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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 Cherokees 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, ^nd 

after 1841. 

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Chapter XIII. 

Chapter XIV. 

Chapter XV. 

Chapter XVI. 

Chapter XVII. 

Chapter XVIII. 

Chapter XIX. 

Including the Period from the ist of No- PAGE 

vember, 1835, When He Closed His 
Second Gubernatorial Term, to July, 
1836, When He Entered Upon the Act- 
ive Duties of Commissioner of the 
United States to Execute the Cherokee 
Treaty of December, 1835 7 

Including the Period from the ist of July, 
1836, to the 1st of November, 1837, 
Embracing a Large Portion of the Offi- 
cial Correspondence, and Other Official 
Transactions Growing Out of the Duties 
of the Office of Commissioner as Afore- 
said 36 

The Same Period as in Chapter XIV, but 
Embracing Various Other Transactions, 
and Comments on Subjects Connected 
With the Cherokee Treaty and the 
Affairs of the Cherokee People .... 146 

Including the First Periods of My Sen- 
atorial Service from December, 1837, 
Announced Speeches and Other Inter- 
esting Matters, Principally on Indian 
Affairs 180 

Continuance of Senatorial Service, Also 
Embracing Much Information on In- 
dian Affairs, Speeches, Etc 221 

Including My Correspondence With the 
Rev. George White, Historical Facts 
and Information Connected with Geor- 
gia and Her Church Affairs, Composed 
in the Year 1853 250 

Continuation of Senatorial Service, Em- 
bracing a Number of Speeches and Re- 
marks on the Floor of the Senate on a 
Great Variety of Interesting Subjects, 
v^^ith Frequent] Notes and Comments 
by the Author. Omitted. (See Preface.) 

Chapter XX. Continuance of Senatorial Service, 
Speeches and Remarks on Deeply In- 
teresting Subjects, Together with Fre- 
quent Notes and Comments by the 
Author. Omitted. (See Preface.) 

Chapter XXI. On the Western and Atlantic, or State 
Road, Containing Official Reports, 
Comments, Etc., by the Author, on the 
Subject of Internal Improvements in 

Chapter XXII. Embracing Letters to Children, the 
Notice of the Death of a Beloved Son, 
and the Peculiar Affection of Another 
Son, Caused from Fright of Being Lost 
in the Woods When a Child— Omitted 




Page 113, line 27, for J. M. Kennedy, read John Kennedy. 

Page 180. Gov. Lumpkin names John Henderson as a Senator from 
Mississippi in 1837; but he did not enter the Senate until 1839, 
succeeding Senator John Black. 


At the close of my last Gubernatorial term in Novem- 
ber, 1835, my generous friends gave me a parting feast, 
very numerously attended, at McComb's Hotel, in the 
close of which I made them an address, offering them my 
most affectionate advice, and bidding them a final adieu 
as Governor of Georgia. 

I had the pleasure of seeing my political friend. Gov- 
ernor Schley, inaugurated as my successor in office, before 
I left the seat of government, and then repaired to my 
home and family, in Athens, Georgia. 

1 am at a loss to describe adequately my feelings and 
reflections upon this sudden change from all the turmoils 
and tumults of political life to the quietude of a peaceful 

Once more in my life I was relieved from official re- 
sponsibility and its unceasing cares. Nothing was left of 
an official nature, except the discharge of the pleasant duty 
of a Trustee of the University of Georgia, to which I haa 
been called some years previous to my becoming Gov- 
ernor of the State. And as I was now located in my 
home, at the site of the University, my official duties could 
chiefly be performed without absence from home, or loss 
of time from my private affairs. I considered the duties or 
my Trusteeship in the nature of recreation rather than 
a burthen. My principal inducements in selecting Athens 
as my permanent home may be summed up as follows : 

This place (Athens) is within twenty-five miles of the 
spot where I had spent the happy days of my infancy and 
childhood ; the well-tested healthfulness of the location ; 
its fine situation and climate, the highly intellectual and 
cultivated state of society ; the education of my three 
youngest children, then just of the proper ages to require 
good schools, 

I procured me a delightful situation, in the margin of the 
town, in full view of the State University, together with 
six or seven hundred acres of good productive land, finely 
timbered and watered, bounded on one side by the Oconee 
river. My design was to make this my permanent home, 
and live by the cultivation of the land. 

My circumstances were moderate, neither rich nor 
poor, but very comfortable. Free from debt and embar- 
rassment, I had, as I then thought, closed my public life 

8 re;moval of the Cherokee 

forever, in a manner highly satisfactory to the public. 1 
met the kind greetings and salutations of my fellowmen 
wherever I turned. In this state of mind, and with these 
prospects before me, I enjoyed the feast of rest and quiet- 
ude, enlivened and cheered by those social and family en- 
joyments which can only be duly appreciated by those 
who have passed through the fiery furnace of political 
strife and conflicts. 

But it was but a very short time before I was again 
forced to acknowledge that man may decide his own 
way, but most assuredly "the Lord ordereth his steps." 

On the 17th of July following I was commissioned to 
execute the Treaty of Dec, 1835, with the Cherokee In- 

Without previous consultation or notice of any kind, I 
found this commission sent to me by President Jackson, 
accompanied by instructions, as well as a private 
letter, in his own handwriting, urging me to accept the 
commission, appointing me a Commissioner by and with 
the advice and consent of the Senate of the United States, 
to examine all the claims arising under, or provided for, 
in the several articles of the Treaty concluded with the 
Cherokee Indians on the 29th of December, 1835, and 
authorizing and empowering me to do and perform all the 
various duties appertaining to said office of Commissioner 
as aforesaid. 

This appointment was to me wholly unexpected and 
undesired. And but for the reasons urged by General 
Jackson, in his private letter, why I ought to accept the 
appointment, I should certainly have declined it, 

I had contributed much more than any one man in 
bringing this Treaty into existence ; and although exceed- 
ingly liberal and advantageous in all its provisions 
to the Cherokee people, yet it had been and still 
continued to be opposed most violently by John 
Ross and his numerous followers. The various provisions 
of the treaty in favor of individual Indians — embracing the 
valuation and payment of each individual for his improve- 
ment, the final settlement of all claims, in favor of, or 
against each individual Cherokee — all these matters re- 
quired great care in their examination, final adjustment 
and payment. Their claims for spoliations committed 
upon their property by the whites of the surrounding 
States 'or many years past required great care and most 
critical scrutiny in their adjudication. Indeed, whoever 
may study this treaty, and comprehend its provisions in 


all its parts, will find that the duties which devolved on the 
Commissioners, under its provisions, embraced subjects of 
great complication and importance. Its faithful execution 
required qualifications of the highest order of both execu- 
tive and judicial talents. Very many vastly important 
cases were brought to the consideration and decision of 
the Commissioners. 

Nevertheless the impression resting on my mind, that 
I could efficiently aid in having the treaty faithfully exe- 
cuted, without injury or destruction to the Cherokee peo- 
ple, and hasten the period of their departure from Geor- 
gia, induced me once more to embark in this most haz- 
ardous and rugged field of public labor. While there was 
danger to the Cherokees, on the one hand, and to the 
whites of Georgia, on the other, I felt it to be my duty to 
occupy any post which might be assigned me which 
promised the reward of usefulness to my fellowman. 

My commission and notification of my appointment as 
a Commissioner under the Cherokee Treaty of 1835 is 
dated the 7th of July, 1836, and on the 25th of the same 
month I entered on the duties of that office so far as to 
open a correspondence with Gov. Carroll, of Tennessee, 
my co-commissioner, and from that time I carried on 
a considerable correspondence, in writing and answering 
numerous letters connected with my new position, until 
the i8th of August, when I left home and proceeded to 
the Cherokee country, and visiting several important set- 
tlements of the Cherokees, I arrived at New Echota on 
the 2d of September, where I remained until the 8th, at 
which time I held a meeting with the Cherokee Committee 
— a committee provided for and their duties assigned 
under the provisions of the treaty. This committee con- 
sisted of John PJdge, Elias Boudinot, William Rodgers, 
John Gunter and William Chambers. From that time to 
the 15th of September I continued at New Echota, making 
arrangements and holding correspondence with various 
agents of the Government, engaged in duties connected 
with the execution of the Treaty, and hearing nothing 
from my associate Commissioner, Governor Carroll, I de- 
termined to give public notice and to invite all persons 
having claims arising under the treaty — whether Indians 
or citizens — to prepare their claims for presentation on or 
before the loth day of October, when their clahns would be 
duly received and attended to. I had received from Major 
B. F. Curry, the Superintendent of Cherokee Emigration, 
a list of his Appraising Agents, all of whom were re- 


ported to be actively engaged in the discharge of their 
several duties. 

On the 15th of Oct. John Ross and his party met at 
Red Clay, where General John E. Wool had been 
directed to attend with his military escort of United 
States Troops, to prevent any disorder or improper con- 
duct which might probably occur. 

On the same day, according to notice, various claims 
were presented, docketed and filed in proper order. And 
on the next day (being the Sabbath) we had Indian preach- 
ing in the old council chamber of the Cherokee Nation, to 
a very large and attentive congregation of Cherokee peo- 
ple. I continued thus to receive papers, and prepared for 
every class of business which could possibly be done by 
one Commissioner, and making myself personally and 
more fully acquainted with the Cherokee people, and in 
endeavoring to reconcile all malcontents with the liberdi 
provisions of the treaty. I also visited the Indians in 
various parts of the country, keeping up at the same time 
all necessary correspondence, both with the Federal and 
State Governments, their officers and agents, until the ist 
day of Dec, 1836, when Judge John Kennedy, of Tennes- 
see, arrived and reported himself to me as Commissioner 
in the place of Governor Carroll, resigned. 

I will not attempt to describe the trouble, labor and 
perplexity which had been devolved upon me alone for 
several months — all on account of the want of a co-com- 
missioner. It is out of the line of my object to expose 
the faults of others unnecessarily, but this long suspense 
and burthen thrown on me was a gross deviation of duty 
on the part of the Federal Government. 

All things considered, however, I figured that Judge 
Kennedy was by no means the inferior of Gov. Carroll in 
qualifications for the ofifice. He had not the same weight 
of character and influence with the Indians, while he 
possessed a much greater stock of legal knowledge. I 
found Judge Kennedy throughout a pleasant colleague, 
and I believe he was from principle conscientiously dis- 
posed to discharge his official duties with honesty and 

It would be altogether inadmissible to encumber the 
mind of the reader with the various details of business 
performed by the Commissioners in the course of the 
next twelve months. Suffice it to say that no men ever 
labored with more untiring assiduity, met with, subdued 
and overcame more obstructions, some of which will be 


illustrated hereafter by official documents and corre- 
spondence connected with the discharge of these duties. 

From memorandums taken from the Books of Record, 
kept by the Commissioners, on the 23d day of October, 
1837: The last judgment entered upon what we termed 
the Common Law docket was numbered 3801. On the 
same day we had decided favorably on 396 Indian claims 
for spoiliations. On the same day we had made advances 
under the Treaty to 3030 emigrating Indians, besides ex- 
amining a vast number of claims for spoliations which had 
been rejected. On the same day, from the register of pay- 
ments, it appeared that we had made advances to nearly 
one thousand Indians who had actually emigrated. On 
Register B the first name was Thomas Sawgy, or Thomas 
McCoy, and Boiled Corn ; the last being page 485. On the 
same Book B are entered the advances to persons who 
claimed to have rendered services to the nation, such as 
awyers. The first advance to a lawyer was made to 
Spencer Jonakin, of Tennessee, on the 6th of Feb'y, 1837, 
and the last to James W. McClug, of Alabama, on the 
19th of Oct., 1837. The whole number of advances made 
for lawyers' fees was to 21 different lawyers. On Book 
C the first valuation entered is to William Downing and 
the last to John Bean and Potato, page 477. The re- 
quisitions of the Commissioners may be seen on BookC, 
at the beginning of the Book — whole number of requisi- 
tions 16. the first in favor of myself and the last in 
favor of James Starr, dated the 4th Oct., 1837. The first 
dated March, 22d, 1837. Decision Book on the subject of- 
valuations: the first is the case of George Still, and the 
last the cause of the Gunters : the first dated the 15th of 
May, 1837, and the last Oct. ist, 1837, in my own hand- 
writing. Decision Book on reservations : the first claim, 
Susannah Guarreneau on the ist of June, 1837, the last 
the claim of the heirs of Joseph Phillips, dated Oct. 19th, 
1837, having decided only six cases of this character. 

My last official letter in this office was to C. A. Harris, 
and dated Oct. 23, 1837. 

Dear reader, be not surprised at rny placing what to 
you may appear strange and unintelligible memorandums 
in this place. These memorandums were taken from the 
books of the Commissioners' office, on the last day of my 
service in that office. And for the acts of the Commission- 
ers up to that date my character is responsible. Up to 
that date my official act of that office will not only bear 
the most rigid scrutiny, but, if ever examined carefully by 


competent judges, will bear testimony to the care and 
fidelity with which the business was transacted. 

From the stage of the business and its progress to the 
time of my leaving the office, and from the extraordinary 
time this office was kept open after I left and from infor- 
mation which I have received on the subject, I entertain 
no doubt that much fraud and corruption found their way 
into this very office after I left it. I do not say that the 
Commissioners who succeeded me were corrupt ; but I 
do say the office was kept up and a door left open for 
fraud sufficient to give just cause to believe that there 
was fraud and corruption somewhere in connection with 
this business. 

I have been informed that many of the claims which 
were fully examined and rejected by Judge Kennedy and 
myself were reopened, and large sums allowed to the 
claimants. If these things be so, they were wrong. I 
fear some shared spoils which they were not justly en- 
titled to receive. Thus it will be seen why I put these 
memorandums here. It is to shield my character from 
censure which is justly chargeable to others. Moreover, I 
would in this connection observe that the various record 
books to which I have referred ought now to be found 
deposited in the office of the Commissioner of Indian Af- 
fairs, at Washington ; and if they are all in their proper 
place, free from mutilation, they will go far to detect many 
frauds which may hereafter be attempted on the Govern- 

The arrangement of these books, to suit all the various 
branches of business which devolved on the Commission- 
ers, was planned and organized by myself, and if nothing 
like them can be found in any other office under the sun , 
yet I will venture to say they were well devised to prevent 
fraud, and easily understood by even Indians and plain 
common sense men. 

I believed when I left that office that most of the im- 
portant business connected with it had been transacted, 
and that what remained to be done was comparatively un- 
important. And my opinion remains unchanged. I felt, 
however, considerable reluctance in resigning the office 
before a final consummation of the discharge of every 
duty appertaining to the office. 

But I had been elected by the Legislature to the Sen- 
ate of the United States, and felt it to be my duty to enter 
upon the discharge of the duties of that important appoint- 
ment, and accordingly resigned the office of Commissioner. 


At the request of Judge Kennedy, before I left New 
Echota I submitted to him the following suggestions in 
writing — and here follows that document. 

Commissioners' Office, 

New Echota, Oct. 24, 1837. 

Views and opinions of Wilson Lumpkin, submitted at 
the request of his associate Commissioner, John Kennedy, 

From experience and close observation, I am clearly 
of the opinion that the Commissioners ought to be_ more 
and more guarded in the exercise of their discretion in 
making advances of money under the provisions of the 
treatv. No advance should hereafter be made to any 
native whatever who is not actually ready, or earnestly 
engaged in speedy preparation for departure to the West. 
Nor should any advances be made upon powers of attor- 
ney to any person whatever, except in cases where the 
necessity of that course is obvious and manifest to pro- 
mote the interest of the recipient. In all cases prosecuted 
by attorne3'S-at-law, or in fact, the Commissioners 
should cautiously guard the interest of the claimant from 
the avarice as well as the fraud of his attorney. And 
should fraudulent intent clearly manifest itself in the at- 
torneys of absent claimants, from thenceforth such attor- 
neys should not be permitted to prosecute claims before 
the Commissioners. The evidence given to the actings and 
doings of the Indian Committee ought to be curtailed — ■ 
claims hereafter presented for spoliations ought to be 
scrutinized with the severity of a court of justice. Indeed, 
all claims hereafter presented will require the most rigid 
investigation, because the spirit of fraud is every day be- 
coming more manifest. There cannot now remain very 
many omitted valuations. The attempts to establish such 
hereafter will in nine cases out of ten prove to be fraudu- 
lent. And changes in valuations already made should be 
admitted with great caution, and upon clear and satisfac- 
tory proof only. In all cases represented by white men, 
fraud may justly be suspected. Applications for increase 
of valuations should be resisted in ninety-nine cases out of 
every hundred — because in that proportion they are un- 

The books of the Commissioners' office should be per- 
fected with all practicable dispatch, by carrying every 
proper entry which records will justify to the register of 


payments. When that is accompHshed, then, and not till 
then, the estimates can be correctly and fully made up 
and prepared for the use of the disbursing agent West, 
and the requisitions of the Commissioners be made on him 
accordingly in favor of the emigrants. According to the 
instructions of the Commissioners one complete copy at 
least of all their principal books of record ought to be 
made out as soon as practicable — to-wit : a copy of the 
Register of Payments, a copy of the Judgment Book, 
or common debt docket, a copy of the Spoliation Book, 
a copy of all decisions made by the Commissioners in other 
cases not herein before designated. I am confident that 
but a short lapse of time will be necessary to produce 
another rush upon the Commissioners for further advances 
of money, under the pretense of an increased spirit of emi- 
gration. This attempt, when it is made, should be cau- 
tiously considered, and prudently but sternly resisted, so 
far as it may be intended to mislead. This spirit will ue 
gotten up by every description of persons who wish more 
money in circulation to answer their selfish purposes dur- 
ing the present winter — although they know that there 
will be but little emigration during the winter. The com- 
mittee will most zealously endeavor to contribute to this 
state of things. Many of the white people, official and 
unofficial, will do the same thing. It will require an Argus 
eye to detect attempts at deception which will be maue. 
Most of the blank books necessary for copying our rec- 
ords are already purchased and paid for, and are now in 
our office. We have three books of large size and excel- 
lent quality — just such as Register Book C, which will be 
amply sufficient for copying the whole of our judgments 
for debt, and perhaps all our decisions allowing spolia- 
tions claims. Our other decisions, upon all other sub- 
jects, might be embraced and placed on the books which 
we have already devoted to that purpose. 


