before a competent civil 
officer. I shall expect you to keep a fair and satisfactory 
record of your proceedings and decisions, and report the 
same to me for my approval, before the claims are paid. 
Every thing which can be done to expedite this business is 
very desirable indeed — especially when we take into consider- 
ation the long delay which has hitherto attended their prose- 
cution, the frequent disappointments which the claimants 
have encountered, and, finally, that none can receive their 
dues until the whole are adjusted. I consider it my duty not 
only to afford you all the facilities of the records and files 
of this Department, but at all times it will afford me pleasure 
to confer with you freely and fully upon all matters connected 
with the prosecution of your agency. Therefore, anything 
of importance which may have been omitted in this hasty 
communication can at any time be supplied in personal inter- 
views, or by writing, as you may think best. 

A suitable and adequate compensation for your services 
may, without doubt, be expected, the payment of which will 
necessarily and properly devolve on the Federal Govern- 
ment. But I am not authorized to say what the precise 
amount of that compensation will be, relying, however, that 
it will be proportionate to the importance and advancement 
of your labors. 

I am, sir, with great respect, 

Yr. Obt. Servt., 


Executive Department Headquarters, 
Milledgeville, Ga., March 21st., 1835. 
Lieut. E. Phillips, Fourth Infantry, 

Fort Mitchell, Alabama. 
Sir : — I have received yours of the i8th inst., reporting 
to me your arrival at Columbus, in command of two com- 
panies of the United States troops, in obedience to the orders 
of the Adjutant General of the United States, and that you 
now await my instructions, etc. Such orders and instruc- 
tions as may be deemed expedient you will receive through 
Maj. Gen. D. McDougald, of Columbus, whom I have 
selected to carry into effect my views, etc. 
Very respectfully, sir, yr. obt. servt., 



Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, March 21st., 1835. 
Maj. Gen. Daniel McDougald, 

Columbus, Ga. 

Sir : — I have had the honor to receive your favor of the 
17th inst. The same mail reported to me the arrival at 
Columbus of Lieut. E. Phillips, in command of two com- 
panies of United States troops who are now awaiting my 
instructions or commands at Fort Mitchell. After due reflec- 
tion, 1 have deemed it most expedient to notify Lieut. 
Phillips that he would receive through you such orders and 
instructions as may be deemed proper ; and herewith enclose 
for your inspection my communication to him, which you will 
please to transmit to him. 

You will, therefore, perceive that I have confided to your 
judgment and discretion all the authority which I have a 
right to exercise in the command and use of these troops, 
to prevent further depredations being committed upon our 
citizens by the Creek Indians complained of. The place of 
your residence and contiguity to the scene of complaint I 
trust will be a sufficient justification for my desiring to place 
this duty upon you. My general views coincide with those 
submitted in your letter. 

Very respectfully, yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, March 23d, 1835. 

To Messrs. Tomlinson Fort, Richard K. Hines and Robert 
McComb, President and Directors of the Central Bank of 

Gentlemen : — Justice to myself, and to prevent misap- 
prehension on the part of others, induce me to lay before 
you, in writing, my views in connection with the subject of 
filling the vacancy of Cashier of the Central Bank, occasioned 
by the resignation of Mr. Malone. 

By law, the duty of filling said vacancy devolves on 
you, and I, therefore, disclaim all right of dictating to you 
in making the appointment. It may not, however, be 
improper for me to remark that the official relation in which 
you stand to myself in connection with this subject makes 
me responsible to my constituents for your ofBcial act, and 
I, therefore, take the liberty of suggesting to you my views. 


without reserve. As I have stated to you in conversation, 
I now repeat : That I have no name to offer, or individual 
to recommend. Our first and only consideration should be 
to secure the public interest, and thereby secure the public 
confidence and approbation. 

Since this vacancy occurred, much has already transpired 
to impress my mind with the great diiificulty which you have 
to encounter in a faithful discharge of the duty which now 
devolves on you. 

if the choice is to be made from amongst the applicants 
who reside in this town, permit me to say my personal 
feelings are kind towards them all, and that, from all the 
circumstances and investigations which have come under 
my own notice since their names have been before you, 1 
have no advice to offer. I leave you to choose upon your 
responsibility and shall acquiesce in your choice. 

But I will not conceal from you the conviction which 
rests upon my mind that, if you can make as good a selection 
of an individual who resides at a distance, wholly discon- 
nected with the oflficeholders and officeseekers who are 
always found at the seat of Government, it would, in my 
judgment, be most advantageous and satisfactory to the 

I am, gentlemen, very respectfully, &c., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, March 24th, 1835. 
Col. H. R. Ward, 

Starkvillc, Lee County. 

Sir : — Your communication of the 14th inst., as v/ell as 
your two previous letters, all on the subject of our Creek 
affairs, have been duly received at this Department, and add 
much to our stock of information on the subject. Having 
but little time to write at present, suffice it to say that two 
companies of United States troops have arrived at Columbus, 
and are at this time at Fort Mitchell, ready to obey any 
instructions or orders I may think proper to give. I have 
opened a correspondence with Gen. McDougald on the 
subject of using these troops, and instructed the officer in 
command to obey any orders he may receive from Gen. 
McDougald. Previous to the reception of your report, I 
was at a loss for such information as would authorize me 
to determine on any definite plan, and have, therefore, for 


the present, left the matter to the judgment and discretion of 
Gen. McDougald. When you arrive here, we will consult 
further on this subject, and, in the meantime, I shall reflect 
on its various bearings in relation to this matter ; for to the 
present moment the editors of the Georgia Journal, and those 
who support that print, cast ridicule upon the complaints of 
our citizens in regard to Indian depredations. 
Respectfully, yr. obt, servt., 


Executive Department, 
Milledgeville, April 2d., 1835. 
Maj. Gen. D. McDougald, 

Columbus, Ga. 

Sir : — I have received a communication from the Secretary 
of War, informing- me that the commanding officer of the 
L^nited States troops now at Fort Mitchell has been directed 
to march into the Cherokee country, whenever I may inform 
him that the services of said troops are no longer necessary 
where they now are. 

It is deemed important that these troops should be 
stationed at present amongst the Cherokees, and, believing 
as I do that we can without much inconvenience dispense 
with their services at present, I have to request that you 
will immediately notify the commanding officer that he may 
forthwith consider himself relieved from any instructions 
heretofore emanating from this Department, and proceed to 
execute the instructions of the War Department. 

I am, very respectfully, yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, April 3, 1835. 
Hon Lewis Cass, 

Secretary of War. 

Sir: — I have had the honor to receive your letter of the 
23d ult., and have notified the officer in command of the 
United States troops at Fort Mitchell that the services of 
these troops can be now dispensed with in that quarter, and 
that any instructions emanating from you for their removal 
can be obeyed, without conflicting with my views. 

Very respectfully, vour obt. servt., 



Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, April i8th, 1835. 
Jno. A. Cuthbert, Esq., 

Intendant of Milledgeville. 

Dear Sir : — Since my confinement by indisposition, I am 
informed that it has been well ascertained that a case of 
smallpox has oc urred in the center of this town, under 
circumstances wl.xh give just cause to apprehend that the 
alarming and infectious disease must be expected to extend 
and spread its desolating effects. At first I felt some relief 
from the confidence I entertained in the vigilance and intelli- 
gence of the police of^cers, physicians and citizens of the 
town, not doubting but prompt and efficient measures would 
be devised and resorted to to avert, as far as possible, the 
apprehended evils of this most alarming disease. But while 
I am still confined to my room I daily heap the complaints 
of the community that no other measure, except a resort to 
vaccination, seems to be deemed necessary at present. 

Moreover, it is stated that no restraint in regard to inter- 
course with the afflicted patient, except it be the mere discre- 
tion of the thoughtless multitude, is imposed upon the com- 

Under these circumstances, I address you, officially, 
urging upon your consideration and that of our fellow 
citizens generally the deep and vital importance of the 
subject, and trust that joint consideration and counsel may 
result in the best measures of security of which the nature 
of the case admits. The state of my health forbids my 
leaving my room, but, as far as may be practicable, both 
as a citizen and as the Executive of the State, I feel myself 
in duty bound to give every aid in my power to avert the 
desolating effects of so great and impending an evil as I 
consider that of an extensive inoculation of this alarming 

Respectfully, yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, April 25th., 1835. 
Wm. G. Springer. 

Dear Sir: — I have just read your favor of the loth inst. 
with much interest. Your general views in relation to our 
Indian affairs fully coincide with my own. I doubt whether 



the very liberal terms proposed to the Cherokces in the 
late Treaty will be accepted by them. Ross and his feed 
counsel are not satisfied, because they are not authorized by 
the Treaty to have the entire control and disposition of the 
whole of the patrimony of the Cherokee people. A more 
wicked, selfish and unprincipled combination of men never 
existed in this or any other country than the faction who is 
and has been combined to prevent Gen. Jackson and myself 
from promoting: the best interest, both of the whites and 
Indians, by an amicable and final adjustment of all our Indian 

The great injustice done to the President, as well as 
myself, on this subject has received a certain degree of 
countenance and support from many of our pretended 
friends, which goes very far toward disgusting me with 
political men. Posterity, however, will do us both ample 
justice. The eflorts of this feed fraternity may be seen in 
their tampering with ignorant Grand Jurors and other pliable 
machinery to procure false statements and unsupported 
denunciations, which are published and sent abroad for effect 
upon popular opinion. 