Intending to submit a portion of my official corre- 
spondence in connection with this office. I have deemed it 
most expedient, for the information of those who may 
feel an interest in understanding and investigating this 
Indian subject, to insert in this place the last Treaty (of 
1835) with the Cherokee Indians. It has been so often 
adverted to, and its liberal provisions asserted, that it is 
due to the reader, to have the Treaty itself before him. 

Here follows the Cherokee Treaty of 1835. 


President of the United States of America, 

To all and singular to whom these presents shall come, 


Whereas, a Treaty was concluded at New Echota, in 
the State of Georgia, on the twenty-ninth day of Decem- 
ber, eighteen hundred and thirty-five, by Gen. William 
Carroll and John F. Schermerhorn, Commissioners on 
the part of the United States, and the Chiefs, Head Men, 
and people of the Cherokee tribe of Indians ; 

And whereas, certain articles supplementary to the said 
Treaty were agreed upon between John F. Schermerhorn, 
Commissioner on the part of the United States, and a dele- 
gation of the Cherokee people, on the first day of March, 
one thousand eight hundred and thirty-six, which treaty 
and supplementary articles are in the following words, to- 

Articles of a Treaty concluded at New Echota, in the 
State of Georgia, on the 29th day of Dec, 1835, by General 
William Carroll, and John F. Schermerhorn, Commission- 
ers on the part of the United States, and the Chiefs, Head 
Men and people of the Cherokee tribe of Indians. 

Whereas, the Cherokecs are anxious to make some ar- 
rangements with the Government of the United States 
whereby the difficulties they have experienced by a resi- 
dence within the settled parts of the United States under 
the jurisdiction and laws of the State Governments may 
be terminated and adjusted ; and with a view to reuniting 
their people in one body and securing a permanent home 
for themselves and their posterity in the country selected 
by their forefathers, without the territorial limits of the 
State sovereignties, and where they can establish and 
enjoy a government of their own choice, and perpetuate 
such a state of society as may be most consonant with 
their views, habits and conditions, and as may tend to 
their individual comfort and their advancement in civiliza- 

And whereas, a delegation of the Cherokee Nation 
composed of Messrs. John Ross, Richard Taylor, Daniel 
McCoy, Samuel Gunter and William Rogers, with full 
power and authority to conclude a treaty with the United 
States, did, on the 28th day of February, 1835, stipulate and 
agree with the Government of the United States to sub- 
mit to the Senate to fix the amount which should be 


allowed the Cherokees for their claims and for a cession oi 
their lands east of the Mississippi river, and did agree to 
abide by the award of the Senate of the United States 
themselves, and to recommend the same to their people 
for their final determination ; 

And whereas, on such submission the Senate advised 
"that a sum not exceeding five millions of dollars be paid 
to the Cherokee Indians for all their lands and possessions 
east of the Mississippi river ;" 

And whereas, this delegation, after said award of the 
Senate had been made, were called upon to submit propo- 
sitions as to the disposition to be arranged in a treaty, 
which they refused to do, but insisted that the same 
"should be referred to their Nation and there in general 
council to deliberate and determine on the subject in order 
to insure harmony and good feeling among themselves ;" 

And whereas, a certain other delegation, composed of 
John Ridge, Elias Boudinot, Archilla Smith, S. W. Bell, 
John West, William A. Davis and Ezekiel West, who rep- 
resented that p'. rtion of the Nation in favor of emigration 
to the Cherokee country west of the Mississippi, entered 
into propositions for a treaty with John F. Schermerhorn, 
Commissioner on the part of the United States, which were 
to be submitted to their Nation for their final action and 
determination ; 

And whereas, the Cherokee people, at their last October 
council, at Red Clay, fully authorized and empowered a 
delegation and committee of twenty persons of their Na- 
tion to enter into and conclude a treaty with the United 
States Commissioners then present at that place, or else- 
where, and as the people had good reason to believe that a 
treaty would then and there be made, or at a subsecjuent 
council, at Nev/ Echota, which the Commissioners it was 
well known and understood were authorized and instructed 
to convene for said purpose ; and since the said delegation 
have gone on to Washington City, with a view to close 
negotiations there, as stated by them, notwithstanding 
they were ofificially informed by the United States Com- 
missioner that they would not be received by the President 
of the United States ; and that the Government would 
transact no business of this nature with them, and that if 
a treaty was made it must be done here in the Nation, 
where the delegation at Washington last winter Ji7\^ed 
that it shoidd be done for the purpose of promoting 
peace and harmony among the people ; and since 
these facts have also been corroborated to us by a 


communication recently received by the United States and 
read and explained to the people in open council, and there- 
fore believing said delegation can effect nothing, and since 
our difficulties are daily increasing and our situation is 
rendered more and more precarious, uncertain and inse- 
cure, in consequence of the legislation of the States ; and 
seeing no effectual way of relief but in accepting the lib- 
eral overtures of the United States ; 

And whereas, General William Carroll and John F. 
Schermerhorn were appointed Commissioners on the part 
of the United States, with full power and authority to con- 
clude a treaty with the Cherokees east, and were directed 
by the President to convene the people of the Nation in 
general council at New Echota, and to submit said ])ropo- 
sitions to them, with power and authority to vary the same 
so as to meet the views of the Cherokees in reference to its 
details ; 

And whereas, the said Commissioners did appoint and 
notify a general council of the Nation to convene at New 
Echota on the 21st day of December, 1835, and informed 
them that the Commissioners would be prepared to make a 
treaty with the Cherokee people who should assemble 
there, and those who did not come they should conclude 
gave their assent and sanction to whatever should be 
transacted at this council, and the people having met in 
council according to said notice ; 

Therefore, the following articles of a Treaty are agreed 
upon and concluded between Wm. Carroll and John F. 
Schermerhorn, Commissioners on the part of the United 
States and the Chiefs and Head Men and people of the 
Cherokee Nation, in general council assembled the 29th 
day of December, 1835. 

Article i. The Cherokee Nation hereby cede, relinquish 
and convey to the United States all the lands owned, 
claimed or possessed by them east of the Mississippi river, 
and hereby release all their claims upon the United States 
for spoliations of every kind, for and in consideration of 
the sum of five millions of dollars, to be expended, paid and 
invested in the manner stipulated and agreed upon in the 
following articles. But as a question has arisen between 
the Commissioners and the Cherokees whether the Senate 
in their resolution, by which they advised "that a sum not 
exceeding five millions of dollars be paid to the Cherokee 
Indians for all their land and possessions east of the Mis- 
sissippi river," have included and made any allowance or 
consideration for claims for spoliations, it is therefore 


agreed on the part of the United States that this question 
shall be again submitted to the Senate for their considera- 
tion and decision, and if no allowance was made for spolia- 
tions that then an additional sum of three hundred thou- 
sand dollars be allowed for the same. 

Article 2. Whereas, by the Treaty of May 6th, 1828, and 
the supplementary' treaty thereto of Feb'y 14th, 1833, with 
the Cherokees west of the Mississippi, the United States 
guaranteed and secured to be conveyed by patent to the 
Cherokee Nation of Indians the following tract of country : 
''Beginning at a point on the old western territorial line of 
Arkansas Territory, being twenty-five miles north from 
the point where the territorial line crosses Verdigris river ; 
thence down said Verdigris river to the Arkansas river; 
thence down said Arkansas to a point where a stone is 
placed opposite the east or lower bank of Grand river, at its 
junction with the Arkansas ; thence running south forty- 
four degrees west one mile ; thence in a straight line to a 
point four miles northerly from the mouth of the north 
fork of the Canadian ; thence along the said four mile line 
to the Canadian ; thence down the Canadian to the Ar- 
kansas , thence down the Arkansas to that point on ihe 
Arkansas where the eastern Choctaw boundary strikes 
said river, and running thence with the western line of Ar- 
kansas Territory, as now defined, to the southwest corner 
of Missouri ; thence along the western Missouri line to the 
land assigned the Senecas ; thence on the south line of the 
Senecas to Grand river ; thence up said Grand river as far 
as the south line of the Osage reservation, extending- if 
necessary; then:e up and between said south Osage line, 
extended west if necessary, and a line drawn due west from 
the point of beginning to a certain distance west, at which 
a line running north and south from said Osage line to 
said due west line will make seven millions of acres within 
the whole described boundaries. In addition to the seven 
millions of acres of land thus provided for and bounded, 
the United States further guarantee to the Cherokee Na- 
tion a perpetual outlet west and a free and unmolested use 
of all the country west of the western boundary of said 
seven millions of acres, as far west as the sovereignty of 
the United States and their right of soil extend. 

"Provided, however, That if the saline or salt plain on 
the western prairie shall fall within said limits prescribed 
by said outlet, the right is reserved to the United States to 
permit other tribes of red men to get salt on said plain in 
common with the Cherokees ; and letters patent shall be 


issued by the United States as soon as practicable for the 
land herebv sriiaranteed." 

And whereas, it is apprehended by the Cherokees that 
in the above cession there is not contained a sufficient 
quantity of land for the accommodation of the whole Na- 
tion on their removal west of the Mississippi, the United 
States, in consideration of the sum of five hundred thou- 
sand dollars, therefore, hereby covenant and agree to con- 
vey to the said Indians and their descendants by patent, in 
fee simple, the following additional tract of land, situated 
between the west line of the State of Missouri and the 
Osage reservation, beginning at the southeast corner of the 
same and runs north along the east line of the Osage lands 
fifty miles to the northeast corner thereof ; and thence uast 
to the west line of the State of Missouri ; thence with said 
line south fifty miles ; thence west to the place of begin- 
ning, estimated to contain eight hundred thousand acres of 
land ; but it is expressly understood that if any of the lands 
assigned the Indians shall fall within the aforesaid bounds 
the same shall be reserved and accepted out of the lands 
above granted, and a pro rata reduction shall be made in 
the price to be allowed to the United States for the same 
by the Cherokees. 

Article 3. The United States also agree that the lands 
above ceded by the Treaty of Feb'y 14, 1833, including the 
outlet and those ceded by this Treaty, shall all be included 
in one patent executed to the Cherokee Nation of Indians 
by the President of the United States, according to the pro- 
visions of the act of May 28, 1830. It is, however, agreed 
that the military reservation at Fort Gibson shall be held 
by the United States. But should the United States aban- 
don said post, and have no further use for the same, it shall 
revert to the Cherokee Nation. The United States shall 
always have the right to make and establish such ])Osts 
and military roads and forts in any part of the Cherokee 
country as they may deem proper for the interest and 
protection of the same, and the free use of as much land, 
timber, and fuel and materials of all kinds for the construc- 
tion and support of the same as may be necessary ; pro- 
vided that if the private rights of individuals are interfered 
with a just compensation therefore shall be made. 

Article 4. The United States also stipulate and agree 
to extinguish for the benefit of the Cherokees the titles to 
the reservations within their country, made in the Osage 
Treaty of 1825, to certain half breeds, and for this purpose 
they hereby agree to pay to the persons to whom the same 


belong or have been assigned, or to their agents or guar- 
dians, whenever they shall execute, after the ratification of 
this treaty, a satisfactory conveyance for the same, to the 
United States, the sum of fifteen thousand dollars, accord- 
ing to the schedule accompanying this Treaty of the rela- 
tive value of the several reservations. 

And whereas, by the several treaties between the United 
States and the Osage Indians, the Union and Harmony 
Missionary reservations which were established for their 
benefit are now situated within the country ceded by them 
to the United States, the former being situated in the 
Cherokee country and the latter in the State of Missouri : 
It is therefore agreed that the United States shall pay the 
American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, 
for the improvements on the same, what they shall be ap- 
praised at by Capt. Geo. Vashon, Cherokee Sub Agent, 
Abraham Redfield and A. P. Chouteau, or such persons 
as the President of the United States shall appoint, and 
the money allowed for the same shall be expended in 
schools among the Osages and improving their condition. 
It is understood that the United States are to pay the 
amount allowed for the reservation in this article, and not 
the Cherokees. 

Article 5. The United States hereby covenant and 
agree that the lands ceded to the Cherokee Nation in the 
foregoing article shall in no future time, without their con- 
sent, be included within the territorial limits or jurisdic- 
tion of any State or Territory. But they shall secure to 
the Cherokee Nation the right, by their national council, to 
make and carry into effect all such laws as they may deem 
necessary for the government and protection of the per- 
sons and property within their own country, belonging to 
their people or such persons as have connected themselves 
with them ; provided always that they shall not be incon- 
sistent with the Constitution of the United States and such 
acts of Congress as have been or may be passed regulating 
trade and intercourse with the Indians ; and also that thev 
shall not be considered as extending to such citizens and 
army of the United States as may travel and reside in the 
Indian country by permission, according to the laws and 
regulations established by the Government of the same. 

Article 6. Perpetual peace and friendship shall exist 
between the citizens of the United States and the Cherokee 
Indians. The United States agree to protect the Cherokee 
Nation from domestic strife and foreign enemies, and 
against intestine wars between the several tribes. The 


Cherokees shall endeavor to preserve and maintain the 
peace of the country, and not make war upon their neigh- 
bors ; they shall also be protected against interruption and 
intrusion from citizens of the United States who may at- 
tempt to settle in the country without their consent ; and 
all such persons shall be removed from the same by order 
of the President of the United States. But this is not in- 
tended to prevent the residence among them of useful 
farmers, mechanics and teachers for the instruction of In- 
dians according to treaty stipulations. 

Article 7. The Cherokee Nation having already made 
great progress in civilization, and deeming it important 
that every proper and laudable inducement should be 
offered to their people to improve their condition, as well 
as to guard and secure in the most effectual manner the 
rights guaranteed to them in this Treaty, and with a view 
to illustrate the liberal and enlarged policy of the Govern- 
ment of the United States towards the Indians, in their 
removal beyond the territorial limits of the States, it is 
stipulated that they shall be entitled to a delegate in the 
House of Representatives of the United States, whenever 
Congress shall make provision for the same. 

Article 8. The United States also agree and stipulate 
to remove the Cherokees to their new homes, and to sub- 
sist them one year after their arrival there, and that a suf- 
ficient number of steamboats and baggage wagons shall be 
furnished to remove them comfortably, and so as not to 
endanger their health, and that a physician, well supplied 
with medicines, shall accompany each detachment of emi- 
grants removed by the Government. Such persons and 
families as, in the opinion of the emigrating agent, are cap- 
able of subsisting and removing themselves, shall be per- 
mitted to do so ; and they shall be allowed in full for all 
claims for the same twenty dollars for each member of 
their family ; and in lieu of their one year's rations they 
shall be paid the sum of thirty-three dollars and thirty- 
three cents, if they prefer it. Such Cherokees as also 
reside at present out of the Nation and shall remove with 
them in two years west of the Mississippi shall be entitled 
to allowance for removal and subsistence as above pro- 

Article 9. The United States agree to appoint suitable 
agents, who shall make a just and fair valuation of all such 
improvements now in the possession of the Cherokees as 
add any value to the lands ; and also of the ferries owned 
by them, according to their net income, and such improve- 


ments and ferries from which they have been dispossessed 
in a lawless manner, or under any existing laws of the 
State where the same may be situated. The just debts of 
the Indians shall be paid out of any moneys due them for 
their improvements and claims, and they shall also be fur- 
nished, at the discretion of the President of the United 
States, with a sufficient sum to enable them to obtain the 
necessary means to remove themselves to their new 
homes, and the balance of their dues shall be paid them at 
the Cherokee Agency west of the Mississippi. The 
missionary establishments shall also be valued and ap- 
praised in a like manner, and the amount of them paid over 
by the United States to the treasurer of the respective 
missionary societies by whom they have been established 
and improved, in order to enable them to erect such build- 
ings and make such improvements among the Cherokees 
west of the Mississippi as they may deem necessary for 
their benefit. Such teachers at present among the Chero- 
kees as this Council shall select and designate shall be re- 
moved west of the Mississippi with the Cherokee Nation, 
and on the same terms allowed to them. 