Public opinion forced a majority of the last Legislature 
to pass the act which alone at this time prevents Plooper 
and his lawyers from depopulating our new counties and 
re-establishing the dominion of Ross and his party. But it 
is a most surprising fact that this same Legislature has 
sufifered itself, through the majority of a select conwiittee, 
to be placed in the attitude of condemning their own solemn 
act of legislation, and of puffing and applauding an officer 
of the Government who had just been most severely rebuked 
by their own enactments. I have not been furnished with 
the proceedings of the Committee in the Hooper case — all 
that I have seen was a paper (which I hastily read) purporting 
to be the report of a majority of the Committee, which may 
be considered a strong and lawyer-like effort to ivhitewash 
Hooper at my expense. This paper indicates that I had 
charged Hooper with corruption ; and the report several 
times, in the most emphatic manner, declares the conviction 
on the minds of the Committee of his innocence and purity. 
My message will always prove the falsity of this report, for 
nothing in that message charges Hooper with corruption — 
indeed, at the time it was written I did not intend to charge 
him with corruption. I thought him imbecile and arrogant, 
and under the influence of artful, designing and bad men, 
and felt it to be my imperative duty, as Chief Magistrate 


of the State, to lay the matter fairly and fully before the 
representatives of the people, and recommend such measures 
as might be best calculated to restrain the Judge in his 
assumptions. The majority of the Legislature fully sustained 
my views by their act in relation to the Indian subject, yet 
a majority of the Committee of that body have, since the 
adjournment, thrown their whole weight into the scale of 
the Ross faction, in a fruitless attempt to sustain Judge 
Hooper. By reference to the evidence published by the 
Committee, no person acquainted with all the circumstances 
can place any confidence in the proceedings of this Com- 
mittee. In regard to myself, I know, and could prove before 
a court and jury, that they have done me injustice, by an 
act of mutilation, which I consider inexcusable. 

I use strong language, and, therefore, feel it my duty 
to give the proof. On page 128 of the printed document sent 
abroad by this Committee you will find what purports to 
be the interrogatories proposed to be exhibited to Wilson 
Lumpkin, as a witness in the case then before the Committee. 
This showing, as it stands in the document referred to, is a 
gross perversion of truth and fairness, and places me in an 
attitude of arrogance, if not sensitive petulance, altogether 
unbecoming the office which I hold. At the same time, the 
insulting insolence of Judge Hooper and his counsel to the 
Chief Magistrate of the State has been cautiously withheld 
from the public, thereby misleading the public mind and 
laying the foundation for the false and slanderous denuncia- 
tions which have since been procured from a few ignorant 
and pliant majorities of Grand Juries. Instead of placing the 
matter in its true light, by making me appear on the defensive 
side of the question, as has truly been the case all the way 
through, this Committee, throughout, endeavors to place 
me in the position of aggressor, and of making war on the 
Judge. Will not every honest, sensible man, who may 
chance to read this document, emanating from a Committee 
of the Legislature, be surprised when he is informed that 
this Committee, instead of giving to the public the eight 
insulting and accusatory interrogatories propounded to me 
in writing and signed John W. Hooper, and upon which my 
communication to the Committee was predicated, actually 
withheld from the public the whole of these interrogatories, 
except \hQ. fifth and a part of the first (which were the least 
ofifensive or exceptionable), and numbered them one and 
two, and placed them in ordinary form? Here follows a copy 
of the interrogatories actually served on me, and signed 


John \y. Hooper, the orio^inal of which is now in my pos- 
session : 

Interrogatories to be exhibited to Wilson Lumpkin, in 
favor of J. W. Hooper. 

First. You are desired to state if the charges contained 
in your annual message against the Judge of the Cherokee 
Circuit are derived from facts resting within your own 
knowledge or from information or heresay ; if the latter, state 
from whom, and annex sworn copies of all these letters in 
your possession on that subject? 

Second. Were any of these letters written by Col. Har- 
grove, Wm. N. Bishop, or W. G. Springer? If yea, annex 
sworn copies of all these letters to your answers. 

Third. State particularly to what extent you have, directly 
or indirectly, counseled, advised or aided, by writing or 
otherwise, a disregard of the bill of injunction in the Indian 
cases, and with whom you have corresponded in reference 
to this subject, and furnish sworn copies of such correspond- 

Fourth. Have you in your possession, or under your 
control, any written information concerning Judge Hooper, 
participating in the fee of the coimsel for the Indians, other 
than is contained in the letter of C. D. Terhune? If yea, 
state what information at large. 

Fifth. State all the facts resting in your knowledge in 
support of your charges against the Judge of the Cherokee 
Circuit, contained in your annual message. 

Sixth. Do you know any thing of a meeting got up at 
Bufifington's concerning Judge Hooper, at which the petition 
against him was framed? If yea, state what part you took 
in getting up that meeting. 

Seventh. W^ere the letters of Mr. Cuthbert, respecting the 
decision of the Judge at Cass Court and of the conversation, 
in your possession and before you when you wrote your 
annual message? 

Eighth. Are you conversant with the practice of the 
courts of equity in granting injunction? If yea, state if bills 
of injunction are not always granted on the statement of 
the complainants on oath, and whether such a course in any 
way impairs the trial by jury? 

After the Committee were informed that I considered the 
foregoing interrogatories in the light of a direct and personal 
insult ofifered to me while seated on the Executive chair, 
by Hooper and his advisers, and that I was determined to 
treat all such insults with merited contempt, one of the 


members of that Committee then informed me that the 
Committee would order the whole of the interrogatories to 
be stricken out, except that part which they have ordered 
to be printed. But this information only served to confirm 
me in the opinion first formed : that the dignity of this 
Department should not be prostrated at the feet of insolence 
and assumption. 

It was obviously the design of Hooper and his advisers, 
by these insulting and indecorous interrogatories, to degrade 
and bring into public contempt both the Executive and 
Legislative Departments of the Government. These accusa- 
tory interrogatories (which the Committee have carefully 
withheld from the public view) amount to nothing more nor 
less than the most degrading charges against me, and I am 
called upon by Hooper and his counsel to purge myself from 
guilt by my own oath, before a Committee of the Legislature. 

This proceeding was clearly intended to turn away the 
public indignation from the object of its just censure, and 
criminate the Executive for a faithful discharge of constitu- 
tional duty, in communicating to the General Assembly the 
improper conduct of Judge Hooper. But I forbear to dwell 
further on this subject, the investigation of which has already 
revealed enormities in the human character which could 
never have been suspected in the absence of conclusive 

Whether the Cherokees accept the late Treaty, or other- 
wise, is now a matter of comparatively small importance to 
Georgia. The great battle upon this subject has been fought 
and won, and, whatever may be the issue, I rely upon the 
records of the country to do me justice in regard to the part 
I have acted in the matter. Who was the first member of 
Congress that introduced the direct proposition for the 
removal of the Indians west of the Mississippi ? Who was 
the first Governor of Georgia that ventured to recommend 
to the Legislature sovereign action in regard to the Indians 
within the limits of the State and the territory claimed by 
them? On whom was the responsibility of surveying the 
Cherokee territory, without a Treaty, thrown by the Legisla- 
ture of Georgia? And how was the responsibility met? On 
whom was the responsibility of proceeding with the lottery, 
and granting the lands, thrown by the Legislature? And 
how has that responsibility been met? On whom devolved 
the responsibility of exposing a miserable faction, combined 
to overturn the laws of the State in the new counties, and 
how has that responsibility been met and discharged? Sir, 


I leave the records of the Executive and Legislative Depart- 
ments of the Government to answer these questions. 

After four years' successful labor, by day and night, at 
home and abroad, to the almost entire neglect of my own 
private affairs, I see myself daily and hourly slandered, 
reviled, and misrepresented, in every form which perverted 
talents and ingenuity can possibly devise, in regard to the 
deepl}- interesting matters connected with our Indian 
relations. But, sir, I am generally placed by the side of my 
co-worker, Andrew Jackson, which, if I possessed the 
humility of Mr. Van Buren, I might perhaps consider glory 
enough for me. By nature, I am averse to strife and personal 
litigation, and have never had any but what has grown out 
of public duty. But I never could have sustained the interest 
of the State in carrying into effect the Indian policy which I 
have long since marked out, if I had cowered before the 
selfish and daring enemies who have combined together for 
the purpose of perpetuating the Indians on the soil of 
Georgia, rather than see Jackson and Lumpkin the elificient 
agents in relieving the people from this long standing and 
complicated evil. 

I am, sir, very sincerely, yr, obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, May 4th, 1835. 
To Eli S. Shorter, J. P. H. Campbell, and Alfred Iverson, 

Gentlemen : — I have had the honor to receive your com- 
munication of the I St inst., accompanied by a copy of the 
proceedings of a meeting of the citizens of Columbus, on the 
subject of the unpleasant state of affairs which now exist 
between the citizens of Georgia and Alabama and the Creek 

Before I commence a reply to your address, it is proper 
for me to state that the proceedings of the meeting in 
Columbus, as well as your address to me, is well calculated 
to produce a mistaken impression upon the public mind, so 
far as the Executive of Georgia is connected with the subject. 
These papers indicate that the complaints set forth have not 
yet attracted the attention of the Executive of Georgia. If 
this be the impression, I have to regret the misapprehension. 
I have, for years past, on every fit occasion, pressed this 


subject upon the consideration of the authorities of the 
Federal Government, which Government alone has the power 
and ability to bring these Indian perplexities to a final issue. 
It is true the President of the United States disclaims all 
right to intermeddle with the Government and jurisdiction 
of States, in regard to our Indian population, where the 
States have extended their laws and jurisdiction over these 
people. And while I most fully concur with the President, 
in denying the right of the Federal Government to impede 
or control the State authorities in any manner whatever in 
relation to the government of these unfortunate people, I 
have, nevertheless, contended, and still believe, that it is the 
duty of the Federal Government to co-operate with the 
States in all just measures which may be calculated to 
speedily remove the evils of an Indian population from the 
States. In regard to our own State, it is wholly unnecessary 
for one, when addressing Georgians, to advert to the strong 
obligations which rest upon the Federal Government to 
relieve the State from the long-standing embarrassments and 
deeply injurious effects of an Indian population. 