Article lo. The President of the United States shall 
invest in some safe and most productive public stock of 
the country, for the benefit of the whole Cherokee Nation 
who have removed or shall remove to the lands assigned 
by this Treaty to the Cherokee Nation west of the Missis- 
sippi, the following sums, as a permanent fund for the pur- 
pose hereinafter specified, and pay over the net income of 
the same annually to such person or persons as shall be 
authorized or appointed by the Cherokee Nation to receive 
the same, and their receipt shall be a full discharge for the 
amount paid to them, viz : the sum of two hundred thou- 
sand dollars, in addition to the present annuities of the 
nation, to constitute a general fund, the interest of which 
shall be applied annually by the Council of the Nation to 
such purposes as they may deem best for the general in- 
terest of their people. The sum of fifty thousand dollars, 
to constitute an orphans' fund, the annual income of which 
shall be expended towards the support and education of 
such orphan children as are destitute of the means of sub- 
sistence. The sum of one hundred and fifty thousand dol- 
lars, in addition to the present school fund of the Nation, 
shall constitute a permanent school fund, the interest of 
which shall be applied annually by the Council of Nation 
for the support of common schools and such a literary 
institution of a higher order as may be established in the 



Indian country. And in order to secure as far as possible 
the true and beneficial application of the orphans and 
school fund, the Council of the Cherokee Nation, when re- 
quired by the President of the United States, shall make a 
report of the application of those funds, and he shall at all 
times have the right, if the funds have been misapplied, to 
correct any abuses of them and direct the manner of their 
application for the purposes for which they were intended. 
The Council of the Nation may, by giving two years' notice 
of their intention, withdraw their funds, by and with the 
consent of the President and Senate of the United States, 
and invest them in such manner as they may deem most 
proper for their interest. The United States also agree 
and stipulate to pay the just debts and claims against the 
Cherokee Nation held by the citizens of the same, also the 
just claims of citizens of the United States for services 
rendered to the Nation, and the sum of sixty thousand dol- 
lars is appropriated for this purpose, but no claims against 
individual persons of the Nation shall be allowed and paid 
by the Nation. 

Article 11. The Cherokee Nation of Indians, believing 
it will be for the interest of their people to have all their 
funds and annuities under their own direction and future 
disposition, herebv agree to commute their permanent an- 
nuity of ten thousand dollars for the sum of two hundred 
and fourteen thousand dollars, the same to be invested by 
the President of the United States as a part of the general 
fund of the Nation ; and their present school fund, amount- 
ing to about fifty thousand dollars, shall constitute a part of 
the permanent school fund of the Nation. 

Article 12. Those individuals and families of the Cher- 
okee Nation that are averse to a removal to the Cherokee 
country, west of the Mississippi, and are desirous to become 
citizens of the States where they reside, and such as are 
qualified to take care of themselves and their property, 
shall be entitled to receive their due portion of all the 
personal benefits accruing under this Treaty for their 
claims, improvements and per capita as soon as an appro- 
priation is made for this Treaty. 

It is stipulated and agreed between the United States 
and the Cherokee people that John Ross, James Starr, 
George Hicks, John Gunter, George Chambers, Jolm 
Ridge, Elias Boudinot, George Sanders, John Martin, 
William Rodgers, Roman Nose Situwake and John Simp- 
son shall be a committee on the part of the Cherokees 
to select the missionaries who shall be removed 



with the Nation ; r.nd that they be hereby fully empowered 
and authorized to transact all business on the part of the 
Indians which may arise in carrying into effect the provi- 
sions of this Treaty and settling the same with the United 
States. If any of the persons above mentioned should de- 
cline acting, or be removed by death, the vacancies shall be 
filled by the committee themselves. 

Article 13. In order to make a final settlement of all 
the claims of the Cherokees for reservations, granted 
under former treaties, to any individuals belonging to the 
Nation by the United States, it is therefore hereby stipu- 
lated and agreed and expressly understood by the parties 
to this Treaty, that all the Cherokees and their heirs and 
descendants to whom any reservations have been made 
under any former treaties with the United States, and who 
have not sold or conveyed the same, by deed or otherwise, 
and Avho in the opinion of the Commissioners have com- 
plied with the terms on which the reservations were 
granted, as far as practicable in the several cases, and 
which reservations have since been sold by the United 
States, shall constitute a just claim against the United 
States, and the original reserve, or their heirs or descend- 
ants, shall be entitled to receive the present value thereof 
from the United States, as unimproved lands. And 
all such reservations as have not been sold by the United 
States, and where the terms on which the reservations were 
made, in the opinion or the Commissioners, have been com- 
plied with as far as practicable, they, or their heirs or de- 
scendants, shall be entitled to the same, they are hereby 
granted and confirmed to them ; and all such reserves as 
were obliged by the laws of the States in which their re- 
servations were situated, to abandon the same or purchase 
them from the States, shall be deemed to have a just claim 
against the United States for the amount by them paid to 
the States, with interest thereon, for such reservations, and 
if obliged to abandon the same, to the present value of such 
reservations as unimproved lands ; but in all cases where 
the reservees have sold their reservations, or any part 
thereof, and conveyed the same, by deed or otherwise, and 
have been paid for the same, they, their heirs or descend- 
ants or assigns, shall not be considered as having any 
claims upon the United States under this article of the 
Treaty, nor be entitled to receive any compensation for the 
lands thus disposed of. It is expressly understood by the 
parties to this Treaty that the amount to be allowed for 
reservations under this article shall not be deducted out of 


the consideration money allowed to the Cherokees for 
their claims for spoliations and the cession of their lands ; 
but the same is to be paid for independently by the United 
States, as it is only a just fulfilment of former treaty stipu- 

Article 14. It is also agreed on the part of the United 
States that such warriors of the Cherokee Nation as were 
engaged on the side of the United States in the late war 
with Great Britain, and the Southern tribes of Indians, 
and who were wounded in such service, shall be entitled to 
such pensions as shall be allowed them by the Congress of 
the United States, to commence from the period of their 

Article 15. It is expressly understood and agreed be- 
tween the parties to this Treaty, that after deducting the 
amount which shall be actually expended for the payment 
for improvements, ferries, claims for spoliations, removal, 
subsistence and debts and claims upon the Cherokee Na- 
tion, and for the additional quantity of lands and goods for 
the poorer class of Cherokees, and the several sums to be 
invested for the general national funds, provided for in 
the several articles of this Treaty, may the balance whatever 
the sum be, shall be equally divided between all the people 
belonging to the Cherokee Nation east, according to the 
census just completed ; and such Cherokees as have re- 
moved Avest since June, 1833, who are entitled by the terms 
of this enrollment and removal to all the benefits resulting 
from the final treaty between the United States and the 
Cherokees east, they shall also be paid for their improve- 
ments, according to their approved value, before their 
removal, where fraud has not already been shown in their 

Article 16. It is hereby stipulated and agreed by the 
Cherokees, that they shall remove to their new homes 
within two years from the ratification of this Treaty, and 
that during such time the United States shall protect and 
defend them in their possessions and property, and free use 
and occupation of the same, and such persons as have been 
dispossessed of their im.provements and houses, and for 
which no grant has actually issued previously to the enact- 
ment of the law of the State of Georgia of December, 1835, 
to regulate Indian occupancy, shall be again put in pos- 
session, and placed in the same situation and condition, in 
reference to the laws of the State of Georgia, as the In- 
dians that have not been dispossessed, and if this is not 
done, and the people are left unprotected, then the United 


States shall pay the several Cherokees for the losses and 
damages sustained by them in consequence thereof. And 
it is also stipulated and agreed, that the public buildings 
and improvements on which they are situated at New 
Echota, for which no grant has been actually made previous 
to the passage of the above recited act, if not occupied by 
the Cherokee people, shall be reserved for the public and 
free use of the United States and the Cherokee Indians, for 
the purpose of settling and closing all the Indian business 
arising under this Treaty between the Commissioners ot 
claims and the Indians. 

The United States, and the several States interested m 
the Cherokee lands, shall immediately proceed to survey 
the lands ceded by this treaty ; but it is expressly agreed 
and understood between the parties that the agency hold- 
ings and that tract of land surveyed and laid of¥ for the 
use of Col. R. J. Meigs, Indian Agent, or heretofore en- 
joyed and occupied by his successors in office, shall con- 
tinue subject to the use and occupancy of the United 
States, or such agent as may be engaged specially super- 
intending the removal of the tribe. 

Article 17. All the claims arising under, or provided for, 
in the several articles of this Treaty shall be examined and 
adjudicated by such commissioners as shall be appointed 
by the President of the United States for that purpose, and 
their decision shall be final, and, on their certificate of the 
amount due the several claimants, they shall be paid by the 
United States. All stipulations in former treaties which 
have not been superseded or annulled by this shall con- 
tinue in full force and virtue. 

Article 18. Whereas, in consequence of the unsettled 
afifairs of the Cherokee people, and the early frosts, their 
crops are insufficient to support their families, and great 
distress is likely to ensue ; and whereas, the Nation will not 
until after their removal be able advantageously to expend 
the income of the permanent funds of the Nation ; it is 
therefore agreed that the annuities of the Nation which 
may accrue under this Treaty for two years, the time fixed 
for their removal, shall be expended in provision and 
clothing for the benefit of the poorer class of the Nation ; 
and the United States hereby agree to advance the same 
for that purpose, as soon after the ratification of this Treaty 
as an appropriation for the same shall be made. It is not, 
however, intended in this article to interfere with that part 
of the annuities due the Cherokees west by the Treaty of 


Article 19. This Treaty, after the same shall be ratified 
by the President and Senate of the United States, shall be 
obligatory on the contracting parties. 

In testimony whereof the Commissioners and Chiefs, 
Head Men and people whose names are hereunto annexed, 
being duly authorized by the people in General Council 
assembled, have affixed their hands and seals for them- 
selves and in behalf of the Cherokee Nation. 

I have examined the foregoing Treaty and, although not 
present when it was made, I approve its provisions gener- 
ally, and therefore sign it. 

Wm. Carroll, L. S. 

J. F. Schermerhorn, L. S. 

Major Ridge, his X mark, L. S. 

James Foster, his X mark, L. S. 

Tesa-ta-esky, his X mark, L. S. 

Charles Moore, his X mark, L. S. 
George Chambers, his X mark, L. S. 

Tah-yeske, his X mark, L. S. 

Archilla* Smith, his X mark. L. S. 

Andrew Ross, L. S. 

William Lapley, L. S. 

Cae-te-hee, his X mark. L S. 

Te-gah-e-ske, his X mark, L. S. 

Robert Rogers, L. S. 

John Gunter, L. S. 

John A. Bell, L. S. 

Charles F. Foreman, L. S. 

William Rogers, L. S. 

George W. Adair, L. S. 

Elias Boudinot, L. S. 

James Starr, his X mark, L. S. 

Jesse Half-breed, his X mark, L. S. 

Signed and sealed in presence of 

Western B. Thomas, Sec'y. 

Benj. F. Curry, Special Agent. 

M. Wolf Bateman, ist Lt. 6th U. S. A. Ind. Disbg Agt. 

John L. Hooper, Lt. 4th Inf. 

C. M. Hitchcock, M. D., Assist. Surg. U. S. A. 

G. W. Curry. 

W. H. Underwood. 

Cornelius D. Terhune. 

John W. H. Underwood. 

* So written in the manuscript, btit probably intended for Ashel R. Smith, 
who was an original settler of Gwinnett County Georgia, as stated by Rev. Geo. 
White, in his Statistics of Georgia, p. 297. 


In compliance with instructions of the council at New 
Echota we sign this treaty. 

March i, 1836. 

Witnesses : 

Elbert Herring. 
Alexander H. Everett. 
John Robb. 
D. Kutz. 
Wm. Y. Hansen. 
Samuel I. Potts. 
John Little. 
S. Rockwell. 

Whereas, the Western Cherokees have appointed a 
delegation to visit the Eastern Cherokees, to assure them 
of the friendly disposition of their people and their desire 
that the Nation should be united as one people and to urge 
upon them the expediency of accepting the overtures of 
the Government, and that, on their removal, they may be 
assured of a hearty welcome and an equal participation 
with them in all the benefits and privileges of the Chero- 
kee country west, and the undersigned, two of said delega- 
tion, being the only delegates in the Eastern Nation from 
the West at the signing and sealing the Treaty lately con- 
cluded at New Echota, between their Eastern brethren 
and the United States, and having fully understood the 
provisions of the same, they agree to it in behalf of the 
Western Cherokees. But it is expressly understood that 
nothing in this Treaty shall efifect any claims of the West- 
ern Cherokees on the United States. In testimony where- 
of we have, this 31st day of December, 1835, hereunto set 
our hands and seals. 


JOHN SMITH, his X mark, (L.S.) 
Delegates from the Western Cherokees. 


Benj. F. Curry, 

Special Agent. 

M. W. Bateman, 

First Lieut. 6th Infantry. 

John L. Hooper, 

Lieut. 4th Infantry. 

Elias Boudinot. '• 



Supplementary articles to a Treaty, concluded at New 
Echota, Georgia, December 29, 1835, iDetween the United 
States and Cherokee people. 

Whereas, the undersigned were authorized at the Gen- 
eral Meeting of the Cherokee people, held at New Echota 
as above stated, to make and assent to such alterations in 
the preceding Treaty as might be thought necessary ; and 
whereas, the President of the United States has expressed 
his determination not to allow any pre-emptions or reser- 
vations, his desire being that the whole Cherokee people 
should remove together, and establish themselves in the 
country provided for them west of the Mississippi river : 

Article I. It is therefore agreed that all the pre-emp- 
tion rights and reservations, provided for in articles 12 and 
13, shall be and are hereby relinquished and declared void. 

Article 2. Whereas, the Cherokee people have sup- 
posed that the sum of five millions of dollars, fixed by the 

Senate in their resolution of day of March, 1835, as 

the value of the Cherokee lands and possessions east of 
the Mississippi river, was not intended to include the 
amount which may be required to remove them, nor the 
value of certain claims which many of their people had 
against citizens of the United States, which suggestion 
has been confirmed by the opinion expressed to the War 
Department by some of the Senators who voted upon the 
question, and, whereas, the President is willing that this 
subject should be referred to the Senate for their consid- 
erations, and if it was not intended by the Senate that the 
above mentioned sum of five millions of dollars should in- 
clude the object herein specified, that in that case such 
further provision should be made therefor as might ap- 
pear to the Senate to be just ; 

Article 3. It is therefore agreed that the sum of six 
hundred thousand dollars shall be and the same is hereby 
allowed to the Cherokee people to include the expense of 
their removal, and all claims of every nature and descrip- 
tion against the Government of the United States not 
herein otherwise expressly provided for, and to be in lieu 
of the said reservations and pre-emptions and of the sum 
of three hundred thousand dollars for spoliations de- 
scribed in the 1st article of the above mentioned Treaty. 
This sum of six hundred thousand dollars shall be applied 
and distributed agreeably to the provisions of the said 
Treaty, and any surplus which may remain after removal 
and payment of the claims so ascertained shall be turned 
over and belong to the education fund. 


But it is expressly understood that the subject of this 
article is merely referred hereby to the consideration of 
the Senate, and if they shall approve the same then this 
supplement shall remain part of the Treaty. 

Article 4. It is also understood that the provisions in 
Article 16, for the Agency reservation, is not intended to 
interfere with the occupant right of any Cherokees, should 
their improvement fall within the same. It is also under- 
stood and agreed that one hundred thousand dollars, ap- 
propriated in Article 12 for the poorer class of Cherokees 
and intended as a set off to the pre-emption rights, shall 
now be transferred from the funds of the Nation and added 
to the general national fund of four hundred thousand dol- 
lars, so as to make said fund equal to five hundred thou- 
sand dollars. 

Article 5. The necessary expenses attending the nego- 
tiation of the aforesaid treaty and supplement, and also of 
such persons of the delegation as may sign the same, shall 
be defrayed by the United States. 

In testimony whereof, John F. Schermerhorn, commis- 
sioner on the part of the United States, and the under- 
signed delegation have hereunto set their hands and seals, 
this first day of March, in the year one thousand eight 
hundred and thirty-six. 

J. F. Schermerhorn, L. S. 

Major Ridge, his X mark, L. S. 

James Foster, his X mark, L. S. 

Tah-ye-ske, his X mark, L. S. 
Long Shell Turtle, his X mark, L. S. 

John Fields, his X mark, L. S. 

James Fields, his X mark, L. S. 

George Welch, his X mark, L. S. 

Andrew Ross, L. S. 

William Rogers, L. S. 

John Gunter, L. S. 

John A. Bell, L. S. 

Jos. A. Foreman, L. S. 

Robert Sanders, L. S. 

Elias Boudinot, L. S. 

Johnson Rogers, L. S. 

James Starr, his X mark, L. S. 

Stand Watie, L. S. 

John Ridge, L. S. 

James Rogers, L. S. 

John Smith, his X mark, L. S. 


Witnesses : 

Elbert Herring, 

Thos. Glascock, 

Alexander H. Everett, 

John Garland, Major U. S. A. 

C. A. Harris, 

John Robb, 

Wm. Y. Hansen, 

Sam'l J. Potts, 

John Little, 

S. Rockwell. 

Now therefore, Be it Known, that I, Andrew Jackson, 
President of the United States of America, having seen and 
considered the said Treaty, and also the Supplementary 
Articles thereto annexed, do, in pursuance of the advice of 
the Senate, as expressed in their resolution of the 
eighteenth day of May, one thousand eight hundred and 
thirty-six, accept, ratify, and confirm the same, with the 
following amendments thereto, as expressed in the afore- 
said resolution of the Senate, "Article 17, lines 2 and 3, 
strike out the words 'by General Wm. Carroll and John 
F. Schermerhorn,' or in the 4th line of the same Article, 
after the word 'States,' by and with the advice and con- 
sent of the Senate of the United States." "Strike out the 
20th Article, which appears as a supplementary article." 

In testimony whereof, I have caused the seal of the 
United States to be hereunto affixed, having signed the 
same with my hand. 

Done at the city of Washington, 
this twenty-third day of May, in the 
year of our Lord, one thousand eight 
hundred and thirty-six, and of the In- 
dependence of the United States the 

By the President : 

John Forsyth, 

Secretary of State. 