It has been the settled convictions of my own mind, for 
years past (although not sustained by the public opinion of 
the country), that existing circumstances demanded from 
the Federal Government a radical change of policy in regard 
to the remnant tribes of the Cherokee and Creek Indians 
who still remain within the limits of the States. I consider 
it a perfect farce and degrading to the Government of the 
Union, under existing circumstances, to pretend any longer 
to consider or treat these unfortunate remnants of a once 
mighty race as independent nations of people, capable of 
entering into treaty stipulations as such. These conciuered 
and subdued remnants deserve the magnanimous and liberal 
support and protection of the Government, and should be 
treated with tender regard, as orphans and minors who are 
incapable of managing and protecting their own patrimony. 

This course of policy, if pursued by the Federal Govern- 
ment, would soon relieve the States from the inquietudes of 
an Indian population, and settle the Indians in a land of 
hope where they would be shielded and protected from the 
enormous and degrading frauds which have been so often 
perpetrated on these sons of the forest by an avaricious and 
selfish portion of our white population. Complaints of the 
intrusions and depredations of the Creek Indians upon the 
territory and property of the citizens of Georgia are fre- 
quently made at this Department, and such as now exist 



have n-n through both terms of my administration of the 
Government of Georgia, as also that of my two immediate 
predecessors. During Gov. Forsyth's administration, such 
complaints became so urgent as to induce the Executive at 
one time to issue orders for the organization of a mihtary 
force to repel the intrusions and depredations complained of ; 
but before these orders were carried into effect such informa- 
tion was received at the Executive Department as to induce 
the Governor to countermand these orders and stay further 
proceedings. The subject was brought to the consideration 
of the Legislature following, and a law was passed to prevent 
Indian intrusions, &c. 

Since I entered upon the duties of this Department, the 
correspondence held upon this subject would make a volume ; 
and I am compelled to say that the contradictory character 
of the communications which I have received has been such 
as to leave me at a loss to determine upon any definite 
course of measures in regard to the subject. An attempt to 
follow the advice offered the Executive would result in a 
vio7ithIv change of measures, at least. Indeed, the same 
mail often brings me the conflicting statements of individuals 
equally entitled to the public confidence. Some time ago I 
opened a correspondence with the Governor of Alabama 
upon the subject of depredations committed within the limits 
of Georgia by Creek Indians residing in that State, and 
apprising him that a demand for the offenders would probably 
be made. But after using every efifort in my power, and 
sending a special agent to the neighborhood where Powell 
and others were killed, I have been unable to identify the 
perpetrators of crime in Georgia, so as to make a demand 
in terms of the law. 

A correspondence of the character which you suggest 
that the Governor of Georgia should open with the Governor 
of Alabama is entitled to that consideration which its impor- 
tance and novelty demands. My present impression is that 
a tender of the services of Georgia to the authorities of 
Alabama, before such aid is sought, might justly be con- 
sidered pren-iature. No man can more sincerely regret the 
unpleasant and hazardous situation to which many of the 
good citizens of Georgia and Alabama are exposed under 
our existing relations with the Indians than mvself ; and 
you may rest assured that no lawful and constitutional efifort 
shall be wanting, on my part, to protect and defend the 
citizens of Georgfia. 


But I concur with you in believing that "The great body 
of the Creek nation is not involved in the controversy, but 
the complaints are urged almost exclusively against two 
towns." Indians who have sold their lands have spent the 
money which they had received, and now refuse to emigrate 
— too indolent to work, they have become robbers and vaga- 
bonds. These guilty outlaws ought to be punished ; but the 
peace and security of the unoffending portion of the Indians 
ought to be scrupulously regarded and protected. The 
innocent ought not to be punished for the crimes of the 
guilty. We should, therefore, hesitate and consider well 
before we resort to measures which may be calculated to 
produce a state of hostility which would result in the general 
extermination of this remnant tribe of Indians. I trust that 
before the necessity of such a course shall arrive — for the 
extermination of the remnant tribes of Southern Indians — 
the Government of the United States, in all its departments, 
as well as the people in every section of the Union, will 
see the necessity of removing them at once beyond the limits 
of the State, and plant them in permanent abodes, where 
the white man will cease from troubling, and where these 
wasted sons of the forest may be at rest. 

I deeply regret the outrages committed in Alabama, as 
well as Georgia, but beyond the limits of Georgia I can 
exercise no legal authority. The perilous and impleasant 
situation of the new settlers in Alabama is obvious, and 
might have been anticipated. Nor is it in the power of 
Government to remedy all the evils complained of. They 
are necessarily incident to the circumstances in which these 
citizens are placed. 

Under all the circumstances, I do not at present feel 
myself authorized to organize and station a military force 
to protect the whole western border of Georgia, three hun- 
dred miles in extent, from apprehended Indian depredations. 
And I verily believe many, very many, other places in 
Georgia are at this time in more danger from Indian depre- 
dations than the vicinity in which you reside. Our citizens 
are not only exposed, but actually annoyed, by the remnant 
Indians remaining in our own and adjoining States, on our 
entire northern and western boundary ; and I am decidedly 
of the opinion that a military force to guard these exten- 
sive borders of the State is wholly out of the question. If 
these people cannot be controlled and punished for their 
crimes by the civil authorities of the country, we must resort 
to more efficient and energetic means than that of keeping 


Up military stations and guards. The perplexing evils with 
which we are embarrassed can only be removed by the entire 
revioval or exter}ninatio)i ol' the Indian race; and I hope 
and trust that efficient measures for their removal will be 
speedily resorted to by the Federal Government. In the 
meantime, we must meet the contingencies of the times 
as they arise in the best way we can. Until a state of 
war actually occurs, we must rely upon the civil authority, 
aided, when necessary, by the military ; but we must not 
hastily familiarize our minds with the idea of superseding 
the civil authority by that of the military. 

I am, gentlemen, with great respect, yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, May 28, 1835. 
Col. Wm. N. Bishop, 

Spring Place, Murray Co., Ga. 

Sir: — I have received your letter of the 15th inst., on 
the subject of our present relations with the Cherokee 
Indians, and other matters connected with your official 
agency. By the same mail I have also received various other 
communications from respectable citizens of the Cherokee 
Circuit, coinciding with the views which you have submitted 
in relation to the organization of a guard for the protection 
of that portion of the Cherokee population known to be 
friendly to the Treaty with Ridge, and to the policy and laws 
of the State. 

After the most deliberate consideration, I am forced to 
the conclusion, under all the existing circumstances con- 
nected with the present state of our Indian affairs, that every 
legal effort should be made at the present time to avert the 
evils and calamities which seem to be apprehended by you 
and many others. The only legal discretion confided to the 
Executive upon this subject is to be found in the resolution 
of the last Legislature, which authorizes the Governor, "when 
he may deem the exigency to demand it, to call out such 
force, under such command, and for the time he may consider 
necessary, for the security, relief and protection of our own 
citizens and the friendly Cherokees." I believe the time has 
arrived that a wise and prudent use of the contemplated 
force may be made to great advantage ; but every thing 
depends upon a prudent organization and use of such force 


— whether for good or evil, will chiefly depend upon a 
judicious and discreet exercise of the power conferred by 
the Legislature. Having determined to organize a small 
force to meet the present exigency, and having determined 
to tender to you the command of it, I have many suggestions 
to make to you in connection with the delicate and important 
trust, which renders it highly necessary that I should see 
you at the seat of Government as early as practicable, when 
you will receive your orders and instruction, and make other 
arrangements for carrying into effect the objects contem- 
plated by the Legislature. As you will be fully advised of 
my views upon your arrival here, it would seem unnecessary 
in this communication to enter upon the details of the plans 
and operations which may be deemed proper for the occasion, 
yet, as I consider it important that you should have the 
earliest intimation of my opinions upon this subject, I have 
thought it might not be amiss thus early to present you with 
a hasty sketch of the views which I entertain of these impor- 
tant afifairs. The object of the contemplated force is "the 
security, relief and protectio)i of our citizens and the friendly 
Cherokees." How shall this object of sunrily, relief and 
protectio}i be attained? We shall find that a strict regard 
to the laws of the country, by aflording every aid in our 
povv-er to secure the ends of civil justice, will most efifectvtally 
secure, relieve and protect the weak and innocent portion 
of the community. In determining on the organization of 
the contemplated force, it has been my earnest desire 
that we might have no duties to perform which might 
be considered strictly military. So far as events have 
yet transpired, we have nothing to justify the belief that 
the crimes which have been committed in the Cherokee 
part of Georgia may not be punished by a faithful enforce- 
ment of the civil authority of the country. We should, there- 
fore, look to that branch of the Government which the 
Constitution has provided for the arraignment and punish- 
ment of offenders. The inefficiency of the civil authority in 
that section of the State is chiefly owing to the p-^cjllar 
circumstances which at this eventful crisis seem to be 
arrayed against the regular administration of the law, and 
which tend to favor the escape and rescue of the proper 
victims of legal punishment. As I understand the views of 
the Legislature, it will be your duty, with the force at your 
command, to aid in bringing to justice the violators of the 
law in the weak and exposed sections of the State in which 
you will be called to act. The criminals who have heretofore 


•evaded justice, whether by force or artifice, will, I trust, by 
your vigilance, be apprehended and brought to condign pun- 
ishment. The murders, robberies, and thefts which have 
already been committed in Georgia upon some of our own 
citizens, as well as some of the friendly Cherokecs, should 
not be overlooked. It should be considered a primary object 
of the force intended to be organized to apprehend these 
offenders to the proper civil authorities, to be further dealt 
with as the law directs. Further, it is represented to me 
that, through the influence of John Ross and his advisers, 
many of the natives who are in favor of the late Treaty, as 
well as some of our white citizens, are believed to be in 
great danger of personal violence, if not assassination and 
massacre. Moreover, it is stated that councils and meetings 
are held by Ross and his adherents, for the purpose of com- 
bining and organizing an opposition and influence to prevent 
the Cherokee people from accepting the liberal terms of the 
late Treaty, and that many of said Cherokees are actually 
intimidated from freedom of action, by and on account of 
the threats and menaces of Ross and his friends. Should 
the present controversy and excitement amongst the Chero- 
kees result in the murder of Ridge and others, who are 
honestly and patriotically supporting the best interest of 
their deluded people, by urging upon them the necessity and 
advantages of accepting the Treaty, the magnitude of so 
great an evil could not fail to be felt by the whole nation 
and would leave a foul blot upon the Government of the 
Union, as well as that of Georgia. Ridge and his friends have 
espoused the policy of the Government. They see and feel 
the unfortunate condition of their people, whose miseries are 
daily increasing, on account of the obstructions which are 
thrown in the way of their acceptance of the proposed Treaty. 
Pidge is a man of enlarged views, one of nature's great 
men, who looks beyond the present moment and seeks the 
good of his people with an eye to their posterity. He com- 
prehends the whole subject at issue, in all its various bear- 
ings ; and, therefore, hazards life and every thing dear to 
him as a man, to effect a great public object of deep and 
lasting interest to his native race, the Cherokees. Now, 
sir, under these circumstances, John Ross and his friends, 
whether white or red, must not be permitted on the soil of 
Georgia, to commit another outrage upon a single individual 
who has the right to claim protection from the Government 
of Georgia. If any outrage is hereafter committed by any 
who are known to be under the influence of Ross, either 


upon Ridge or his friends, or any other citizen of Georgia, 
Ross should be held personally responsible for such act. If 
Ross and his party do not obey and respect the laws of 
the State, or should they be guilty of instigating murders 
or other outrages within the limits of this State, further 
forbearance on the part of Georgia towards them would 
cease to be a virtue. They must be punished for their 
audacity, or they must abandon the State. Under all the 
circumstances, these deluded people should not be permitted 
to remain in Georgia another year. It is the duty of the 
Federal Government to take them firmly by the hand, and 
in a kind, but imperative, language, say to them: "My chil- 
dren, you must be preserved from the impending ruin that 
awaits you. You cannot longer remain where you are. You 
must go to the homes provided for you. Your national 
character in your native land is lost, is fled forever ; and it 
is our settled purpose to re-establish, exalt and elevate your 
character, and restore your condition in the new land of 
hope and promise whither we lead you." These general and 
hasty suggestions and remarks, without much regard to 
arrangement, will serve to aid you in comprehending my 
views, which will more fully be detailed in the orders and 
instructions which I design hereafter to prepare for your 

Very respectfully, yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, May 20th, 1835. 

Hon. Andrew Jackson, President of the United States, 


Dear Sir : — I should have written to you some time ago 
upon the subject of our present Indian relations, but for the 
expectation of seeing Mr. Forsyth, on his way through this 
place to Columbus, with whom I had intended to converse 
freely and fully on this subject, without troubling you with a 
direct address. But Mr. Forsyth having passed here, without 
my having an opportunity of seeing him, I have deemed it 
necessary, without further delay, to apprise you of the 
present posture of our afifairs with the Indians, and also 
place you in possession of my views in regard to this deeply 
interesting subject. From the last information I have been 
able to obtain, I incline to the opinion that John Ross and 
his associates will have the address and influence to prevent 


the majority of the Clierokees from accepting at present the 
very Uberal terms of the Treaty arrangement recently pro- 
vided at Washington under your (Urection. A large majority 
of the people and the public authorities of Georgia, however, 
are fully satisfied that you and the authorities of the Federal 
Government have done every thing that ought and could in 
reason be done to settle this business, and to promote the 
interest and preserve the lives of this unfortunate remnant 
of deluded Indians. I have nothing further to ask in behalf 
of Georgia from the Executive authorities of the Union in 
the character of treaty proposals to the Cherokees ; indeed, 
I have and do protest against any further efforts to treat 
with John Ross and his white advisers, by any modification 
or alteration whatever in the Treaty lately negotiated by 
Ridge and others at Washington. I have not failed to let 
these, my views, be known extensively throughout the 
Cherokee part of Georgia. And I herewith enclose you a 
paper received this day, signed by many of the most respect- 
able and influential citizens of that section, by which you 
will perceive that they coincide in opinion with the views 
which I have herein submitted. It is worse than useless to 
make any further effort to coax and flatter Ross and his 
associates ; nothing short of bribery and corruption can 
induce them to come to an amicable adjustment of our 
Cherokee perplexities, and these are conditions which 
neither you nor myself can consent to be instrumental in 
consummating. Any honorable sacrifice in the bounds of 
reason ought to be made to settle these embarrassing Indian 
perplexities ; but no result can be worse than for the public 
authorities of the country to sanction and foster the corrupt 
selfishness of base men. Ross and his friends would be 
perfectly satisfied with the proposed Treaty, provided they 
could be entrusted with the disbursement of the considera- 
tion money. I have carefully read the Treat}', and was glad 
to perceive that its liberal provisions secure the interest of 
every individual attached to the Cherokee people, affording 
but limited opportunity for the aristocratic leaders of this 
unfortunate race to defraud them of their national inherit- 
ance. This is as it should be ; and cannot fail to receive the 
approbation of every honest man in the whole country. If 
any thing can induce the Cherokees to accept the Treaty, i^ 
is a decisive, unwavering adherence to its provisions as they 
now stand. If the door is once opened for modifications, 
Ross and his friends will secure to themselves fortunes at 
the expense of the common Indians. The Indians, as well 
as the whites, are tired of the present state of things, and 


would, if left to themselves, most gladly embrace the liberal 
offers of the Government and remove without delay. But 
there are zvhite men, as well as Ross, who oppose the Treaty, 
because they are not provided for by its stipulations. 

Under all the existing circumstances, I take the liberty 
of suggesting to you the expediency of your causing it to be 
immediately and distinctly understood by the Cherokees that 
no modification of the late Treaty whatever may be expected. 
Should this course fail to produce the desired effects, other 
measures must then be resorted to, with a view to the 
adjustment of our perplexities with the Indian population. 

The present condition of both Creeks and Cherokees who 
still remain in the States is most deplorable. Starvation and 
destruction await them if they remain much longer in their 
present abodes. Indians cannot live in the midst of a white 
population and be governed by the same laws. I am truly 
disgusted when I reflect upon the enormous frauds which 
have been committed upon the Indians by a small but 
abandoned and selfish portion of our white population, and 
I regret to say, under existing laws and circumstances, we 
are unable to restrain and punish these enormities. On the 
other hand, very many of our unoffending citizens who have 
settled amongst these Indians, both in Alabama and Georgia, 
under the legal sanction of both the State and Federal Gov- 
ernments, are living in a state of constant apprehension. 
Our white citizens are daily insulted, menaced, and injured 
by the depredations committed on their stock and property 
by the perishing, vagabond portion of these savages, many 
of whom, at this time, have no legal home in the country. 
Several murders have actually been committed, and the lives 
of our citizens, in many places, are at the mercy of these 
reckless and lawless vagabonds. It is true that the laws of 
Georgia and Alabama have been extended over these Indians, 
but it is equally true that, in far the greatest numb-r of 
cases, they cannot be enforced against offenders, for the 
want of an adequate white population ; and because, in nine 
cases out of ten, the offending Indian cannot be identified. 
The daily strifes which now exist, and which are increasing 
between these Indians and the citizens of Georgia and 
Alabama, must continue, with aggravated mischief, so long 
as they remain in the States. Have not these Indians lost 
all just claims to national character? Ought not these 
Indians to be considered and treated as the helpless wards 
of the Federal Government? 

I am, dear sir, with great regard, yr. obt. servt., 



Executive Department, 
Milledgeville, May 21st, 1835. 
Hon. Lewis Cass, 

Secretary of War, 

Sir : — I have this day concluded to limit the time for the 
presentation of claims of the citizens of Georgia, under the 
Creek Treaty of 1821, to the ist day of August next, by 
which time I hope to be able to bring this troublesome 
business to a final close. From the progress made, I have 
ascertained that the amount of money set apart will be 
sufficient to pay the whole of the principal and a small 
portion of the interest provided for. Perceiving that the 
principal and interest of the claims will exceed the amount 
of the appropriation, and having incurred the obligation of 
compensating a commissioner, appointed to examine and 
adjust them, I have to request that I may be informed 
whether the allowance to the commissioner — whose ser^'ices 
have been so important and indispensable — will be defrayed 
by the Federal Government, there being no fund out of 
which I feel myself authorized to make the allowance. 