After my repeated avowals for many years past, when 
in various high official stations, and before the whole peo- 
ple of the United States, that I considered myself amongst 
the most devoted friends and benefactors of the Cheroket: 


Indians, and that I would favor no measure or policy 
which was not designed or calculated to promote their 
best and permanent interest ; and having acted the most 
efficient part in bringing about and consummating the fore- 
going treaty, I feel it my duty thus to submit the entire 
treaty, in connection with my own official acts on the sub- 
ject, that an impartial posterity may have an opportunity 
of judging from deeds, as well as my words, in regard to 
my true spirit towards this deeply interesting people, the 
Cherokee Indians. 

As an official mediator between them and the whites, 
in various instances of great importance, and deeply ex- 
cited feelings on both sides, duty has called upon me to 
decide and act between men of these diiiferent castes. I 
never shrank from responsibility ; I always acted promptly. 
I do not claim infallibility from error. My action on some 
occasions may have borne oppressively on the one side or 
the other, but none of my survivors, who may faithfully 
examine the whole history of the controversy between 
Georgia and tie Cherokee Indians, will deny to me the 
just claim of leaving been as much devoted to the true 
interest and the just and reasonable rights of the Chero- 
kees as to that of my own beloved Georgia, to whom I 
owe the deepest debt of gratitude for placing me in vari- 
ous positions of usefulness. 

As will more fully appear from the correspondence 
which I intend to submit in connection with the discharge 
of my official duties as Commissioner under the Treaty of 
1835, it is proper to state in this place something explana- 
tory of the nature and causes of the extraordinary labor 
and responsibility which devolved on me. I had been 
instrumental in bringing about this Treaty. It had been 
negotiated and entered into by the most enlightened and 
best men of the Cherokee people. But it was bitterly op- 
posed by John Ross and all his followers. Ross opposed 
it because it was negotiated by his rivals and because 
it did not recognize him as anything more than a conu)wn 
Indian. Moreover, he knew the popularity of his 
course with many of the popular men of the 
United States, as well as the ignorant and deluded 
fanatics everywhere. He therefore determined to make 
the most of his position. He determined to secure for 
himself and friends more money, and by these means 
gain the position to re-instate himself after the emigration 
to the West. And this he has effected by the bold stroke 


of murdering the Ridges, Boudinot, and many others who 
were known to be opposed to his promotion. 

The President and authorities of the United States de- 
termined honestly and faithfully to carry this Treaty into 
full effect, and so they declared upon all proper occa- 
sions ; but in doing this, from first to last, the olBcers and 
agents of the United States, with the single exception of 
General Jackson himself, performed their duty in connec- 
tion with this subject in a manner and in a spirit to con- 
ciliate and purchase the good will of John Ross and his 

They therefore treated Ross and his party with great 
deference and respect. Their deportment was such as to 
elevate Ross and his friend? at the expense of prostrating 
the Treaty party. This to me was exceedingly ofifensive. 
Ross had been divested of his kingly reign as principal 
chief by the action of the State Government of Georgia ; by 
the same action the majority of the Cherokees, including 
the larger portion of their intelligence, had become favora- 
ble to emigration, and had formed a very advantageous 
treaty accordinp-ly. The treaty had been formally and duly 
ratified — which consequently made John Ross to all 
intents and purposes a private man. Yet all the officials 
of the United States, except General Jackson and a few of 
his personal friends, were Ross men at heart, and as far 
as their official position would allow they endeavored to 
elevate and strengthen Ross at the expense of the best 
interest of the Cherokee people. The military command- 
ers who were sent to preserve the peace of the country, 
and to aid in the peaceable emigration of the Cherokees, in 
almost every instance took sides with Ross as far as they 
dared to go. 

At the expiration of General Jackson's Presidency 
there Vv^as an obvious change in the tone of the authorities 
at Washington in regard to the execution of the treaty. 
"It is true," they continued to say, "the Treaty must be exe- 
cuted." But John Ross had now become principal chief. 
He was no longer a dethroned chief. He must be con- 
ciliated, not forced. I soon discovered that Mr. 
Van Bur en was too short in his stride '''to tread in 
the footsteps of his ilhistrious predecesssor." The true 
state of this case is such as has never occurred before or 
since. Georgia had forced this state of things, not only 
upon the Indians but upon the Federal Government, be- 
fore that Government was quite ready for this rapid ad- 


vance to the consummation of Indian difficulties. The ad- 
joining States to Georgia, interested as most of them 
were in the success of Georgia, rather reluctantly fell into 
ranks after Georgia had fought the battle solitary and 
alone. And yet Georgia had by many years' toil and exer- 
tion succeeded in bringing matters to a point where re- 
treat was impracticable — wholly out of the question. 
Georgia now had the commanding position, and was re- 
solved to hold it. I could have executed this Treaty, if I 
could have had the sole control, at one-third of the ex- 
pense incurred, with more justice to all concerned and 
much greater benefit to the Cherokee people, by the 
single arm of the State of Georgia, with my friends Gen- 
eral Cofifee and Col. Bishop in the command of a few 
hundred sons of Georgia. Again and again I urged upon 
Mr. Van Buren and the Secretary of War, Mr. Poinsett, 
the necessity of using the imperative tone with John Ross 
and his followers. And they as often plead the great deli- 
cacy of the subject and the necessity of concihating so 
great a man, with all his political associates throughout 
the United States. They were sustained in these views by 
their chief commander General Wool, and others, and I 
was viewed as rough, rank and uncourteous to the great 
Indian Prince, John Ross. Finally, after I took my seat in 
the Senate of the United States, I reluctantly yielded to 
their buying up Ross with more money and the parade of 
General Scott and his troops in the Cherokee countrv. 
Nothing induced me to yield thus far but the conviction 
that their bad management had produced a state of things 
which would end in blood and the extermination of a por- 
tion of the Cherokees, if their dallying policy was further 
pursued. And the result of this conciliating temporizing 
policy ended in the murder of the Ridges and Boudinot. 

And after they were murdered I urgently pressed the 
President and Secretary of War to have their murderers 
punished. I was replied to with fair promises and ex- 
pressions of deep regret. But here the scene closed ; and 
the sun set in darkness on these base and horrid trage- 
dies. But I will give portions of my correspondence, 
which will more fully elucidate and bear me out in all the 
statements made in connection with this subject. Many 
of my political friends and foes in Georgia censured m.e 
for my course in the Senate, in yielding what I did to Ross 
and the administration. Moreover, falsehoods were added 
to facts, by endeavoring to make the people of Georgia 


believe that I was privy to an arrangement designed to 
keep the Cherokees still longer in Georgia. But all these 
false impressions I corrected on the floor of the Senate 
of the United States, as will be fully shown hereafter by 
my remarks made in the Senate at the time. 

It is due to the cause of truth for me here to state 
that the disposition to misrepresent me on this subject 
is chargeable to those who had always acted with me in 
politics. The object of a few aspirants was evidently to 
force me from the political field, to make room for them- 
selves. They felt like Mordecai had occupied the gate 
long enough. But their efforts only recoiled upon them- 
selves, without injuring me in the slightest degree. For it 
was admitted from one end of the Union to the other that 
I had been the unfaltering and efficient instrument in re- 
moving the Cherokees to the West, as well as carrying 
into effect the general plan of Indian emigration from all 
the States to their new homes in the West. But without 
further anticipating what I am prepared to submit in an 
official and indisputable form, I will here introduce such 
portions of my official correspondence as Commissioner 
to carry into efifect the provisions of the treaty as may be 
deemed necessary to establish beyond all doubt the truths 
of all the assertions I have made in connection with this 
subject. And when I have thus presented the official testi- 
mony I feel assured that every one capable of reading 
and comprehending what he reads will be convinced that 
I could in no other way have done myself justice on this 
subject. I encountered difficulties and obstructions at 
every step of my progress, which can be described in no 
other way but that of giving a larger share of my most 
important official correspondence. 


Official correspondence connected with the execution 
of the Cherokee Treaty of 1835. 

Letter of leading Cherokees to Gov. Lumpkin. 

New Echota, Ga., July 8, 1836. 

To His Ex. Wilson Lumpkin. 

Sir : — The undersigned have heard with pleasure that the 
President has appointed you one of the Commissioners 
under the 17th article of the Treaty with the Cherokees. 
Permit us to congratulate you in this instance of the Presi- 
dent's confidence in your intimate knowledge and connec- 
tion with our alTairs for several years. Under this appoint- 
ment, we think a most suitable one, and we have every 
assurance in the belief that the trust imposed upon you will 
be most faithfully executed to the 7^elief and advantage of 
our suffering people. We need not apprise you that our 
situation calls for the most speedy measures. Our people 
are now in a wretched condition, and must have relief, 
and as the most suitable season for removal is fast ap- 
proaching, it is very necessary that their affairs should be 
settled soon, and means placed within their power to effect 
their removal. We feel happy in assuring you, sir, that 
the Treaty has been well received, and that a large portion 
of the Cherokees are now very desirous to get off this fall, 
or quit so soon as their affairs and claims can be settled 
with the Government. We trust, therefore, that there will 
be as little delay as possible, and that we shall, ere long, 
hear that you and your associate are in this country, pre- 
pared to commence your arduous duties. 

We are happy to add further, that the apprehensions 
entertained by some of hostilities by our people, have had 
no foundation. There have been many surmises and ru- 
mors calculated to prove injurious both to the whites and 
the Indians, but there have been no grounds for them 
from anything that the Cherokees have done or meditated. 
Our people have no idea of committing hostilities, or mak- 
ing trouble, either from anything they hear from the Creek 



Indians, or anything resulting from the ratification of the 

We are, Sir, your friends and brothers, 

A do hee X his mark. 
Stand Watie. 
EHas Boudinot. 
Major Ridge X his mark. 
James Foster X his mark. 
David Watie X his mark. 
De Satie dar ske X his mark. 
Bear Meat X his mark. 
Tru-nah-stoode X his mark. 
Walter Sanden X his mark. 
Jesse Half-breed X his mark. 

Athens Ga. August 21st, 1836. 

To the President of the United States. 

Hermitage, Tenn. 

Sir : — The nature of the official business upon which I 
address you, not admitting of delay, has induced me to for- 
ward this communication to your private residence (where 
I learn you are at this time on a visit) instead of sending it 
to the seat of the Federal Government. Since my appoint- 
ment as one of the Commissioners under the Cherokee 
Treaty, I have heard nothing from my associate Gen. Car- 
roll, although I wrote to him on the subject about one 
month ago, and have therefore been in suspense for 
some time past, in regard to the necessary arrangements 
preparatory to the discharge of our joint duties, the 
nature of which urgently requires vigilance and all prac- 
tical promptitude on our part, in order to the best success 
in carrying out the provisions of the Treaty. 

I have received several commiunications from the lead- 
ing men of the Cherokee people, respectfully urging the 
necessity of a speedy adjustment of their unsettled affairs, 
referred to the Commissioners under the late Treaty. Hav- 
ing an associate, I have not been as definite on many 
points, in my replies, as I could have desired. 

I was much pleased with the idea of having General 
Carroll for my associate — which lessened my reluctance in 
entering upon a business which from its nature must be 
troublesome and perplexing. I now have some apprehen- 
sion that I shall not have the pleasure of his aid in this 
business, as I learn that he is engaged in other business 

38 re;moval of ihe cherokek 

in the State of Mississippi, which will claim his 
first attention. The duties of the Commissioners in this 
Cherokee business cannot be longer delayed without det- 
riment to the country. It must be attended to with fidelity 
and untiring perseverance, to effect the objects of the 
Treaty and prevent ultimate mischief. 

Although I cannot decide upon a single claim of any 
description alone, I have arrived at the conclusion that my 
immediate presence and services in the Cherokee country 
are indispensibly necessary to the preparatory discharge 
of the public duties to which I have been invited, and shall 
therefore proceed to the country, with a view of discharg- 
ing all such duties as may devolve on me, and which may 
be legally discharged without the co-operation of my 
associate. The claims of every description arising under 
the Treaty may be received and registered — all written tes- 
timony going to sustain claims may be received and 
placed on file. The supervising care over other Agents 
may be exercised by one of the Commissioners, to a pru- 
dent extent, &c. I hope in the meantime, however, that I 
may not be disappointed in my present anticipations, ana 
that I may before long find General Carroll in this field of 
labor ; but should any cause whatever prevent him from 
entering upon the immediate discharge of his duties as 
Commissioner, I must urge upon your consideration the 
importance and necessity of his vacancy being immediately 
filled by a gentleman, like himself, of high standing and 

Being desirous of seeing Maj. Curry, I shall proceed 
from this place to the Cherokee Agency and from thence 
proceed to New Echota, which will be my headquarters 
until I hear from you or the Government on this subject. 
With the highest consideration and respect, 
I am your most obt. servt., 


Athens, Ga., August 22, 1836. 

Hon. Lewis Cass. 

Secretary of War. 

Sir : — I leave here to-morrow for New Echota and the 
Cherokee Agency, with a view of entering more fully on 
the discharge of my duties as one of the Commissioners 
under the late Cherokee Treaty. The interest of the Chero- 
kees and of the country will not admit of further delay in 


this business. The duties of the agents of the Govern- 
ment under the Treaty must be discharged with fidelity and 
perseverance, or mischief will ensue. I have to regret 
that I have not been able to hear from my associate, Gen- 
eral Carroll, although I addressed him on the subject of 
our joint appointment, &c., about one month ago. In order 
to prevent delay, I have this day written to the President 
of the United States and directed to his private residence 
(where I learn he is at present on a visit), informing him 
of my views and arrangements, and requesting that a suit- 
able person may be appointed to supply General Carroll's 
vacancy, in case he has, or shall decline the appointment of 
Commissioner. I am fully aware that I cannot alone de- 
cide upon any claim under the Treaty. I may however 
receive and register claims, and the v/ritten testimony to 
sustain such as may be presented. Moreover, to a prudent 
extent I can pay some attention to the actings and doings 
of the dififerent agents of the Government connected with 
the discharge of various duties under the Treaty, as I find 
the Cherokees are very desirous to have my presence and 
aid in furthering the objects of the Treaty. I have consid- 
ered it my duty to enter as fully as may legally be done 
on the discharge of my duties and await the presence and 
co-operation of my associate. 

I have the honor to be 

Very Resplly Yr. Obt. Servt., 


New Echota, Cherokee Nation, Ga., 

Sept. 9, 1836. 
Hon. Lewis Cass, 

Secretary of War. 

Sir: — On the 25th of July last I entered upon the neces- 
sary correspondence to ascertain when and where the 
more formal and operative duties of my appointment as 
United States Commissioner under the late Treaty with the 
Cherokee Indians might be successfully prosecuted. Being 
unable up to the 30th ult. to hear anything whatever from 
my associate General Carroll, and having received a num- 
ber of letters from Maj, Curry and many of the intelligent 
Cherokees, urging the necessity and importance of the 
presence and services of the Commissioners in this part of 
the country, I have accordingly proceeded to this place, 
having in my route obtained interviews with most of the 


agents of the Government charged with duties connected 
with the execution of the late Treaty. I regret that I have 
not yet heard from my associate, although I have been 
writing to him for six weeks past, desiring to be informed 
of his intentions and views in regard to entering upon our 
ofificial duties. Under my instructions, Col. Wm. H. Jack- 
son, the gentleman appointed as secretary to the Commis- 
sioners, has accompanied me to this place. A prudent fore- 
cast admonishes me of the great importance and many 
advantages which will result from a systematic and well 
defined arrangement in transacting the business confided 
to the Commissioners under the Treaty. It would seem 
that the Treaty contemplated that the whole of the business 
of the Commissioners should be transacted at this place, 
and I will add, in point of geographical location and Indian 
population, it is unquestionably as eligible as any other 
point whatever. But neither this nor any other central 
point in the Cherokee country can at this time afiford that 
reasonable and necessarv accommodation which the nature 
of the business would seem to require. If the business is 
transacted here, it will become indispensable to have some 
repairs made to the dilapidated Cherokee buildings (one at 
least), to afford shelter and lodging to the Commissioners 
and secretary while thev remain here engaged in trans- 
acting the business. These repairs, however, could be 
made at a moderate expense — perhaps for a sum not far 
exceeding one hundred dollars. Moreover, we find the ex- 
pense of subsistence at this place, and indeed everywhere 
in this part of the country, greater than could have been ex- 
pected. Traveling, sending expresses, employing inter- 
preters, &c., will all add something to the daily expense of 
transacting this business. Upon all these matters I do not 
feel myself at liberty to enter upon any definite arrange- 
ments, until I can have an opportunity of consulting my 
associate, and ascertaining from the Government lioiv, 
when and where these expenses are to be defrayed. Under 
these circumstances I have to request that I may be in- 
formed whether any allowance will be made for the ex- 
penses and subsistence of the Commissioners and their sec- 
retary and for the subsistence and expense of interpreters 
and expresses. I would further remark that none of the 
Cherokees named in the Treaty, to superintend the settle- 
ment of the claims arising under the Treaty, are able or 
willing to do so without compensation, while their services 
will be indispensable to a proper adjustment of their affairs, 


It js therefore necessary that these men should be distinctly 
informed upon this subject. I have, and shall, in every- 
thing connected with my duty, have the most rigid regard 
to economy, and have not made the foregoing sugges- 
tions with a view of opening a door for the unnecessary 
expenditure of a single cent, but with a view of having a 
distinct understanding, which may prevent all difficulty in 
making a final stttlement at the close of this business. So 
far I have used my private funds to meet the small expen- 
ditures which have occurred, but have to request that 1 
may be instructed upon the subject of obtaining the neces- 
sary public funds. It is greatly to be desired that no fur- 
ther delay shall be permitted in the discharge of the duties 
which devolve on the Commissioners under the Treaty, 
and I very much regret the necessity of remaining here a 
single day in suspense. 

I have the honor to be ' ■ " 

With respect Yr. Obt. Servt., ■■ 


New Echota, Sept. loth, 1836. 

Kon. Lewis Cass, 

Secretary of War. 

Sir : — I am still here in suspense, awaiting some infor- 
mation upon the subject of my associate Commissioner 
under the Cherokee Treaty, from whom I have not yet 

I have had frequent intervieews with five members of 
the Cherokee committee, appointed in the late Treaty to 
transact the business of their tribe. I have some apprehen- 
sion that the balance of the committee, being under the 
influence of Mr. John Ross, will decline serving. I how- 
ever entertain the belief that if a faithful execution of the 
Treaty was in progress, it would soon overcome all preju- 
dice and opposition, and finally be carried into effect with- 
out the aid of those strong measures which have become 
necessary elsewhere. It is very desirable that a majority 
of the Indian committee named in the Treaty should act, 
but I take it for granted that the execution of the Treaty 
cannot depend upon the uncertain contingency of the 
majority of an Indian committee performing the duties 
assigned them, and consequently shall feel myself author- 
ized to transact business with the aid of such as will serve, 


and such persons as may be appointed by thera to fill 

The members of the Cherokee committee with whom I 
have conferred, and many other intelhgent Cherokees, 
state that before the arrival of the disbursing officer of the 
Government in this country, they found many of the Cher- 
okees suffering for the want of food ; whereupon they have 
furnished their suffering people, until the arrival of relief 
through the Government was obtained. The value of the 
provisions thus furnished is estimated not to exceed three 
thousand dollars. For this timely act of liberality the 
Cherokees request that they may be reimbursed, and sug- 
gest that it might by your order be done out of the funds 
set apart in the i8th article of the Treaty for the subsis- 
tence of the indigent Cherokees. Upon an approach to 
the duties which devolve on the Commissioners, I daily find 
new questions arising, upon some of which I deem it nec- 
essary to trouble the Executive Government. In order to 
a proper adjustment of Indian claims under the late Treaty, 
and to facilitate the transaction of their business, it is 
deemed most expedient to assemble the claimants at this 
place, many of whom are poor and destitute, and must 
have subsistence while attending to the settlement of their 
claims. Therefore, I would respectfully inquire, is there 
any fund which could be placed under the control of the 
Indian Committee and Commissioners for the above par- 
pose of subsistence? The Cherokees suggest that there 
are funds under prior treaties which might be thus ap- 
plied. But whether there be any funds, and what funds 
that may be applied to this object, you can best judge. I 
deem the object of subsisting the Indians while here on 
business one of great importance to the poorer classes. 
There are many of the most intelligent and influential 
Cherokees who are fully competent to the management of 
their own affairs, and who are very desirous, as soon as 
their claims are settled, to receive all that may be due them 
under the Treaty. I will add, that if this desire can be 
granted, it will have a happy influence in favor of the 
Treaty with that entire class of the Nation. 

I have the honor to be 

Your obedient servant. 



New Echota, 12th Sept., 1836. 
Brigd'r Gen'l Wool. 

My Dear Sir : — I have just had an interview with your 
express, Mr. Rogers. I have received nothing from the 
President. From what I can learn from Mr. Rogers, I en- 
tertain no doubt in regard to the course advised by the 
President. He will not be trifled with by John Ross. He 
will sustain your strongest views in regard to your rightful 
power to arrest all men and measures palpably calcu- 
lated to prevent the execution of the treaty. Now is the 
auspicious moment to serve your country effectually in the 
important trust confided to your charge, and make your- 
self honored and respected by your whole country, and 
especially by all concerned with the late Cherokee Treaty. 
In haste, yours very sincerely, 


General Wool : — I herewith inclose you sundry papers 
placed in my hands by Mr. Garrett on the subject of 
Ridge's Ferry. From these papers it would seem that 
Garrett is disposed to yield his claims to the civil authority 
and yet to obey and respect any military order to him 
directed by you. Garrett alleges that he will cease to run 
his ferry boat, provided Ridge will keep up the ferry and 
not disappoint travelers. But further states that Ridge is 
like the dog in the manger — that he will neither run his 
own boat, nor suffer him to run one. The papers, however, 
will place you in the possession of the facts, and may re- 
lieve you from further trouble in the case. 

With great respect, your obedient servant, 


Athens, Ga., Sept. 24th, 1836. 

To Andrew Jackson, President of the United States. 

Sir : — I have just returned to this place, after spending a 
month in the Cherokee country, in efforts to render ser- 
vice connected with the discharge of duties confided to 
me as one of the Commissioners under the late Treaty 
with the Cherokees. You are doubtless apprised that my 
associate Commissioner, General Carroll, has not yet en- 
tered this field of labor, nor is he expected until some time 
next month (Oct.) The want of co-operation of my associ- 


ate, from the nature of the duties being joint, has greatly 
retarded the progress and efficiency of my efforts to have 
in a successful train of progress the execution of the 
Treaty. No claim whatever under the Treaty can be ad- 
judicated by a single Commissioner. And not a single 
Indian or family will emigrate until their claims are ad- 
justed and settled. Many of the Cherokees (especially 
those having property) are very desirous to be on their 
way to Arkansas at as early a period as possible. They 
wish to remove this fall, before the commencement of the 
severe cold weather of winter. I have received and regis- 
tered such claims as have been presented for the decision 
of the Commissioners, and placed the papers appertaining 
thereto on file, ready for the examination and decision of 
the Commissioners. Major Curry, the Emigration Agent, 
has all his appraising agents in the field, and I believe they 
are generally making as good progress in their business 
as circumstances will permit. The Emigration Agent ap- 
pears to be devoted to his duty, with the requisite energy 
and ability. Without any direct information from General 
Carroll, in anticipation of his attendance, I have ventured 
to give public notice that the Commissioners will be in at- 
tendance at New Echota, on the loth of Oct. next, for the 
purpose of entering more fully on their official duties, and 
have invited the attendance of claimants. &c. This step 
was deemed to be indispensable in order to the support 
and encouragement of the treaty making party of the 
Cherokees and their friends who are desirous to emigrate. 
Further delay on the part of the agents of the Government 
cannot fail to produce the most unfortunate results, by 
strengthening the opposition to the late Treaty. 

Through General Wool, and other channels of infor- 
mation, you are fully an-^rised of the mischievous efforts of 
John Ross and his white associates to prevent a speedy 
and faithful execution of the late Treaty. Tliis man Ross, 
sir, has already been the instrument in the hands of bad 
men to bring more than enough evil upon his unfortunate 
race — the Cherokees. I cannot believe the Federal Gov- 
ernment so destitute of power as to permit a single indi- 
vidual to thwart and overturn its treaties, involve the Na- 
tion in war, blood and massacre, and produce a state of 
things which must eventuate in the certain destruction of 
a remnant tribe of the aboriginal race, to whom the United 
States stand pledged by every consideration of honor and 
duty arising under the strongest and most explicit treaty 


stipulations. If the laws of the United States do not pro- 
vide for the arrest and punishment of such men as Osceola, 
John Ross, (S^c. it is the solemn duty of the approaching 
Congress to take the subject into serious consideration. 

Although the service is from its nature unpleasant and 
perplexing, I should feel that I was usefully and therefore 
advantageously employed in the business with which you 
have thought proper to honor me, as one of the Commis- 
sioners under the late Cherokee Treaty, provided a power 
could be somewhere lodged, and prudently exercised, to 
prevent the selfish, ambitious and lawless from thwarting 
the efforts of the agents of Government in carrying the 
Treaty into efifect. The statements of Ross and others, 
that the late Treaty was made contrary to the will of a 
majority of the Cherokee people, is entitled to no respect 
or consideration whatever. In truth, nineteen-twentieths 
of the Cherokees are too isfnorant and depraved to entitle 
their opinions to any weight or consideration. Moreover, 
their long established customs prevent the common In- 
dian from exercising his intellectual powers upon such 
subjects. They have been and are still governed by the 
opinions of their leading men. If Ross could have effected 
a treaty last winter, to suit his own selfish purposes, on 
his return home his whole party would have received him 
with acclamations of approbation. Even the Treaty that 
was made was well received by the Cherokees, and would 
have been cheerfully acquiesced in by an overwhelming 
portion of the people, but for the late effort of Ross and 
his confederates of the white race. Ross received the 
countenance and support of many of the political men of 
the country. He is countenanced and sustained in his 
opposition to the Treaty by officers and agents of the Fed- 
eral Government, and therefore his arrogance is not a mat- 
ter of surprise. I have not yet heard the result of Ross' 
Council (which he should never have been permitted to 
hold), but I entertain no doubt of the result. It will be to 
delude the Cherokees, and throw obstacles in the way of 
executing the Treaty. He wishes again to figure at 
Washington, during the approaching session of Congress, 
and act the political part which may be assigned him. 
Under this state of things we may expect some difficulty 
in the Cherokee country ; and, to check and prevent mis- 
chief, and to protect the red and white population in their 
respective rights, a military force of a full regiment at 
least ought to be kept up in the Cherokee country. If 


United States troops cannot be spared for this service, 
the force should consist of vokmteers from the respective 
States having Cherokee population — proportioned to the 
number of Indians in each State. Excuse me for the lib- 
erty thus taken, for I assure you I am actuated from mo- 
tives of prudence and forecast, which, if duly considered, 
may prevent much evil. When I entered the Cherokee 
country of Georgia I assure you I felt some alarm at the 
excited state of feeling amongst many of the Georgians, 
on account of prejudice which they had imbibed against 
General Dunlap, of Tennessee, and some of his subordi- 
nates in command. Without expressing an opinion as 
to who was wrong or right, be assured that stationary 
vohcnteers from one State should not be quartered in 
another State. The contemplated service will not afiford 
such employment to volunteer officers as to keep them 
from intermeddling with matters with which they have 
not been charged. I should be reluctant to attempt to dis- 
charge the duties of Commissioner assigned me in the 
Cherokee country, encountering the daring and cunning 
opposition of Ross, and have no force or protection at my 
command but men and of^cers believed to be more 
friendly to the schemes of Ross than they are to the ob- 
jects of my mission, or that of the Government and admin- 
istration under which I am acting. To prevent misappre- 
hension, I deem it proper to state that I have entire con- 
fidence in the honor, integrity and ability of General Wool 
to discharge the duties of commanding general, which 
have been confided to him, and if he and the Commissioners 
can be sustained in the discharge of their respective duties 
— and be clothed at the same time with the necessary dis- 
cretionary power and responsibility — the Cherokee Treaty 
will be exemted. If we have to rely upon subordinate 
officers of the Federal Government for our rule of action, 
this Treaty will never be brought to a happy issue. 

I have the honor to be, &c., 


Athens, Ga., Sept. 24th, 1836. 
General Wool. Dear Sir : 

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your 
favor of the i6th inst., for which I thank you. I have heard 
nothing further as to the result of Ross' council ; but 
from the contents of your letter I can anticipate nothing 


favorable to the quiet and prosperity of the Cherokees 
while under the pernicious control and influence of Ross 
and his partisans in mischief. 

The late Treaty, however, will be executed, or it will be 
recorded ''that Georgia was." The rights of the Indians 
as secured by the Treaty will be scrupulously respected 
by the people and authorities of Georgia, but modification, 
abrogation or procrastination will not be listened to in 
this State. As a member of the Union, Georgia will lend 
her ready aid to any extent to the Federal authorities in 
aid of the execution of this Treaty, but if the Federal 
authorities should fail to sustain its own Treaty, and per- 
mit the factious opposition of Ross to retard the emigra- 
tion of the Cherokees, the evils of such a result will not 
be justly chargeable to the long forbearing and much 
reviled State of Georgia. To protect the rights of all. and 
keep peace in the country, I have recommended to the 
President of the United States the policy of keeping up a 
considerable military force (suf^cient to awe all opposi- 
tion), until the hope of resisting the Treaty shall be entirely 
abandoned. It afforded me pleasure to state to the Presi- 
dent my entire confidence in your ability and pru- 
dence for the command of such force. I did not, however, 
shrink from declaring my conviction of the impropriety 
of posting subordinate officers and agents of the Federal 
Government in the Cherokee country, whose sympathies 
and conduct was calculated to encourage the mischievous 
opposition of John Ross to the Treaty. Since I parted 
with you at New Echota I have become more fully im- 
pressed with the necessity of keeping up a larger military 
force than was then deemed necessary. 

An efficient and well directed force, at this time, will 
prevent such catastrophes as we have witnessed with the 
Seminoles and Creeks. 

I therefore deem it much better to encounter the ex- 
pense at the beginning, and thereby prevent the effusion 
of human blood, than to expend the treasure of the coun- 
try in the removal of these unfortunate people, after all 
the calamities of an insurrectionary war have afflicted the 

If a sufficient number of U. S. troops cannot be 
detailed for the contemplated service in the Cherokee 
country, I have suggested to the President the exped- 
iency of calling for volunteers from the States in such 
proportions that it may not be necessary for the volun- 
teers from one State to be stationed in another. 


The indications of evil which we have already wit- 
nessed should admonish us of the inexpediencv of rais- 
ing volunteers in one State to protect the soil and people 
of another under the circumstances which are presented 
in the contemplated service. I trust this necessitv will be 

I have the honor to be, with high consideration and 
respect, your obt. servt., 


Athens, Ga., Sept. 24th, 1836. 
Benj. F. Curry, Esq. 

Dear Sir : — After ascertaining that I should not be met 
by General Carroll until some time in October, I returned 
to this place, and have given notice through the public 
prints that I shall attend at New Echota on the loth of 
next month, when I hope to be met by my associate. I 
have directed a paper containing my notice to be sent to 
you at the Agency, with a request that the notice may be 
inserted in an Athens (Tenn.) paper. 

Since I saw you, I have written fully and without re- 
serve to the President of the United States on the subject 
of the present state of Cherokee afifairs. I did not fail to 
let the President know that you were faithfully engaged 
in the performance of your part of the public duty con- 
nected with the execution of the late Treaty. I have ap- 
prised him of the injury which has and will result from 
the absence of my associate, &c. I have not failed to enter 
my protest against the employment of men or officers in 
the military service connected with the execution of the 
Treaty whose sympathies are with John Ross and others 
who are opposed to a faithful execution of the Treaty. I 
have urged upon the President the expediency and my 
conviction of the necessity of keeping up a sufficient mili- 
tary force in the Cherokee country, to awe all op- 
position to the Treaty, so long as Ross and his 
party shall speak or think of hindering or retarding its 
faithful execution. I have spoken favorably (as I think he 
merits) of General Wool, but have not shunned to declare 
my want of confidence in many of the subordinate officers 
of the United States Army. I have also protested against 
the arrangement of volunteers from one State being sta- 
tioned in another, so long as each State has a superabun- 
dance of men desirous of protecting and defending their 


own soil and people. I have protested against Ross being 
permitted to hold councils intended to produce opposi- 
tion or dissatisfaction amongst the Indians against the 
late treaty ; and in case he should continue such a course 
I have urged the necessity of his arrest. 

Moreover, if existing laws will not justify measures suf- 
ficiently strong to carry out treaties, I have suggested the 
necessity of legislation as soon as the approaching Con- 
gress shall be in session. I have apprised the Governor of 
Georgia of my views and the course I have pusued, &c., 
and informed him that Col. Nelson would willingly take 
the command of a Georgia regiment of volunteers, and 
that I would prefer him to any other officer for that service. 
Be assured we need force, and a force that feels disposed to 
support the administration and its agents. 

I deemed this hasty sketch necessary to keep you ap- 
prised of my views, and hope we shall continue, as hereto- 
fore, to act with that concert and unity of feeling and 
action which may most effectually promote the public 

Very respectfully your obedient servant, 


Athens, Ga., Sept. 24th, 1836. 
Governor Schley. 

Dear Sir : — I have spent the last four weeks in the Cher- 
okee country, on the business with which I am charged as 
one of the Commissioners under the late Cherokee Treaty. 
So far, the progress I have attempted has been hindered 
and embarrassed by the absence of my associate, who has 
not yet entered the field in this service, but is expected 
early in October. 

i found the Cherokee party of Georgia in a state of 
general excitement, produced by various causes. The 
Tennessee troops under the command (in the first place) 
of General Dunlap gave much just cause of excitement to 
every man who feels the true spirit of a Georgian. His 
successor, General Wool, is a meritorious man and officer, 
and has healed some of the wounds inflicted by Dunlap 
and his subordinates. Before I left the Cherokee country 
every Tennesseean and United States officer of the Army 
had left the soil of Georgia, and I trust (except General 
Wool) they will not again return to Georgia to insult the 
feelings of our people by abusing and slandering the Gov- 


ernment and people of Georgia, and extolling John Ross 
and his political associates in iniquity. 

You have doubtless heard of the high-handed opposi 
tion of Ross to the late Treaty. He tells his people that he 
still entertains the hope that the late Treaty will be abro- 
gated and set aside — indeed he speaks of the late Treaty 
as a thing called a Treaty, but declares, that it is no 
Treaty, being, as he alleges, obtained by corruption and 
fraud — and broadly intimates that if his political friends 
should gain the ascendency that the Cherokees will yet be 
re-instated in all their former rights and immunities. As 
ardently as I desire peace and quiet, I am constrained, 
from a deep sense of duty, again to embark in whatever 
strifes may be encountered in having the late Treaty fully 
executed and carried into complete effect. This business 
must now be settled and brought to a final close, let it cost 
what it may. 