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department. Ga., 
Milledgeville, Mav i6th, 183=;. 
Col. Wm. A. Bishop, 

Spring Place, Ga. 

Dear Sir : — I have received your favor of the 5th inst. 
The information it contains, in regard to the prospects of 
the late Treaty proposed to the Cherokees and being 
accepted by them, coincides with the information heretofore 
received from my best informed correspondents in your 
section of the State. It is most unfortunate for this remnant 
tribe of Indians that they still adhere to the dictation of Ross 
and his more selfish white advisers. But whatever misfortune 
may hereafter come upon them, on account of their obstinacy 
in refusing to accept the kind and liberal offers of a beneficent 
Government, we, who have endeavored to save them from 
the impending ruin which inevitably awaits them if they 
remain in the midst of our white population, will at least 
have our own minds relieved from guilt. Their ruin must 
be charged by the impartial eye of posterity to Ross and 
his associates. 


If they reject Ridge's Treaty, nothing further ought to 
be proposed to them as a substitute. No modification, for 
the accommodation of Ross and his Jeed cotmcil, should 
be made by the Government. Those who reject the Hberal 
terms of the late Treaty, and refuse to emigrate, deserve no 
further favor or forbearance from Georgia or her authorities. 
Your letter satisfactorily explains the delay in my hearing 
from you on the subject of the complaints published against 
you, over the signature of Spencer Riley, and which you 
state were written by Saviuel Rockwell. While you were 
attending to an important official agency, in a wilderness 
country, where neither newspapers nor letters could reach 
you, of course, you could not be informed of the shafts of 
malice and misrepresentation which were levelled against 
you, through the medium of a portion of the public press — 
which really appears to be opposed to every interest of the 
State. I am glad to learn that you will have it in your 
power to satisfy an honest public that you have only done 
your lawful duty, and that you have been grossly misrepre- 
sented. Indeed, sir, it must be obvious to every enlightened 
and impartial citizen of Georgia that the duties which have 
devolved upon the Executive branch of the Government of 
the State for several years past, in the management of our 
Indian affairs, have been most responsible, arduous and 
diiificult of execution, while it must be admitted by all that 
unparalleled success has attended our efforts, and every 
danger and difficulty has been promptly and successfully 
met. The prompt and efficient discharge of your present 
agency cannot fail to receive the reward of public approba- 
tion. Under existing circumstances, we cannot expect to 
escape the censure of the selfish ; but we must rely upon a 
strict and fearless discharge of official duty, and trust to 
our constituents and posterity to do us that justice which 
has never failed, sooner or later, to be the reward of honesty, 
and integrity. Please keep me advised of passing events in 
relation to our Indian affairs. 

I remain, sir, very respectfully, yr. obt. servt., 



Executive Dep^wtment, Ga., 
Milledgeville, May 28th, 1835. 

To Col. Z. B. Hargrove and Col. Wm. Harden, 

Cassville, Ga. 

Gentlemen : — I have received your letters, and the papers 
signed by yourselves and many other respectable citizens of 
the Cherokee Circuit, requesting an organization of a 
military force for the protection of the citizens of said district, 
and more particularly for the protection of that portion of 
the Cherokee population who are known to be in favor of 
emigration and the late Treaty entered into by John Ridge 
and his associates with the authorities of the United States, 
&c. The great importance and gravity of the subject which 
you present calls for the most mature and deliberate consid- 
eration. The consequences involved in the course which you 
recommend is inseparably connected with the character, 
honor, and best interest of the State, and that to an extent 
not apprehended by the hasty and inconsiderate. The 
necessity, and, consequently, the expediency of the measures 
recommended by you and others are supported, as appears 
from the communications which I have received, by detailing 
the violent offenses which have, from time to time, been 
committed by that portion of the Cherokee Indians who are 
opposed to emigration, and the inefficiency of the civil 
authority to punish these offenders, as well as the appre- 
hensions of that portion of the community who consider 
themselves in personal danger from the apparent excitement 
which at this time prevails in the country on the subject of 
the proposed Treaty. 

And you, therefore, call upon the Executive for the 
execution of the late laws and resolutions of the State, &c. 
No vigilance has been, or shall be, wanting on my part to 
see that the laws are faithfully executed, wherever their 
enforcement has been confided to the Executive, But I have 
no power to change existing laws — that belongs to the 
Legislature. I cannot control or interfere with the constitu- 
tional and legal powers of the judiciary. I am not responsible 
for the fidelity or integrity of that Department of the Govern- 
ment. Its defalcations and abuses of power I may properly 
lay before the Legislature — there my duty ends. 

The strongest apprehension of danger which I indulge is 
chiefly limited to that portion of the Cherokee population 
who are known to be favorable to the late Treaty and 
emigration. But Ridge and his friends may rest assured 


that I feel myself and the Government of Georgia as 
strongly bound to protect and defend them in their persons 
and property from the violence and outrage of their enemies 
as I would any portion of the white population of the State. 
If John Ross, or any of his party, commits any violence or 
outrage upon Ridge, or his friends, be assured the full extent 
of the Executive power of Georgia shall be exerted to punish 
all who may be justly implicated in such unsufiferable crimes, 
I am bound by the laws and Constitution of the State. I 
cannot punish or exterminate the suspected enemies of the 
State, before conviction. You will not consider these hasty 
impressions as indicating the result of my final decision in 
relation to the subject which you have presented for my 
consideration. All that the laws of the State authorize me- 
to do, to prevent the evils which you apprehend, may be 
expected. What is proper, however, to be done, should be 
done in the best way to efifect the desired good — all of which 
will be duly considered and acted upon without delay. 

I am, gentlemen, yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 

Milledgeville, May 29th, 1835. 

Mr. John Ridge, Rome, Floyd County, Ga. 

Dear Sir : — I have received, and read with feelings of 
deep interest, your favor of the i8th inst. You have taken 
an enlarged and enlightened view upon the highly important 
subject on which your letter is written. My views coincide 
with yours on every important point. Instead of replying to 
your letter in detail, I deem it most advisable, under all the 
circumstances, to refer you to Col. Bishop, to whom I have 
just written at large on the subject of your letter — without, 
however, intimating to him that I had received any com- 
munication whatever from you. Request Col. Bishop to 
show you my letter to him, and you will then feel assured 
that prompt and energetic measures have been adopted, 
suited to the present emergency. I have invited Col. Bishop 
to visit this place, with as little delay as possible. You will,, 
therefore, do well to lose no time in seeing the Colonel. 

I am, sir, with great respect, yr. friend and obt. servt., 




Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, June 17th, 1835. 
Col. Wm. N. Bishop. 

Sir : — In pursuance of your appointment to the command 
of such force as may be called into service, under the pro- 
visions of a joint resolution of the General Assemlily, 
approved the 20th December, 1834, for the security, relief 
and protection of our own citizens, as well as the friendly 
Cherokees who reside in the Cherokee Circuit of this State, 
you will proceed, with as little delay as possible, to organize 
a force, not exceeding forty men, the whole, or any part, of 
which may be called into immediate service, as circumstances 
may hereafter require. They will be engaged to serve until 
the first day of December next, unless sooner discharged by 
orders from the Governor. None but able-bodied men, 
qualified for the most effective service, must be admitted, 
and who must furnish themselves with good horses, at their 
own expense. 

In contracting for members to compose the contemplated 
force, you will be careful to select men of approved courage 
only — of sober habits and accustomed to endure with patience 
the greatest fatigue. 

You will be supplied with public funds, for the payment 
and support of your men, as circumstances may require. The 
necessary supplies for men and horses must be provided for 
in that manner which will ensure the greatest economy which 
may be consistent with comfortable subsistence. 

The nature of the contemplated service not admitting of 
the idea of much stationary duty, I have not deemed it 
necessary or expedient to point out particular stations for 
the deposit of rations or supplies, but shall leave all these 
arrangements to your own efificiency and skill in the execu- 
tion of your duty, relying as I do much on your own 
judgment and fidelity to the public interest. It may, however, 
be proper to suggest that you will find it most convenient 
and economical to have engagements for supplies, for both 
men and horses, with individuals on whom you can rely, 
always ready at given points to prevent inconvenience and 
actual suffering. 

Indeed, some suitable point as your headquarters will be 
indispensable, and there your chief supplies may be deposited, 
and where some kind of barracks to shelter vour men and to 


meet the contingencies of sickness, &c., must necessarily be 

From the nature of the service, you cannot restrict your 
men to the ration of the regular soldier ; yet it will be 
expected that every thing like extravagance and waste will 
be prevented. 

The men you may engage will furnish their own horses, 
and will receive twenty dollars per month each, when in 
actual service. They will be paid quarterly, if they require it. 

The efificiency and utility of this force will, in a great 
degree, depend upon their strict and cheerful obedience to 
your orders. If they can be brought to obey your orders 
implicitly and of choice, you will then have prepared them 
for the duties which are to be discharged. You will find 
constant employment in the contemplated service. You 
will appoint an orderly sergeant, who will make regular and 
daily reports to you of the state, &c., of your force, and 
you will make similar weekly reports to this Department. 
You will also make duplicate quarterly reports of your 
expenses incurred in supporting your men, accompanied by 
vouchers for each item, one of which reports will be for- 
warded to this office, and both signed and certified by you 
upon honor. 