The situation of our people, as well as that of the In- 
dians, demands the utmost promptitude and decision. A 
vacillating policy cannot fail of resulting in similar scenes 
to those which we have witnessed with the Seminoles and 
Creeks. Now is the auspicious moment to prevent these 
evils, and save the Indians, as well as the whites, from 
blood and massacre. I have this day written fully and 
without reserve to the President of the United States on 
this subject, and have volunteered my opinions and ad- 
vice, and am ready to stake my reputation on the solidity 
of my views. I have said nothing to the President which 
can in any special manner claim any share of your official 
action, except the urgency with which I have desired the 
President to keep up a respectable and efficient military 
force in the Cherokee country. And if this force cannot 
be detailed from the United States Army, I have urged 
that the force which may be necessary in the Georgia part 
of the Cherokee country may consist of Georgians. I 
have protested in strong terms against Tennesseeans being 
sent here to guard the people of Georgia. This step is ab- 
solutely necessary to prevent a much greater evil than 
that of Indian War. If I could have a Regiment of Geor- 
gians, commanded by Col. Nelson (and he is ready for the 
service), I could have the Treaty rapidly in a progress of 
execution and the Cherokees on the road to Arkansas. 

Ross is still all powerful with the Indians, and he is a 
man that cannot be coaxed, but is very easily com- 
manded, when he is sure that you have the power to con- 


trol him. If a military force of the right material is not 
kept up in the Cherokee country — and that force properly 
employed — we shall have trouble in that quarter before the 
trees shed their leaves. Col. Nelson informed me a few 
days since that he believed there were upwards of a 
thousand Creek Indians at this time amongst the Chero- 
l<ees ; and I would suppose that the Cherokees have three 
or four thousand fighting men of their own, besides ivhite 
allies amounting to a much greater number than the un- 
informed can suppose. This is an important subject of in- 
terest to the people of our new counties, and indeed it 
ought to be so, for a great portion of the population are 
liable to the massacres of the Indians at any moment. 
After the Presidential election is over, the present show of 
insolence and opposition to the late Treaty will subside — 
provided Mr. Van Buren is elected. 

Most respectfully your obt. servt., 


The following Address of Governor Lumpkin was sub- 
mitted to the Cherokees assembled at New Echota, Octo- 
ber I2th, 1836. 

My Brethren of the Cherokee Tribe : 

I have invited you to meet me here, in order to settle 
and adjust your business according to the terms and pro- 
visions of the late Treaty, entered into by a highly respect- 
able delegation of your own people and the President of 
the United States. 

I come not to negotiate a new Treaty, but to execute 
that which has already been made. If the duty which de- 
volves on me is not faithfully performed, the failure shall 
not be chargeable to me, but to those who throw ob- 
stacles in the way of its faithful execution, and upon its 
faithful execution, be assured, my friends, greatly depends 
the prosperity of the Cherokee people. 

Should any one advise you to delay in availing your- 
selves of the terms of the Treaty, demand of such person 
plain and substantial reasons to support the advice given ; 
should any one advise you to resist the Treaty altogether, 
believe me, my friends, such advice, if followed, will end in 
evil; upon this subject procrastination is the thief of time, 
and cannot fail to operate to the prejudice of your best in- 

Although the terms of the Treaty cannot be changed 


by US, its stipulations under which we are called to act is a 
proper subject for our consideration. The positive advan- 
tages which this Treaty holds out to the Cherokee people 
are many, and very important in their consequences. It 
settles a long standing and vexatious controversy — a con- 
troversy in which the Cherokees have already lost much, 
and were obviously by its continuance destined to lose 
everything valuable to man. This Treaty relieves your 
minds from uncertainty, and that painful state of suspense 
which is even worse than the positive evils of life. It se- 
cures to you a new and permanent abode, where I trust 
the white man will cease to trouble, and where the weary 
sons of the forest will be at rest. In place of this land of 
strife and vexation you receive a country very far superior 
in soil, production and many other natural advantages 
suited to the habits and condition of your people. 

In } our new homes you will be placed in a condition to 
revive and carry out your enlightened plans of self-govern- 
ment, which you commenced in this country, and which 
were arrested and overturned by the conflicting claims of 
Governments and people more powerful and strong than 
yourselves. The late Treaty provides for the payment of 
all your just debts, whether private or public ; it provides 
the means for your removal and support in your new 
homes. You are to be paid for all your improvements of 
every kind. Moreover, a very large sum of money over 
and above all that has been named is set apart for your 
use as a national fund, which will be vested in profitable 
stock for the use of the Nation, and finally applied by 
your own wisdom to purposes of education, and such other 
public improvements as the good of your people may re- 
quire. In a word, if this Treaty can be faithfully executed, 
it will enable the Cherokee people to commence anew 
their national existence under circumstances the most 
auspicious to their prosperity and national elevation. 

Your new career may now be entered upon cheered 
by the hopes of all good men for your permanent pros- 
perity. Suffer no despondency to bear upon your minds 
from a recollection of the ills of life through which you 
have heretofore passed ; a door of hope and land of prom- 
ise now lies before you; look not behind you, look for- 
ward. The native independence of your once mighty race, 
chastenea as it has been by adversity, will only prepare you 
the better for that rank and condition among the bordering 
States which I trust at some future day may make you an 
ornament in the bright constellation of American States. 



I very much regret the faikire of General Carroll to 
meet me here, because it delays the settlement of your 
business. When I have certain information of the cause 
of his failure, it shall be explained to you ; in the meantime 
I shall continue here, using my best exertions and constant 
labor to hasten the day when I may be able to say to you : 
Here is your money ; your affairs are settled ; depart in 


New Echota, Oct. i8th, 1836. 
Hon. Wm. Schley, 

Governor of Georgia. 
Dear Sir : 

I am here, using my best exertions in furthering the 
execution of the late Treaty with the Cherokees. 

My progress, however, has been very much impeded 
thus far, on account of the absence of the President of the 
United States and other officers from the seat of the Fed- 
eral Government, and from the failure of General Carroll, 
my associate Commissioner, to meet me in this country. 

But for these hindrances I could before this time have 
had a large company of the Cherokees on their way to 
their new homes in the West ; as it is, I fear that but very 
few will emigrate this season, for we are now approaching 
the door of winter ; my associate Commissioner not here, 
and I can get no reply to my communications to the Gov- 
ernment at Washington. My determination to succeed, 
however, always gains strength, in due proportion to the 
difficulties and obstacles I have to encounter. This Treaty 
must be executed, and the sooner it is done the better for 
all the parties in interest. I have said this much to you, 
sir, in order to justify myself in calling your particular 
attention to the expediency and necessity of appropriate 
legislation on the part of Georgia in furtherance of the 
execution of the Treaty. 

I find nothing short of proper legislation will restrain 
many selfish speculating men from obstructing the re- 
moval of the Cherokees. I allude to men who are and 
have been trading with the Indians to a very unreasonable 
and considerable extent. Men who for the sake of making 
large profits in trade have credited a great many of the 
Cherokees, under the expectation of pocketing what 
money may be coming to them under the late Treaty. 


According- to the provisions of the Treaty, the just debts of 
the Indians, contracted before the conclusion of the 
Treaty, can and will be paid. But it is debts contracted 
since to which I have reference, and which of course can- 
not be settled by the Indians here, because they can only 
receive before their removal a sufificient amount to dis- 
charge their debts which were contracted at the conclusion 
of the Treaty. Common sense and the nature of things 
forbid the idea that a treaty should provide for the pay- 
ment of debts which indiscreet individuals of a whole 
country might contract in all future time. The same 
spirit of speculation and selfishness which have involved 
the Indians in these late created debts will not fail, under 
the existing laws of Georgia, to harass and oppress the 
poor naked Indian, when about to take his departure for 
the far West. Those disposed to emigrate are already 
threatened with bail writs, bail warrants, attachments, 
&c., &c. 

Now, sir, humanity, justice, honor, every considera- 
tion, demands of our State such legislation as will sustain 
and carry out the late Treaty with the Cherokees. Should 
the laws of Georgia be used to oppress and hinder the In- 
dians from emigrating when they are ready and willing 
to go, it will be a blot upon our beloved State which can- 
not be effaced by time. I beg leave to press this subject 
upon your consideration, and, through you, upon 
the consideration of the approaching Legislature. I 
am clearly of the opinion that our State Legislature ought 
to sustain the Treaty in all its parts. This course is due to 
justice. It is due to our character as a State. It is due to 
that portion of the Cherokee people who have taken, the 
responsibility of making the Treaty. It is due to the 
present administration of the Federal Government, and 
therefore ought not to be overlooked by the authorities of 
the State. John Ross and his delegation are again going 
to Washington on an embassy of mischief, where he will 
act the part which may be assigned him by more wise and 
designing politicians. Should the Presidential election go 
into" the House of Representatives, such auxiliaries as 
Ross may render some service in the casting vote of some 
one of the States. 

I am. Sir, with great respect and consideration, 
Yr. friend and humb. serv't, 



New Echota, Oct. 20th, 1836. 
Governor Schley. 

Dear Sir : — In my letter of yesterday's date, I omitted to 
call your attention, in a special manner, to the importance 
of extending the time specified in the act of the last Legis- 
lature for the grantees under said act taking possession of 
their lands. &c. I have not the act before me, nor have I 
ever examined its provisions carefully, but 1 understand 
that all natives may thereby be dispossessed of their 
homes some time in the month of November next. This 
provision should by all means be so changed as to har- 
monize with the provisions of the Cherokee Treaty — in- 
deed, as I remarked in my letter of yesterday, our State 
Legislature should sustain the Treaty in all its provisions. 

Respectfully, &c., 


New Echota, Oct. 28, 1836. 
Governor Schley. 

Dear Sir : — I have been informed through Gen. Wool 
that my views as submitted to you and the President of the 
United States on the 24th ult., on the subject of the descrip- 
tion of military force to be kept up in this country, has been 
sustained by the President of the United States, and that 
Gen. Wool has been instructed accordingly. The views of 
the General coincide with my own, and will without delay 
be communicated to you. Two companies of Georgia 
volunteers will be received for this service, and, as hereto- 
fore communicated to you, I am very desirous that they 
should be placed under the command of Col. Nelson, who 
enjoys the confidence and respect of the General. Some 
time past I received a letter from Col. Nelson, informing 
me that he had been authorized to raise a Regiment of 
volunteers for twelve months, and report himself to Gen- 
eral Jesup ; for what service he did not name, but I pre- 
sume for the Florida service. 

Having heard nothing from Col. Nelson since, I am 
at a loss to know anything further of his m.ovements or 
destination, but incline to the opinion that he and his 
volunteers have not been called for in Florida. If Col. 
Nelson is not employed elsewhere, and in a service which 
he would prefer, I am very desirous that he should com- 
mand the Georgia volunteers who may be detailed for 


service in this country. If this arrangement can be 
effected, permit me to suggest the expediency of allowing 
Col. Nelson such companies from the volunteers, which he 
may have raised and organized, as he may deem best 
suited to the service contemplated. I have great confi- 
dence in his judgment and discretion in this matter, and 
should very much regret any unfortunate selections of 
of^cers or men, after having been instrumental in produc- 
ing the contemplated change. Should you have an oppor- 
tunity of conferring with Col. Nelson without delay, I feel 
assured that it will contribute much to the good order and 
harmony of the whole arrangement connected with this 

In the meantime, I shall write to Col. Nelson, provided, 
I can ascertain where he is. His rank and pay will proba- 
bly be that of a major in the United States Army, and for 
twelve months. I feel great confidence that this contem- 
plated arrangement will contribute much to the sustain- 
ing and faithful execution of the late Treaty. 

If our Georgia laws, as heretofore suggested to you, 
can be so modified as to prevent all conflict with the pro- 
visions of the Treaty, I feel great confidence that much 
good will result from such legislation. Indeed, a peace- 
able and successful issue of all our Indian perplexities still 
depends, as heretofore, very much upon the action of our 
State authorities. And I therefore again suggest to you 
the importance of some further legislation, which in my 
opinion could not fail to crown the whole struggle with 
final and complete success. Let the Treaty be fully sus- 
tained by our Legislature, and let the same statute pro- 
vide effectually for the prompt arrest and punishment of 
all persons, within the limits of the State, who may be 
found engaged in aiding, abetting, or encouraging in any 
manner, opposition to the due and faithful execution of 
the Treaty. Humanity and justice to the ignorant part of 
the Cherokee? imperiouslv demands that their leaders 
should no longer be permitted to lead them to ruin and de- 
struction. To advise, counsel or influence the Cherokees 
to resist the Treaty should be deemed and made a highly 
penal crime. If our laws could be so modified as to 
authorize the agents of the Government who are engaged 
in executing the Treaty to prevent all persons from fur- 
nishing the Indians with intoxicating drink of every kind, 
it would contribute much to the interest of every descrip- 
tion and complexion of our population. If the Legisla- 


ture will authorize destroying drinks, we will soon empty 
every keg and whiskey barrel designated to supply Indians. 
Small as this subject may appear to one situated as you 
are, I assure you we find it here a case of magnitude re- 
sulting in vile enormities. 

I am. Sir, with great respect, yr obt serv't., 


New Echota, Oct. 20th, 1836. 

C. A. Harris, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, , .. 

War Department. • 


I have this day had the honor to receive your letter of 
the 27th ult., in answer to my several letters therein re- 
ferred to. I am still here with my secretary. Col. Jackson, 
engaged in all the various duties with which I have been 
charged by the Government, as far as those duties can be 
performed by a single Commissioner. I have no informa- 
tion from my associate, except what is contained in a letter 
of 9th Sept. which I had the honor to receive from the 
President of the United States, in which I am informed 
that General Carroll had assured the President that he 
would be here by the first inst. This delay of the other 
Commissioner is to be deeply regretted, from various con- 
siderations. The Indians who were disposed and anxious 
to remove the present autumn will be wholly disap- 
pointed, many of whom are men of property and large fam- 
ilies. They have sold out their grain and provisions, pur- 
chased horses and wagons to emigrate themselves, and 
have now been waiting for weeks, to have their afifairs 
adjusted and settled, in order that they might receive their 
dues under the Treaty, and embark for their new homes in 
the West. Maj. Curry is using his best exertions to have 
the valuations of their improvements completed, and has 
that branch of business already in such a state of forward- 
ness that all those who are anxious to remove imme- 
diately could have their business adjusted at once — pro- 
vided the other Commissioner was here, and the funds were 
here ready to make the payments in terms of the Treaty. 
Although much of the business confided to the Commis- 
sioners requires the joint action of both, and but little can 
be completed v;ithout the Commissioners, I assure you, 
sir, I have not been idle while here alone. I have re- 


ceived and examined a great mass of papers and claims 
arising- under the Treaty. I have made my notes on many 
of these papers, registered, arranged and filed them. I 
have had the Indian Committee here in session for ten or 
twelve days past, and have a great portion of the busmess 
in which they were expected to render aid in a state of 
preparation and forwardness. 

If my associate was now here we could discharge the 
business of those Indians who are desirous to emigrate 
immediately with great expedition, the tedious and 
laborious part of their business being already in a state pi 
forwardness and preparation. I know not who the dis- 
bursing agent will be to make payments to the emigrants 
and their creditors, in terms of the Treaty, but it is neces- 
sary that such agent should be in the country immediately. 
Being unapprised of the kind of funds in which payments 
may be made, I will take the liberty to suggest that I find 
funds of the banks of the several States are most accepta- 
ble to citizens, when on the banks of their own State. 
Some arrangement, therefore, to make payments to suit 
the recipients under the Treaty may be advisable. The 
Branch of the Bank of the State of Georgia (at Athens) 
would be acceptable to all the citizens of Georgia, and 
most convenient to much the largest portion of the Chero- 
kee country. If I could have a suitable associate, and 
have the means afforded me of discharging my duty ac- 
cording to my instructions, this business should progress 
with ail the dispatch and correctness of which its nature is 
susceptible, and such a course will best ensure a success- 
ful execution of the Treaty. Could the opposing part of 
the Cherokees witness the example of their more discern- 
ing brethren — availing themselves of the provisions of the 
Treaty — it would have the most powerful influence in in- 
ducing the ignorant to follow their example and yield 
cheerfully to "the Treaty. I find from my correspondence 
with your Department that, under the existing mail ar- 
rangements, it is at least one month before I can get an 
answer to any communication which I may make. I would 
therefore respectfully suggest the great inconvenience 
which must necessarily arise in the execution of this Cher- 
okee Treaty, if we are under the necessity of communicat- 
ing to Washington every time a few hundred dollars may 
be wanting to meet the demand of payments under the 
Treaty. In regard to Mr. Boudinot's house, I will only 
remark that I regret to have requested any accommoda- 


tion connected with my personal comfort which should 
have been deemed inadmissible. 

Very respectfully .your obedient servant, 


New Echota, Oct. 26th, 1836. 
Hon. B. F. Butler, 

Acting Secretary of War, &c. 

Having- perceived through the newspapers that you 
are now at the head of the War Department, I have 
deemed it expedient to invite your attention to the subject 
of the execution of the late Treaty with the Cherokee 
Indians, being connected with that branch of the public 
interest as one of the Commissioners under the Treaty for 
settling claims, &c. I should be pleased for you to exam- 
ine my several communications to the War Department 
and the President of the United States on this subject, 
from which you will perceive that I have been corre- 
sponding on the subject since July last, and am to the 
present day here in suspense and in want of the necessary 
aid and means to have the business in that train of ad- 
vanced and successful operation which the best interest of 
the Cherokees and the good faith of the Government so 
obviously require. 

The specific duty assigned the Commissioners under the 
Treaty, of deciding on claims, has been wholly retarded 
thus far for the want of an associate Commissioner. And 
various other duties with which the Commissioners have 
been charged in their instructions have, from their nature 
and a sense of delicacy towards others, been performed 
with less efficiency and promptitude than would have at- 
tended my progress if the entire responsibility had been 
placed on me alone. 