And you will make similar reports of all incidental and 
contingent expenses. The object of the force to be organized 
under your command is to afford security, protection, and 
defence to our sparsely settled population of the Cherokee 
Circuit, and particularly to the friendly Indians who are 
disposed to obey and respect the laws of the Federal, as 
well as the State, Governments. Let it be constantly borne 
in mind that, under the existing state of things, your 
military command is designed only to aid the civil authority 
in carrying into effect the laws of the State. 

First. You will diligently enquire for, and ascertain as 
far as you possibly can, all the violations which have been 
or may be committed against the criminal laws of this 
State, by persons who have evaded and still evade a legal 
trial, for the offences with which they may stand charged — 
wherever you find that an offence of any magnitude has been 
committed, and the offender or offenders cannot be appre- 
hended by the ordinary officer or officers, or where such 
offenders have broken jail, or escaped from the custody of a 
proper officer, you will immediately cause all such persons 
to be arrested, and use all legal means placed at your com- 


mand to secure their apprehension, trial and punishment 
according to law. 

Persons suspected of violent designs against the peace 
and good order of society — upon the af^davit of a respect- 
able person or persons, setting forth or charging such appre- 
hension of violence as being meditated against any one or 
more persons, or where the individual apprehends personal 
injury or violence to himself — you will, on procuring a proper 
warrant in terms of the law in such cases made and provided, 
consider such warrant your legal authority for arresting the 
person or persons so charged, and cause them to be brought 
before some proper olBcer, in order that they may be dealt 
with as the law directs. Having just grounds to apprehend 
that John Ridge and his friends, who are favorable to the 
late Treaty, are in danger of secret, if not open, violence 
from John Ross and his party, I feel myself in duty bound 
to charge you most earnestly to be strictly vigilant and 
watchful in protediyig and defending said Ridge and his 
friends from the malignant violence of their enemies. And, 
after holding a consultation with Ridge and his friends, if 
any respectable person or persons can take the necessary 
oath, you will not fail to procure a warrant, and take with 
you a civil officer to execute the same, and arrest John Ross, 
and see that he is brought before the Judge of the Superior 
Court of the Cherokee Circuit, in order that he may give 
good and suf^cient security for his good and peaceable 
behavior, not only toward the individual named in the war- 
rant, but towards all the good citizens of this State and all 
the friendly Cherokees residing therein. The distinction and 
character of John Ross is such as to fully justify these my 
instructions in having him brought before the highest 
judicial oflficer within the Cherokee Circuit. 

Moreover, you are particularly enjoined and instructed 
to prevent the exercise of any authority by those who are 
considered as Cherokee chiefs or headmen. They must 
not be permitted to make and enforce any rules or regula- 
tions for the government of the Cherokees within the limits 
of Georgia, or to hold meetings, or councils, for illegal 
purposes. Every Cherokee who has offended or may offend 
against the laws of the State, especially every headman or 
chief, must be arrested and delivered to the judicial authori- 
ties, let it cost what it may. 

Your men must be accustomed to secrecy and dispatch 
in relation to many of the duties which are to be performed. 
A knowledge of your plans adopted to ensure the faithful 


discharge of your duties will often defeat your objects, if 
known to the community in general. 

You may find it necessary to send trusty members of 
your command into various parts of the Circuit, for the 
purpose of collecting and reporting to you the state of the 
public mind in regard to our Indian relations, and other 
matters connected with the public service. Such duties can 
safely be confided to none but men of sense and firmness. 

Trust nothing to men who continue to excite the Indians 
to resist the operation of the laws of the State over them, or 
who encourage their appealing to other authority than that 
of Georgia for protection. 

Under all the circumstances it will be most prudent, in 
all cases where arrests are to be made, to obtain warrants 
from some judicial officer, charging the person to be arrested 
with some crime, and at the same time to be attended by a 
civil officer, duly authorized to execute such warrant. Thus 
you will, in most cases of arrest, only aid the civil officers 
who have warrants authorizing them to make arrests. 

Persons, however, who have committed crimes, and who 
would probably escape without an immediate arrest, or in 
cases of violence on the part of any Indian or Indians, or 
in cases of resistance to the laws of the State, must be con- 
sidered cases of exception to the general rule of obtaining a 
warrant and civil officers. 

You may safely arrest all persons who may be found in 
the commission of ofifcnses against the laws of the State ; but 
when the information comes from others, require warrants, 
and take authority and arrest in the presence of a civil 

Should any resistance to the laws of the State become 
so formidable as to render you unable to suppress it by the 
force placed at your command, you will immediately inform 
me of the same by express ; and in the meantime call in 
the aid of any regiment or regiments of the militia most 
convenient. Make this call upon the Colonels, by issuing 
orders to that effect. 

Very respectfully yours, 




Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, June i8th, 1835. 
Maj. B. F. Curry, 

Calhoun, Tenn. 

Sir: — I have duly received your letter of the loth inst., 
as well as your former communications to which you refer. 
Your general views in relation to our Cherokee affairs coin- 
cide with my own, and on the most important points to 
which you have adverted, and particularly that of the organi- 
zation of a military force, I have a train of measures now 
in preparation to carry into effect that object. 

I cannot conceal from you how deeply I regret the 
present state of things in relation to our Indian affairs, as 
they now seem to exist (from your letter) in your immediate 

Be assured that, if your apprehension in regard to the 
mischievous influence of Ross and his friends, and its danger- 
ous extent, be well fovmded, that influence ought and must 
be promptly checked. If the Rosses are permitted to control, 
or influence in any degree, the forces of the United States 
stationed in the Cherokee country, then, indeed, will that 
military arm of the Federal Government be wielded to the 
destruction of all the plans and efforts of the Executive 
Department of that Government. 

Until the reception of your letter I had not the slightest 
apprehension of your want of ample and full power to govern 
these troops. I protest against these troops remaining in 
the country a single day, if there be the least just grounds 
to suspect either officers or men with a spirit of hostility to 
the policy and measures of the Federal Government in 
regard to the removal of the Indians. 

In determining to organize a force in Georgia for the 
protection of the Indians who are friendly to the late Treaty, 
as well as our exposed white population, I calculated most 
confidently on the cordial co-operation of the United States 
forces in arresting murderers and outlaws, and thus aid in 
bringing to justice offenders who have long remained unpun- 
ished ; and have intended to address you on that subject 
previous to the reception of your letter. But unless you or 
some other person, in whom I have entire confidence, have 
the command of these troops, I want nothing to do with 
them. No man who is suspected of siding with the Ross 
party ought to remain in that country a single day, with the 
arms of the Government in his hands. If your apprehen- 


sions be well founded, mischief will inevitably result from 
these troops remaining in the country, and the sooner they 
are removed the better. 

I would most cheerfully, and at once, comply with your 
suggestion in regard to the command of these troops being 
transferred, &c., but for the fact of not feeling myself at 
liberty, from the tenor of your letter, to use the facts which 
you communicate. I, therefore, can say nothing to the 
President upon the subject of your letter, unless I am first 
authorized by you to do so. I perceive the delicacy of your 
position, but you must at once perceive that my position 
forbids my intermeddling with the command of these troops, 
unless I have authority to predicate my suggestions upon. 

I am, very sincerely yrs., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, July 23, 1835. 
Col. Wm. N. Bishop. 

Dear Sir : — I have had the satisfaction of reading your 
letter of the 14th inst. In contains much that is interesting, 
and will be useful in aiding my further efforts to promote 
the public interest. Your arrangements, as far as you have 
communicated them, appear to me to be judicious, and merit 
my approbation. 

Immediately after you left here, I turned my attention 
to the subject of procuring, with as little delay as possible, 
the swords and pistols deemed necessary for the service in 
which you are engaged ; and ascertained that there could 
be procured but twenty good swords and three braces of 
pistols within the limits of our own State. I, therefore, 
immediately sent to New York for the necessary supply, and 
am daily expecting to hear of their arrival at Savannah, from 
which place they will be forwarded here with all practicable 
dispatch. The twenty swords and three pairs of pistols are 
here, and ready at your call, and I every day hope to be 
able to advise you of the arrival of a full supply. 

As I before informed you, we have plenty of good mus- 
kets and cartridges here which await your call. Musket 
flints have been ordered, but have not yet arrived. The first 
moment after we receive all the articles here which you 
need, you shall be advised of the fact. When you send, make 
out a bill of all you want, specifying the number of each 
article, and it shall be filled, if possible. Previous to the 


reception of your letter I had heard through Maj. Curry and 
Col. Nelson of the violence of Ross, in endeavoring to 
prevent the census of the Indians from being taken, and, 
through Mr. Curry, I had also heard of the outrage com- 
mitted on Col. Turk, and others, by the Ross or hostile part 
of the Cherokees. These acts of violence beyond our limits 
do not come under our jurisdiction, and we can only aid 
(should it be necessary) in apprehending these ofifenders in 
cases where they may happen to be found within the limits 
of our State. The measure of taking the census is a 
measure of the Federal Government, with which we have 
no right to interfere, unless opposition to it should be 
carried to an extent of personal violence, threatening the 
safety of our citizens, or the peace of our community. It is 
always best to keep within the bounds of our respective 
official spheres — usurping no power or authority — but 
promptly and fearlessly discharging our obvious and well 
defined official duties. You have the undoubted right, how- 
ever, to suppress all violent measures on the part of Ross 
and his party, let that violence arise from whatever cause 
it may — when on the soil of Georgia, he must be made to 
know that he is answerable for his peaceable and good 
behavior. Moreover, he should be held accountable for all 
acts of violence committed by the ignorant Cherokees, sup- 
posed to be instigated by him in opposition to the laws of 
the State. I hope you will continue to keep me constantly 
apprised of your movements and operations, as well as your 
own wants. 

I am, sir, very respectfully, yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, Ga., June 24, 1835. 
Col. W. N. Bishop. 

Sir : — In anticipation of the general meeting of the 
Cherokees at New Echota — when the late Treaty will be 
presented by the Commissioners of the United States for 
the acceptance or rejection of these people — I have thought 
it best to apprise you in due time that it will be expected of 
you and your entire force to attend that meeting. On your 
arrival at that place, you will report yourself to the United 
States Commissioners, and inform them that you are 
instructed by me to communicate to them the deep interest 
which I feel in the successful issue of their mission, and of 


my disposition to render any aid which may be within my 
control to further the views of the Government under which 
they act, in regard to the policy and measures which relate 
to the Cherokees. Moreover, you will apprise them of your 
instructions to attend the contemplated meeting, with the 
force under your command, for the purpose (if necessary) of 
aiding said Commissioners in preserving peace and good 
order amongst all persons who may attend said Treaty, 
whether they be whites or Indians. 

And, in case of any disorderly or riotous conduct, you 
will be vigilant and careful to aid and assist the civil authority 
in suppressing the same. 

You will be particularly careful to impress upon your 
men the importance and absolute necessity on their part 
of conducting themselves with the greatest propriety and 
exemplary good order and cheerful obedience to your com- 
mands. No just occasion must be given by any individual 
under your command for the complaint of any individual 

It will be a most favorable occasion for you and your 
men to make a deep impression on the minds of all your 
beholders, that the object of your command is the preserva- 
tion of peace and good order, and you are not to be consid- 
ered as a terror to any but evildoers. 

I am, very respectfully, yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, August i6, 1835. 
Col. Wm. N. Bishop, Agent, 

Spring Place, Ga. 

Sir : — I have had the satisfaction to receive your letter 
of the 5th instant, enclosing your weekly reports up to the 
26th ult. The information you give me in relation to our 
Cherokee afifairs corresponds with that which I had pre- 
viously received from Maj. Curry and Mr. Schermerhorn. 
Both of these gentlemen speak in the most flattering terms 
of the ability and prudence with which you have thus far 
discharged the duties of your agency, and of the good 
conduct of the men under your command, Mr. Schermerhorn 
expresses his entire conviction of the utility of your com- 
mand, and adds that you have already done much good in 
advancing the object of Indian emigration, I have entire 


confidence in the character of Mr. Schcrmerhorn, as well as 
that of Maj. Curry. 

I do, however, very much regret the anticipated delay 
in effecting a final arrangement with the Cherokees. I did 
entertain the hope that the business would be brought to 
a final close before the expiration of my present term of 
office — not that I consider a final adjustment of any great 
consequence now to the people of Georgia, or because I 
believe a treaty would add anything to my own fame ; but 
my strongest and most ardent desire arises in true philan- 
thropy to these deluded Indians, who have so long been the 
dupes of John Ross and his white co-workers and lawyers. 
Since I came into the Executive chair, by my special 
recommendations, and at my special responsibility, thrown 
on me at every stage of our legislation, T have moved 
straight forward, until the Cherokee part of Georgia has 
been changed from a howling waste of savage bands and 
wild beasts to that, of a settled and cultivated country, 
populated by thousands of civilized men, now enjoying all 
the blessings of our Constitutional Government. Having 
efifected all this without a treaty, why should Georgia, upon 
selfish considerations, care about a treaty? What remains 
to be done, so far as Georgia is concerned, can be better 
done by state legislation than any treaty. I shall do my 
duty, and recommend the proper measures to the next 
Legislature, and trust that the representatives of the people 
will also do their duty. T wish you faithfully to co-operate 
with Mr. Schermerhorn and Maj. Curry, but I shall not 
interfere with the details of any plans which are to be 
consummated after the first day of November next. The 
guns, pistols, sw^ords and ammunition are here, awaiting your 
order, of which you have been notified some days ago by 
one of my secretaries. Continue to keep me apprised of 
your operations, as I take much interest in the details which 
you have heretofore given me. 

Very respectfully, yr. obt. servt.. 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, August 24, 1835. 
Col. Wm. N. Bishop, 
Sir : — I have this day caused to be delivered to Samuel 
Weir fortv gfood muskets and accoutrements, sixty brace of 


horsemen's pistols, sixty swords, one box (840) cartridges, 
one keg (28 pounds) powder, one hundred pounds of bar 
lead, and 500 of the best fhnts in the arsenal, for the use 
of the guard under your command. 

I regret that your written and specific order did not, as 
I had requested of you, accompany the application for these 
articles ; but, from the statement of Mr. Weir, I cannot 
entertain a reasonable doubt of his application being made 
under your direction, and, therefore, send the articles, trust- 
ing their safe delivery to the confidence I repose in the 
applicant, and have to request that you will acknowledge their 
receipt at the earliest day. I have exercised my best judgment 
in anticipating your wants in the absence of any specification 
from you, and have sent them accordingly. Upon opening 
the box containing the pistols, I was astonished to find no 
holsters. It is a strange and singular omission, for which I 
cannot account ; but, under all the circumstances, I concluded 
it was best to send the pistols on, and hope you may be 
able to find a workman in your country who can make such 
holsters and coverings as may answer your purpose. From 
their appearance, I hope you will find the articles sent of a 
good quality. 

Mr. Weir states to me that you promised to write me 
in time for his arrival at that place. I have received no 
such communication. Should it come to hand, it shall be 
acknowledged. If Mr. Weir does his duty faithfully, you 
ought to pay him a fair price for the number of days he 
may be engaged in your employ. As the articles will fall 
short in weight of making an ordinary load, I have sent you 
sixty, instead of forty, brace of pistols, and sixty swords. 
You will take care of those you do not immediately use. 
Since writing the foregoing, I have received your communi- 
cation, by the hand of Mr. Underwood, which will be imme- 
diately answered. 

Very respectfully, yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, August 26, 1835. 
Mr. Elias Boudinot, 

New Echota, Ga. 

Sir : — Your letter of the 19th inst. is before me. In reply, 
I have to inform you that lot No. 124 in the Fourteenth 
District and Third Section has not been granted. Application 


for the grant has more than once been made, but believing, 
as I did, that the grant could not issue without violating 
the true interest and spirit of the laws of Georgia, I have 
withheld the grant. Therefore, the intrusions which have 
been made upon your rights, as secured to you by the laws 
of Georgia, are illegal, and deserve the punishment of the 

It is, however, the duty of the Judiciary, and not the 
Executive, to sustain you in your rights. 

I will, however, write to Col. Bishop, the present Agent, 
on the subject, in the hope that he may be able to render 
you some service, as I very sincerely regret that any citizen 
of Georgia should, under such circumstances as exist in 
the present case, be so lost to every principle of justice and 
humanity as to act oppressively to yon, or other Cherokees, 
under similar circumstances. I will herewith enclose to your 
care my letter to Col. Bishop, and leave it open for your 

Very respectfully, yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, August 26, 1835. 
Col. Wm. N. Bishop, 

Sir : — In compliance with your request contained in your 
letter of the 19th inst., by the hand of Mr. Underwood, I 
have drawn a warrant in your favor for the sum of five 
hundred dollars, also one in your favor for Mr. Weir for 
one hundred and thirty dollars, that being the amount you 
have agreed to pay him for the transportation of the arms, 
&c. I am gratified to learn that you are actively engaged 
in every part of the country embraced in your command, 
and of the service in which you are engaged. I some days 
ago heard of the apprehension of Took, the murderer. Your 
statement coincides with the information previously received. 
I entirely approve of your having arrested Adair and his 
associates for a violation of our laws, by assuming official 
functions under Cherokee authority. 

But of this matter the Judiciary must determine. It is 
evident that Adair and his associates must be acting under 
the authority of Ross, but you may fail to procure the 
necessary proof before the court. They certainly have no 
authority for their insolent assumptions, either from the 


Federal or State Government. It appears to me your proper 
course would be to take these men before a civil officer, and 
have them bound for their appearance at the next Superior 
Court, to answer for the allegations set forth in your letter, 
and that it will be the duty of the Solicitor General to 
prosecute, &c. I am wholly opposed to the idea of Judge 
Underwood having any official agency with Cherokee con- 
cerns whatever, because I believe him to be entirely unworthy 
of public confidence in this or any other matter whatever. 
He is an instrument I would not use on any occasion 
whatever, even to effect a public good, so long as I could 
find an honest man in the country. From all I have been 
able to collect, from every source, I see no immediate pros- 
pect of the Cherokees accepting the Treaty. Indeed, from 
the communications which I have received from Maj. Curry 
and Mr. Schermerhorn, I have lost sight of a treaty before 
the first of November, when my term of office will expire. 

Therefore, as far as Georgia is concerned, I feel entirely 
indifferent whether the Cherokees ever enter into a treaty 
or not. I no longer look to the Federal Government, or its 
agents, to relieve Georgia from her Cherokee perplexity. 

All that has been done towards ridding the State of this 
troublesome population has been done by State authority ; 
and what remains to be done we must rely upon ourselves. 

I shall do my duty to the last moment of my official 
term. If the approaching Legislature sustain my views, 
Georgia will be entirely relieved from her Indian population. 

Do your duty firmly, but do not transcend your legal 
bounds, or my instructions. 