Nevertheless, I have faithfully endeavored to efifect all 
that could be done under the circumstances. And most 
of the duties assigned the Commissioners are in a state of 
preparation and forwardness which would greatly facilitate 
the completion of a large portion of the business, if I could 
have the immediate co-operation of an associate. A great 
mass and variety of claims and papers have been received, 
partially examined, registered and filed. The committee 
of Cherokees recognized by the Treaty have already per- 
formed a considerable share of labor referred to them, 


under my supervision and advice, in regard to their pro- 
ceedings. The valuing or appraising Agents have made 
considerable progress, and will in a few weeks more prob- 
ably complete their returns. If my associate was now 
here, and the disbursing officer who is to make payments 
under the Treaty, I think we should be able still to emi- 
grate a large company of the Cherokees this season, before 
the severe cold of wdnter will commence in this climate. I 
have no doubt but several thousand Cherokees are anxious 
to remove the present season, and would have gone, if their 
business could have been settled in terms of the Treaty. 
I still trust that all opposition to the Treaty will be over- 
come by mild or energetic measures ; but Mr. John Ross, 
as you are apprised, is still engaged in plans of mischief. 
His Council, which he never ought to have been permitted 
to hold, has resulted in a plan to disturb the peace and 
quiet of the Western Cherokees. He will use every exer- 
tion to get his Western brethren to unite with him in an 
embassy to Washington, where he will again act the part 
which may be assigned him by wise, if not better, men. He 
should receive no countenance from the Government what- 
ever, so long as he continues to persevere in his plans of 
hostility to the views and measures of the Government, as 
connected with Indian afifairs. 

To settle the afifairs of the Cherokees under the provi- 
sions of the late Treaty is a most arduous and important 
undertaking. You will please to review my instructions, 
send me the aid of another Commissioner, and afford me 
the means of obeying my instructions, before I become 
wholly discouraged in an undertaking in which nothing but 
a sense of duty and a desire to promote the interest of the 
perishing Cherokees induced me to embark. 

I have the honor to be, with great respect, 
Your obedient servant, 


New Echota, Oct. 26th, 1836. 
C. A. Harris, Esq. 

Sir : — I have the honor to acknowledge your letter of the 
3rd inst., enclosing a copy of General Wool's letter of the 
I2th ult., on the subject of reimbursing the Cherokees who 
have furnished their suffering poor with subsistence (to 
prevent their starvation) previous to the arrival of the dis- 
bursing agent of the Government charged with the duty 


of attending to the wants of these suffering people ; also 
on the subject of providing for the subsistence of the poor 
Indians who might attend on the Commissioners for the 
purpose of settling their business on terms of the late 
Treaty with the Cherokees. I will remark upon this sub- 
ject, that at the time I wrote to the War Department_ on 
the subjects referred to, the contents of my communica- 
tions were made known to General Wool, who was then at 
this place, and to the best of my recollection my letters 
were read to him. and if he had been as communicative to 
me as he has been to the War Department, a better under- 
standing and greater concert of action would have been 
the result. From the instructions given to the Commis- 
sioners, greatly increased responsibility is placed upon 
them, by clothing them with the supervisory duties con- 
tained in their instructions. As one of the Commissioners, 
I feel great solicitude that this Treaty should be faithfully 
executed, and but for the interest which I have felt on the 
subject I never would have entered on the duties of the 
appointment. I am ready to risk my reputation in having 
this Treaty executed to the general satisfaction of the coun- 
try, and of all the parties concerned, if I could be freed 
from the embarrassment of too many intermeddling and 
incompetent agents in the business, and have a suitable 
associate to co-operate with me, as was contemplated 
when I entered upon this business. General Wool's letter 
to which you refer, and a copy of which is now before me, 
clearly evinces to my mind, that while he takes a correct 
vievv' of the necessity and importance of scrutinizing with 
vigilance all claims, amounts and disbursements con- 
nected with this business, in order to guard against frauds 
and impositions being practiced upon the Government, he 
has nevertheless overlooked the views and considerations 
to which I attach great importance in furthering and pro- 
moting in the most desirable manner the execution of the 
Treaty. I still believe, upon the strictest principles of jus- 
tice and a fair construction of the Treaty, that my sug- 
gestions in favor of re-imbursing Indians who had sub- 
sisted the poor, and providing for the subsistence of the 
same description who may attend this place on business, 
can be m.ost fully sustained by reason and sound policy. 
In recom.mending the course v/hich I did upon this subject, 
I was influenced by considerations of soimd policy, as well 
as justice. General Wool had informed me that the In- 
dians who were opposed to the Treaty, although in a state 


of sufifering, generally refused to receive the subsistence 
provided for in the Treaty. I therefore concluded that 
they ought not to be permitted to act the part of the "dog 
in the manger ;" that the better plan, yea, duty, demanded 
that the just wants of those who were disposed to comply 
with the Treaty should be attended to, and by this course 
I entertain no doubt that much of the opposition to the 
Treaty would be overcome : that its opponents would be 
influenced by the example of their yielding brethren, who 
were receiving advantages under the Treaty. Moreover, 
I entertain no doubt but the same policy ought to be pur- 
sued in relation to the clothing and blankets. I think it 
would be altogether wrong to press the reception of blan- 
kets and clothing upon that portion of the Indians who ex- 
press a determination never to yield to the terms of the 
Treaty. I should deem it more wise and prudent to restrict 
the distribution of clothing to such as are actually prepar- 
ing for emigration. 

My plan is to disburse the seventy-two thousand dol- 
lars, chiefly and economically, extending over the two 
years, to the poor emigrants. I consider this provision in 
the Treaty connected with the emigration of the Indians. 
And if no preference is given to emigrants, the result will 
be that the whole of this provision will be used for the pur- 
pose of keeping the Indians in their present unpleasant 
abodes, instead of encouraging them to embark for the 
West. Those Indians and their leaders who are opposed to 
the Treaty have so far appeared to be inclined to peace, 
and unless they are encouraged, directly or indirectly, by 
white men, I do not believe they will ever think of hostile 
operations against our white population. Indeed, I have 
no doubt but the whole Cherokee people will peaceably 
yield to the late Treaty, if the Government and its agents 
perform their duty in executing the same. But it cannot 
be denied or concealed that up to the present day much 
has been omitted, and much done, which has been well cal- 
culated to retard and hinder the faithful execution of this 
Treaty. For two months past both of the Commissioners 
should have been here with all the means afiforded them 
to discharge every duty with which they stand charged 
according to their instructions. But so far from that being 
the case, I am, after three months' suspense and corre- 
spondence, up to the present day, here alone, trying to 
efTect all I can to sustain and carry out the Treatv. Yet 
my labors and operations remind me of a cart with but one 


wheel. And the remedy is beyond my control. I have 
seen and felt the impropriety and mischievous effect of the 
course of things in this country, with nothing but nominal 
control over the evils complained of. Mr. Ross has re- 
ceived more respect and attention from the ofBcers and 
agents of the Government sent here to aid in executing 
this Treaty than all other natives of the country put to- 
gether. I am very far from desiring or advising harsh or 
unkind measures towards Ross and his followers, but I do 
protest, most solemnly protest, against the policy of 
officers and agents of the United States deporting them- 
selves in such a manner as to impress the Cherokees with 
the belief that no Treaty can be made or executed without 
the sanction of Mr. Ross. I thought it wholly wrong to 
permit Ross to assemble his people for the express pur- 
pose of preventing them from yielding to the late Treaty, 
if the Government really intends to execute and carry it 
out. But I was still more mortified that during his Council 
of mischief he should have had a military guard 
thrown around him and his followers and receive from the 
officers of the Government respect and consideration 
which, under all the circumstances, I consider humiliating 
to the Government of which I am proud to be a citizen. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 


Spring Place, 20 miles north of New Echota, Ga., 

November 4th, 1836. 

C. A. Harris, Esq., Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 
War Department, Washington, D. C. 

Sir: — Your two letters of the loth and 12th of last 
month (October), together with the copies and extracts 
therein referred to, I received from the postoffice at this 
place -yesterday. The frequent failures of the due arrival 
of even the weekly mails at Nev/ Echota induced me to 
visit this place, in search of news from Washington and 
elsewhere connected with my official duties in this country. 
I was gratified to find your communications above referred 
to at this place, and more especially after reading and duly 
considering their contents. But for the fact that I have 
not yet the slightest information from General Carroll, I 
should now indulge the hope of a successful progress in 
executing the Treaty. I have never received a word from 
General Carroll on the subject of our joint duties, although 


I Opened correspondence with him first in the month of 
July last. 

Your instructions to General Wool and myself have my 
most hearty concurrence and approbation, and so far as I 
am concerned, you may assure the President my duty shall 
be promptly discharged. I will not consume your time by 
reiterating anything which I have heretofore suggested oi 
urged upon the subject of executing the Cherokee Treaty, 
more than barely to remark that my opinions upon every 
point heretofore communicated remain unchanged ; and I 
am happy to find that my views upon every important 
point coincide with the views and opinions of the Presi- 

Having left most of my official papers and correspond- 
ence at New Echota, I am not able to quote precisely 
what I have heretofore expressed to you on the subject of 
funds and a disbursing officer to make payments under the 
direction of the commissioners, and in terms of the Treaty. 
In your letter of the 12th ult. you request me to forward an 
estimate of the sums that may be required for the pay- 
ments which may come under the direction of the Com- 
missioners. My want of a correct knowledge of the regu- 
lations, mode and manner of making such disbursements, 
I fear may have induced me to clothe my ideas heretofore 
expressed to you on this subject in language which may 
be construed into a desire on my part for the Govern- 
ment to depart from its usual regulations upon such sub- 
jects. Should this have been the case, permit me to re- 
miark that I had not intended to assume any suggestion on 
this matter which may be deemed incompatible with the 
fiscal duties of the Government. My only object is, and 
has been, that such arrangements might be made that no 
delay in the emigration of the Cherokees might occur for 
the want of funds being at command in this country to 
meet payments promptly as the demands of the claimants 
under the Treaty may require. 

I had supposed, and believe I have heretofore sug- 
gested, that a sufficient amount of funds might be placed in 
two banks, one in Georgia and one in Tennessee, subject 
to the requisitions of your disbursing officer, and perhaps 
sanctioned by the Commissioners. In this arrangement the 
necessity of estimates, it would seem to me, might be dis- 
pensed with, and the difficulty of making anything like a 
near approach to accuracy in these estimates be avoided. 
With a view of simplifying the subject, permit me to re- 


mark that if you will take a view of the present position of 
things, as I have communicated them to you, you will find 
it utterly impracticable for me to say, with any approach 
to accuracy, what amount will be necessary to make the 
legal payments in any given time. I don't yet know when 
my associate will be in the country. 

With the procrastinations, disappointments, and near 
approach of winter, I am wholly unable to say what num- 
ber of the Cherokees (if any) will be emigrated the present 
winter. My object, sir, is to prevent ruinous delay to the 
Cherokees. I have no partiality or preference to express 
in favor of any particular mode of transacting this busi- 
ness so that it may be consistent with justice and a faith- 
ful execution of duty. 

Let the funds be placed within the reach of the officers 
and agents of the Government, and let not a dollar be 
drawn, except when needed to make immediate payments 
under the Treaty. But I beseech you to let us be relieved 
from forms of business which will produce further delay 
and procrastination, and I shall be content. 
I am, Sir, very respectfully 

Your obedient servant, 


Spring Place, Ga., 

Nov. 22d, 1836. 
C. A. Harris, Esq., 

War Department. 

Sir : — Your several communications of the 17th and 25th 
of October, and of the 4th and 5th inst., I have had the 
honor to receive, and they would have been acknowledged 
at an earlier day but for the continued non-attendance of 
my associate Commissioner. But having heard nothing to 
the present moment from Mr. Kennedy, except through 
your communications, I deemed it my duty thus to 
acknowledge your communications and to renew to you 
the assurance of my continued solicitude for a better prog- 
ress in the execution of the Cherokee Treaty. Your letter 
of the 17th October, together with its enclosure, confides 
new duties to the Commissioners, to which I attach great 
importance ; from the nature and responsibility of which I 
have deemed it expedient to suspend the exercise of any 
imm.ediate action, until I can avail myself of the co-opera- 
tion of my associate. You will, however, please to assure 


the President that, so far as I am concerned, I cheerfully 
take the responsibility and "will try" to carry out his views 
(which coincide most fully with my own) in executing this 
Treaty. In the early part of this month, being iu suspense 
on the subject of the non-attendance of my associate and 
the disbursing agent, I left New Echota on a tour of bus- 
iness connected wath various branches of my official duty, 
in which tour I had the good fortune to meet with Doctor 
Minis, on the 8th inst., at Gainesville, in Georgia, on his 
way to New Echota, when and where I communicated to 
him verbally my views in connection with his oiBcial duties. 
From that place (look at the map of Georgia) I proceeded 
to Athens, in Georgia, for the purpose of making the 
necessary arrangements with the banks at that place to 
obtain readily the kind of funds which wall become neces- 
sary in making satisfactory payments to the recipients 
under the Treaty. And I now have the satisfaction to in- 
form you that Treasury drafts on the deposit Bank of Au- 
gusta, Ga.. as suggested in your letter of the 5th inst., will, 
through the arrangements which I have made with the 
banks at Athens, be promptly cashed with funds to suit 
the payments under the Treaty (any part in specie which 
may be demanded). Therefore, Treasury drafts, as you 
have suggested, is all that is deemed necessary on this 
subject. And I have only to regret that this arrangement 
had not been made before so large an amount was author- 
ized to be drawn from the deposit Bank of Tennessee, be- 
cause much the greater portion of the recipients would 
prefer Georgia money to that of Tennessee. The reasons 
for this preference wall readily occur to you from your own 
knowledge of business and commercial transactions. If 
you will examine the subject, you will readily perceive that 
my views are not founded in selfish or State considerations. 
From my present understanding of the subject, and the 
measures which have been taken to meet the payments 
under the Treaty, I trust a better understanding of the 
subject will hereafter enable us to progress without pro- 
crastination or difBculty on the subject of funds. 

But while I perceive the propriety and duty of the 
Commissioners complying with your request, in regard to 
monthly estimates being furnished by them, I am, never- 
theless, still laboring under the same difificulties heretofore 
pointed out to you. My associate is not yet here. Winter 
is at our door — the greater portion of the Indians who are 
desirous to emigrate immediately may not be able to get 
ofif before spring. 


I readily perceive and entirely approve of the plan 
which you have suggested, in making the disbursements 
to claimants under the Treaty, and shall adopt the most 
speedy arrangement within my control to have the blank 
Book of Certificates which you suggest printed. 

But when you take into consideration our location, the 
distance we are placed from a printing press, where such 
jobs can be speedily and well executed, and the causes 
which have heretofore paralyzed all my efiforts in progress 
and preparation, your mind will readily be prepared for 
making all due allowance for the contingencies which may 
render the formal part of executing our duties less per- 
fect than would under more favorable circumstances have 
claimed more consideration. 

However, everything that my means can control shall 
be done to have this business not only correctly per- 
formed, but in conformity with the views and instructions 
which I have received from the Government. 

The remittances which you have made are deemed 
sufficient for the present, and should Mr. Kennedy meet me 
shortly I will endeavor hereafter to furnish you with the 
estimates which you have requested. Under a view of the 
whole subject, you will please to express to the President 
of the United States my deep sense of the imposing obli- 
gations under which I am placed to the country by the 
confidence which he has reposed in the Commissioners, 
and to assure him of my unabating confidence that the 
present arrangement will in due time overcome every 
obstacle which may be in the way of a faithful execution of 
the Treaty, and that he shall be constantly advised of the 
actings and doings of the Commissioners in all matters, 
the importance of which may claim his attention and ad- 

Very respectfully, &c., 


Spring Place, Nov. 23rd, 1836. 

Brigadier General John E. Wool, 

Commanding in the Cherokee Nation. 

On my arrival at this place, amongst other communica- 
tions, I find one of the 17th ult., addressed to General Car- 
roll, accompanied by the copy of a letter of the same date 
to you from C. A. Harris, Esq., Acting Secretary of War. 


I presume yon have been furnished with a copy of the 
communication to the Commissioners above referred to, 
which will supersede the necessity of giving you extracts. 
Suffice it to say that I am fully impressed with a sense of 
the delicacy, difficulty and responsibility of the trust which 
has been confided to the Commissioners by the President 
of the United States. I shall, nevertheless, as one of the 
Commissioners, enter upon the discharge of the duties 
vhich have beeen assigned, with renewed hopes of suc- 
ceeding in a faithful execution of this Cherokee Treaty, 
and saving these unfortunate remnants from the destruction 
which evidently awaits them, if they fail to avail themselves 
of the liberal provisions of the Treaty. My increased con- 
fidence of success arises from the fact that under the 
present arrangement I anticipate more unity and concert 
of purpose and action amongst all the officers and agents 
of the Government who are connected with the service of 
carrying into effect the Treaty. Although duly impressed 
with the magnitude of the responsibility which is assigned 
to the Commissioners, nevertheless I shall enter upon those 
duties sanguine of success — relying, as I do, upon mv fixed 
determination to discharge my duties in that manner which 
v/ill clearly prove to all that my intentions at least are right, 
and that I will be satisfied with nothing less from others 
than what I practice myself. 