Respectfully, yr, obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, August 26, 1835. 
Col. W. N. Bishop, 

Sir : — I have this day received a letter from Mr. Elias 
Boudinot, on the subject of the lot of land embracing his 
present residence, in which he complains of intrusions 
already having been made on his rights, and of further 
prospective aggressions. This lot of land. No. 124, in the 
Fourteenth District and Third Section, has not and cannot 
be legally granted. I, therefore, have to request that you 
will, without delay, investigate this case, and use your best 


exertions to have speedy justice done to Mr. Boudinot. It 
would be a disgrace to the State to permit the legal rights 
of this man to be trampled on by unprincipled white men. 
If you cannot legall}- interfere with the case, as Agent, you 
are hereby authorized to institute such judicial proceedings 
as will sustain the rights of Mr. Boudinot, at the expense of 
the State. 

Very respectfully, &c., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, Sept. 17, 1835. 
Mr. John Ridge, 

Head of Coosa. 

Dear Sir : — I have received your favor of the 7th inst., 
signed by yourself, as well as the emigrating and appraising 
agent. After duly considering the same, I have to state in 
reply that, as far as official obligations would permit, I have, 
from the time I entered upon the duties of this office, 
endeavored to keep up a harmonious action between the 
State and Federal Governments upon all subjects, and 
especially upon the subject of the relations of Georgia with 
the Cherokees. I shall continue to do so. If I understand, 
however, the object of your present communication, it will 
require legislative and not executive interposition to meet 
the case presented in your letter. I am bound by the highest 
obligations to execute the laws as I find them, and, until 
changed by the Legislature, I cannot stop the execution 
of a law, although I may regret the effects of its operation. 

If the late Treaty proposed to the Cherokees could have 
been accepted by your people before the meeting of the 
approaching session of the Legislature of Georgia, I should 
have felt myself in duty bound to have urged most earnestly 
upon the Legislature such enactments as should have secured 
to the Cherokees all the advantages in regard to time and 
other things which a fair construction of the Treaty would 
authorize them to expect ; but I have discovered a spirit of 
opposition, procrastination, and obstinacy on the part of 
those who seem to have the destiny of a majority of the 
Cherokees in their keeping that, I confess frankly to you, 
has produced a conviction on my mind that, under all the 
existing circumstances, the Government of Georgia, as well 
as that of the United States, should at once convince the 


Cherokee people of the impotency of John Ross and his 

I have held correspondence with Mr. Schermerhorn, Maj. 
Curry, Col. Bishop, and others, on this subject for months 
past. I see no certainty of any desirable result. Every 
thing appears to be vague and uncertain. 

The best interest of the Cherokee people, as well as the 
whites, demands that the subject should be brought to a 
close ; and it must and will be done, so far as Georgia is 

Permit me, in conclusion, to assure you of my entire 
confidence in the zeal, ability and patriotism with which you 
have labored to promote the best interest of your people. 

Sir, you and myself have no object in view, in the final 
adjustment of all difBculties between our people, except it 
be their good, their peace, their happiness, and prosperity. 
But other and very different motives influence those who 
are endeavoring to procrastinate and lengthen out the 
embarrassing perplexities which we have to encounter. If 
any thing definite is agreed upon before the meeting of the 
Georgia Legislature, the interest of all concerned requires 
that it should be communicated to this Department. 

I am, sir, very respectfully, yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, Sept. 26th, 1835. 
J. F. Schermerhorn, Esq., 

Commissioner, Calhoun, Tenn. 
Sir : — I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of 
your favor of the 15th inst., and thank you for the informa- 
tion and suggestions it contains. You will please keep me 
advised of the state of afifairs in connection with your ofHcial 
duties up to the meeting of the Legislature, on the ist 
Monday in November next, and I will endeavor to make the 
best use of all the information derived, in furtherance of the 
very desirable and important object of bringing to a final 
and equitable issue our perplexed Indian relations. I am 
much gratified to find from the tenor of your letter, and 
other correspondence, that the speedy acceptance of the 
Treaty by the Cherokees is becoming more probable. So far 
as regards the interest of this unfortunate remnant, it is of 
great importance to them that what they do should be done 


Prompt action on their part would enable me to effect 
much in guarding their interest while they remain in Georgia, 
and in making the necessary preparations for emigration. 
If they would accept the Treaty at once, every indulgence 
guaranteed to them in that instrument would no doubt be 
secured to them by the legislation of the State. But, sir, 
under all the circumstances, they may rest assured that the 
idea that the people of Georgia will any longer submit to 
the annoyance of John Ross and his associates is wholly 

The list of reserves, as requested by you, was forwarded 
without delay. The case of Mr. Boudinot has been duly 
attended to, by giving the proper instructions to Col. Bishop. 
In every case the rights of the Cherokees, as recognized by 
the laws of Georgia, will be scrupulously respected and 
guarded, as far as the power of this Department may extend. 

With great respect, yr. obt. servt., 


Executive Department, Ga., 
Milledgeville, Sept. 26, 1835. 
Col. Wm. N. Bishop. 

Dear Sir : — I have duly received your favor of the i6th 
inst., accompanied by your weekly reports, &c. Your letters 
give me much detailed information which will be useful, and 
I hope you will continue to keep me advised of every 
important matter connected with your official duties up to 
the meeting of the ensuing Legislature. I was gratified to 
learn the case of Mr. Weir, and the letters and money 
entrusted to the care of Mr. Underwood, had been duly 
received by you. 

Your arrangements and proceedings in connection with 
your official duties, as reported in your letter, appear to be 
judicious, and have my approbation. 

I am much pleased to learn that the views which I enter- 
tain, and the course which I have pursued, is effecting a 
salutary change in the feelings of many of the Cherokees and 
are appreciated, and I shall certainly persevere in the policy 
which I have heretofore suo-gested to you to the termination 
of my official functions. Before this reaches you, I hope you 
will have attended to the case of Mr. Boudinot, and that 
you will, in every case, be particularly vigilant to see that 


justice is done to the well disposed portion of the Cherokee 

Very respectfully, yr. obt. servt., 


Having extended the selections from my official corre- 
spondence, while in the Executive Office of Georgia, far 
beyond the point which I had anticipated when I entered 
upon the work of making these selections, I deem it proper 
to make the following explanation : 

Unimportant and uninteresting as many of these letters, 
when read single and alone, will doubtless appear to most 
readers, yet, when read in consecutive order, as I have 
arranged them, no attentive, sensible reader will fail to see 
their connection from the beginning to the end of my official 
labors as Governor of Georgia. It will be seen that each 
and every day brought with it arduous, complicated and 
variegated labors, such as have rarely fallen to the lot of 
any Governor of any State of the Union. These letters 
contain the official, uncontroverted evidence of the manner 
in which these duties were disposed of. 

Moreover, they are indispensable to sustain the chain of 
Georgia's history in connection with her Indian afifairs for 
four of the most trying and critical vears of her whole history 
in connection with her Indian afifairs. 

This was the period which tested the question of sover- 
eignty between one of the States of the Union and the 
aboriginals of the country. This was the period when the 
great political party opposed to the administration of Gen. 
Jackson took sides with John Ross and his followers, in 
favor of Cherokee sovereignty within the limits of Georgia 
and other States. This party, too, was aided, countenanced, 
and encouraged by a majority of the Judges of the Supreme 
Court of the LTnited States. This was the period, too, which 
tested the strength, success, and practicability of carrying into 
effect the emigration plan. Hence, the necessity of giving 
to the reader, somewhat in detail, the progress of these four 
years. The numerous letters written to Gen. Cofifee, Col. 
Bishop and other agents of the Government of Georgia, 
under the authority of the then existing laws, and to many 
other individuals, may, to the superficial reader, appear to 
be monotonous, and exhibit very much sameness in sub- 
stance, but, when critically examined and scrutinized, everv 


letter will be found to contain something different from all 
others, and, at the time, highly expedient and necessary to 
have been communicated. 

Moreover, they are necessary links to the one unbroken 
chain, the first link of which I had attempted and succeeded 
in forming, in the House of Representatives of the United 
States, in the year 1827, by obtaining an appropriation of 
$15,000 to defray the expense of Commissioners appointed 
to explore and find a suitable country for the Indians, then 
in the several States, in the wild lands of the West. The 
labor of these years was much more hazardous, delicate, 
and difiicult, because most conscientiously performed, as I 
have always declared. No man among the living more 
ardently sought to benefit the Indians than myself. 

While I viewed John Ross and a few of his prominent 
followers as very selfish, bad men, the Ridges, Boudinot and 
many others had gained my confidence as high-minded, 
honorable and patriotic men — men devoted to the best 
interest of their people ; men whose civilization and intelli- 
gence justly entitled them to a place in the confidence and 
brotherhood of the first statesmen and philanthropists of the 
age. Therefore, persevering as I was in all my official 
duties. I was sometimes almost paralyzed in my progress 
on account of the necessity of doing justice to and guarding 
so many conflicting interests at the same time. 

Should any of my survivors ever take the time to make 
themselves fully acquainted with the history of Georgia 
during the four years of my Chief Magistracy, and examine 
critically all my official acts, I feel assured that their minds 
will be impressed, as mine now is, while I write these pages, 
that God, in His wisdom, accomplishes His purposes by 
means of His own choosing; that the glory, power and 
wisdom shall be ascribed to His own name and not to the 
humble instrumentality of poor, mortal, erring man. In all 
these matters I only claim to have been the clay in the hands 
of the potter. 



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