Of your good intentions, sir, in discharging your 
official duty in this country, I have never entertained a 
doubt. Therefore, I trust that in the exercise of the dis- 
charge of the duties assigned to me no jealousy will be in- 
dulged that I am disposed to cast censure upon those 
with whom I may dififer in judgment upon any point con- 
nected . with my duty. My duty will be discharged re- 
spectfully, but fearlessly, towards others. 

Next to that of the Commissioners, your official posi- 
tion is the most important to the country in this whole 
matter — under the present arrangement all just cause for 
conflict of opinion is removed. Your legal military duties 
will be unshackled with civil interposition. 

While the plans of executing the Treaty will devolve 
exclusively on the Commissioners, it affords me pleasure, 
however, to know, from the free and unreserved conversa- 
tions which we have so frequently held on this subject, 
that our views upon the most important points seem so 
nearly to coincide. We both know that our business in 
this country is to execute a Treaty that has been already 


made and ratified by the highest constituted authorities of 
our country. We have nothing to do with negotiation in 
this matter. We should hold no parly, nor give the least 
countenance to those who are disposed to set aside or 
weaken the stipulations of the Treaty. We owe it to our- 
selves, our Government, and every individual of the Cher- 
okee tribe, to use our best exertions to strengthen the 
bands of the Cherokees who are friendly to the execution 
of the Treaty, and to suppress all opposition to it, emanat- 
ing from caste and condition. We should say to all, the 
faith of our Government is pledged to execute the Treaty, 
and our duty is to sustain that pledge. 

Permit me now, sir, to suggest some of the best means 
within our present control to effect our object as above set 
forth. The power of the sword is committed to your 
hands ; you are placed in the position to coerce obedience 
to the legal mandates of the civil authority. Every officer 
and private under your command may by his deportment 
contribute his mite in causing the coercive power of the 
Government to be respected, and thus prepare and familiar- 
ize the minds of the whole Cherokee people to the neces- 
sity of yielding implicitly to the terms of the late Treaty. 
All this ought to be done in a spirit of parental authority 
and kindness. 

In order to afford an opportunity to make the proper 
impression as last suggested, and to perform a duty which 
I deem to be important, I would suggest the expediency 
of your detailing such portions of the men, and under such 
commands as you may deem best, for the service and pur- 
pose of visiting, as soon as may be practicable, every Indian 
town or neighborhood in the whole Indian country. The 
object of this visitation is for the purpose: First, of com- 
rhunicating to the whole Cherokee people correct informa- 
tion in regard to their present condition — the Treaty must 
and will be executed, their rights respected and pre- 
served according to the stipulations of the Treaty, and no 
further ; the suffering poor amongst the Indians provided 
for, fed and clothed — upon the condition of their repairing 
to Headquarters, and placing themselves under the direc- 
tion of the emigrating agent, and hold themselves ready 
for emigration whenever that can be done in the manner 
provided for by the Treaty. No subsistence or clothing 
should be furnished to any Indian who refuses to yield to 
its provisions. 

Secondly, I deem it to be a matter of great importance 
that the military under your command should, with all 


practicable dispatch, arrest and bring to Headquarters 
any Creek Indians who may be found in the Cherokee coun- 
try who of right ought to be emigrated as Creeks ; in 
order that they may be turned over to the proper officers 
or agents of Creek emigration. Should any Cherokee be 
found engaged in harboring, concealing or preventing the 
apprehension and delivery of the Creeks, as above sug- 
gested, upon proper proof of the same, such Cherokee will 
be considered and proceeded against as a person guilty of 
illegal opposition to the Treaty. From the information 
which I have received from various persons, entitled to 
credit, I cannot entertain a doubt of there being many 
Creek Indians at this time within the limits of the Chero- 
kee country. I consider this an evil of great magnitude, 
and one which claims energetic measures. 

My associate Commissioner not having yet met me, 
you will please to receive the foregoing frank and friendly 
suggestions in the good spirit in which they have origi- 
nated. It may prepare your mind for my general views 
on the most important points which will hereafter come 
before us. I communicate to you as a unit in this business, 
and not authoritatively as a Commissioner legally author- 
ized to enter upon duties which are joint. 

I have the honor to be, with great respect. 
Your obedient servant, 


Spring Place, Nov. 27th, 1836. 

Dr. Philip Minis, U. S. A., 

Disb'g Agt. Ind. Dept. 

Yours of the 25th inst., by express, I have this moment 
received. I consider the amount of twenty-five thousand 
dollars entirely too small to justify the loss of time and 
expense which will attend the mode which you suggest 
for transporting that amount to New Echota. When pay- 
ments are commenced under the Treaty, I shall not be 
surprised if we pay out one hundred thousand dollars the 
first week. The communications which I have received 
from the War Department, dated the 5th inst., assure me 
that two hundred and fifty thousand dollars will be imme- 
diately placed at Athens, Tennessee, for the purpose of 
making payments under the Treaty, and subject to your 
drafts, countersigned by one of the Commissioners. 


Under the above view of the subject, I have deemed it 
most expedient for your express to return with the draft 
for twenty-five thousand dollars, without my signature, 
and suggest to you, as the best mode to effect the object 
which we both have in view (the speedy payment of the 
Indians v/ho are ready to emigrate), that you immediately 
apprise the bank at Athens that it will be necessary for 
you to be furnished with one hundred thousand dollars, in 
ten days at farthest, or we shall be under the necessity of 
seeking funds through a different channel. 

Should there be any hesitancy on the part of the bank, 
you will please to communicate it to me without delay. I 
can obtain funds elsewhere. 

I entirely approve of your plan of having a sufficient 
escort, and as large a portion of the funds as may be rea- 
sonable in specie, and will request General Wool to fur- 
nish you with a suitable escort for the purpose set forth in 
your letter. I will send your letter to Mr. Tarvin imme- 
diately by a safe hand, and will forward anything that 
may be in the postoffice at this place for you by your ex- 
press, who will immediately return with this communica- 

I am very respectfully, your obedient servant, 


Spring Place, Nov. 30th, 1836. 

Doctor P. Minis, U. S. A., 

Disb'g Agent, &c. 

Your favor of the 28th inst., by express, I have just re- 
ceived, and without loss of time have written to General 
Wool, by your express, requesting him to furnish you with 
a sufficient military escort to ensure the safe transportation 
of a large amount of funds from Athens, Tenn., to New 
Echota, and to report to you at the Agency without delay. 

I approve of the present arrangement which you have 
made with the bank, and trust you will meet with no fur- 
ther difficulty in regard to funds ; the banks must dis- 
charge their duty without defalcation. 

I entirely approve of all the suggestions contained in 
your letter, and shall fill up and endorse the blank drafts 
forwarded by you for the sum of one hundred and fifty 
thousand dollars, that being the entire amount placed in 
the Athens Bank, Tennessee, subject to the control of the 



Commissioners. The other hundred thousand dollars 
(making the amount named in my former letter to you on 
the subject) is subject to your drafts, when countersigned 
by Maj. Curry. Your express, on his return from New 
Echota, will be charged with this communication enclosing 
the draft, filled and endorsed by me for one hundred and 
fifty thousand dollars. In regard to the other hundred 
thousand dollars, you will do well to consult Maj. Curry. 
I have the honor to be, respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 


Spring Place, Nov. 30, 1836. 

Brig. General John E. Wool. 

Sir : — You will please to furnish Dr. P. Minis, U. S. A., 
Disbursing Agent Indian Dept., with a sufficient military 
escort to insure the safe transportation of a large amount 
of funds from Athens, Tennessee, to New Echota. The 
escort will, with all practicable dispatch, report to Dr. 
Minis, at the Cherokee Agency East, Calhoun, Tennessee. 
Please to give me an answer by the express. 

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, 
Your obedient servant, 


U. S. Commissioner. 

Spring Place, Dec. ist, 1836. 

Dr. P. Minis, U. S. A., Disb'g Agent, &c. 

Sir : — General Wool refuses to furnish an escort to guard 
the transportation of the public funds, in conformity with 
my request as communicated to you in my letter of yester- 
day's date. 

We shall therefore be delayed in progressing in our 
public duties, which I sincerely regret. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 


Spring Place, Ga., Dec. ist, 1836. 

To Andrew Jackson, President of the United States. 

Sir : — I submit for your consideration and my instruction 
copies of communications which have recently passed 


between Doctor Minis, General Wool and myself, 
marked from No. i to No. 3 inclusive. I have communi- 
cated to Dr. Minis the result of my call upon General 
Wool for an escort to insure the safe transportation of 
the funds referred to in the correspondence. To General 
Wool's communication I have made no reply, verbal or 
written, considering it as I do, not only uncalled for, but 
as an indirect insult offered to the President of the United 
States as well as the Government and all its civil agents 
engaged in efiforts to execute the late Cherokee Treaty. 
From my first introduction to General Wool in this coun- 
try up to yesterday morning, I had considered our rela- 
tions, official and personal, of the most amicable charac- 
ter. I have heretofore, at all times, conceded to General 
Wool the best motives and intentions. And when I have 
dissented from his opinions and official conduct, as con- 
nected with his public duty, I have been silent except in 
cases when I conceived my own official duty demanded a 
different course. 

In General Wool's letter of yesterday's date, a copv of 
which is enclosed and marked No. 3, he commences:' "I 
return to you the enclosed letter and order to furnish Dr. 
Minis at the Agency with an escort, &c." No other paper 
was enclosed or handed to me by General's Wool's ex- 
press, except the letter, a copy of which I now furnish you, 
marked No. 2. Nor have I made any communication to 
hurt on the subject of furnishing Dr. Minis an escort, ex- 
cept the courteous note, a copy of which is hereinbefore 
referred to, being marked No.' 2. The General's object 
is obviously a childish controversy upon the question, who 
shall stand at the head of the class. For myself, I am now 
growing old, in a long and careworn public service, and 
am therefore wholly disinclined to enter upon such boyish 

T am most cheerful in conceding to the General all the 
rank and superiority of grade which may not be exercised 
in opposition to a wise administration of the afifairs con- 
nected with our public duty in carrying into effect the late 
Cherokee Treaty. My confidence in the General's judg- 
ment, however, has been greatly weakened, ever since he 
suffered himself to be the organ through which Mr. John 
Ross communicated the insulting result of his mischievous 
Council to the Government of the United States. 

Notwithstanding your instructions through the War 
Department of the 17th of October last to the Commis- 


sioners, as well as to General Wool, you will perceive from 
the copy of the General's letter herewith submitted, that 
he still reserves to himself the right of judg-ing whether 
the requests of the Commissioners will be acquiesced in or 
not. Now, sir, if the General continues to assume his 
right, contrary to your instructions of the 17th of Octo- 
ber, I assure you that the stipulations of the Treaty will 
never be executed. My associate Commissioner not yet 
having been heard from, although I have sent an express 
for him several days ago, I have remained at this place as 
the best position to co-operate with Maj. Curry and carry 
on my correspondence, awaiting the arrival of Mr. Ken- 
nedy. In the meantime I have forborne communicating 
with General Wool on many points connected with what 
should be considered the joint duties of the Commissioners 
and himself. And according to my best judgment one of 
the most important duties (according to your instructions) 
which will devolve on the Commissioners will be that of 
planning and directing the operations of the military in 
aiding the civil authority to carry into effect the Treaty. 

It will readily occur to you that public funds, stores 
and provisions, to a considerable amount, must be trans- 
ported, guarded and protected by the military. When 
emigration commences, frequent escorts will be needed. 
Persons using illegal opposition to the Treaty ought to be 
arrested or turned over to the civil authority. From the 
best sources of information, I feel assured that a large 
number of Creek Indians are at this time in the Cherokee 
country. They ought to be arrested by the military, and 
turned over to the agents of Creek emigration. 

All these, and various other duties, might be adverted 
to, to sustain your views in regard to preventing collision 
between the civil and military authority, as set forth in the 
communication of the 17th October, from the War De- 
partment. Let the Commissioners direct, and let the Gen- 
eral execute, the legal requisitions they may make, un- 
shackled by any authority which may be incompatible 
with military usage, and the regulations of the Army. I 
disclaim all disposition to assume any authority in this 
business which does not clearly devolve on me. and which 
is not demanded by the nature of the duties which are to 
be discharged. General Wool's temper appears to have 
undergone an entire change ever since he ascertained that 
you disapproved of his conduct in relations to Ross and 
his Council. Upon this subject, almost the whole country 



sustains your views, and the General has been using every 
exertion to throw the blame from his own shoulders on 
yourself and the War Department. Of the correctness of 
this course you can best judge. Your instructions to the 
Commissioners, through the War Department, dated the 
5th ult., on the subject of removing intruders from the 
Agency reservation when taken up by them, require the 
aid of the military in the execution of your orders. And 
I presume that General Wool will treat the Commissioners, 
if called on, as he has heretofore treated Major Curry on 
the same subject. 

You will perceive that General Wool gives to my note, 
requesting of him an escort for Dr. Minis, the appellation 
of order, and may use as a subterfuge that the exception 
t^.ken to my requisitions is predicated on the fact of my 
acting ofificially without the joint authority of the two 
Commissioners. Should such quibbles be attempted, T 
trust it will be recollected that the banks are directed to 
make advances on the drafts of the disbursing agent, 
countersigned by ow of the Commissioners. 

Therefore, if one Commissioner can unite with the dis- 
bursing agent, and legally procure money for making 
payments under the Treaty, it would seem to follow as a 
matter of course and reason that the commanding General 
should afiford protection to the funds thus drawn. You 
will pardon the liberty which I have taken in addressing 
you directly, instead of through the usual channel of the 
War Department, from the consideration of the urgency 
and importance of the subject submitted. 

I am, Sir, with the highest regard and consideration, 

Your obedient servant, 


New Echota, Dec. 10, 1836. 
C. A. Harris, 

Commissioner of Indian Afifairs. 

Sir : — Herewith we enclose for the consideration of the 
President of the United States, or such officer or olificers 
of the Government as he may direct, a communication 
submitted to us by the committee of Cherokees appointed 
under the Treaty of December, 1835. 

We are destitute of the means of forming an opinion 
whether the committee are correct in the belief which they 
have expressed, in relation to the funds which they sup- 


pose to be now clue to their tribe, under former treaties. 
Of this matter the Government at Washington is doubt- 
less prepared to make a correct decision. Should it be 
found on the proper examination that a sum exceeding 
fourteen thousand dollars is now due the Cherokee Nation 
under former treaties, as the Cherokee committee sup- 
pose, we do not hesitate in uniting with the committee, 
who are now acting as the recognized representatives of 
the Cherokee people, in recommending to the Govern- 
ment of the United States that these funds may be so used 
and directed as to further the views of the Government in 
aiding the faithful execution of the late Treaty. 

Under every view of the subject it will be necessary 
for the Government of the United States to be guarded 
against any attempt John Ross and his party may make 
to avail themselves of the funds of the Cherokee people, to 
enable him and them the more efificiently to keep up their 
mischievous opposition to the late Treaty. 

Should Mr. Ross again present himself at Washington, 
in the character of Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, 
the Government cannot recognize him as such, except at 
the hazard of casting censure on its own acts in the rati- 
fication of the late Treaty with the Cherokees. Mr. Ross 
not only pronounces the Treaty a corrupt fraud, but has 
declared it null aiid void. (Read his address to Gen. Wool 
at the close of his last council at Red Clay). Many claims 
have and will be presented for the consideration and de- 
cision of the Commissioners, the justice of which could be 
best decided by reference to the official records of the 
Cherokee people, and by the testimony of Ross himself, 
who has for many years past exercised all the essential 
and most important functions of the Government himself. 
He has in reality assumed to himself such powers as to 
make himself the Government of the Cherokee people. 
In establishing a claim against the Cherokee Nation, noth- 
ing more has for several years past been deemed necessary 
by claimants but to have the authority and sanction of Mr. 
Ross. The Commissioners feel the want of access to the 
Cherokee records, as well as information which can be ob- 
tained alone from Mr. Ross, on many claims predicated on 
services rendered the Cherokee Nation under the direction 
of Mr. Ross. But this individual keeps the records of his 
country closed from the inspection of every one who may 
not be disposed to coincide with his present views in oppo- 
sition to the Treaty. And as to Mr. Ross' grving infor- 


mation to the Commissioners, his character is too well 
known to them to justify such an application. We are 
clearly of the opinion that the Indian Committee desig- 
nated in the late Treaty are the only persons that can be 
properly recognized by the Government of the United 
States and its agents as the present legal representatives 
of the Cherokees East, and would therefore respectfully 
suggest the propriety of intrusting the committee with 
any funds which may be due their Nation under former 
treaties, as set forth in their communication to us, herein- 
before referred to. It is true, as they have represented, 
that many incidental expenses have been incurred by them, 
and other expenses must necessarily occur hereafter, of 
a similar character, expenses, too, which would stand 
justly chargeable to the Nation whose interest they have 
been called to represent. 

All of which is most respectfully submitted by 

Your obedient servants, 


New Echota, Dec. 14th, 1836. 

Major B. F. Curry. 

We have received your favor of yesterday's date, and 
with much pleasure have complied with your request. We 
had advised Dr. Minis to fill your blank with the sum of 
one htmdred thousand dollars, and to have the same safely 
transported and guarded from Athens, Tennessee, to this 
place, and have directed a strong guard here for security 
of the pubhc funds. We enclose you three papers, handed 
to us by General Hemphill, containing the receipts and 
certificates of James Liddell and P. W. Hemphill, Esqs. 

We have received from the hands of Col. McMillan 
the book containing the Tennessee valuations, in one 
bound volume. 

Mr, Lumpkin recollects a conversation held with you on 
the subject of record books, for this office, which induces 
him to believe that the blank books needed may be ob- 
tained through your kind agency with more facility than 
through any other channel at our command. 

First, we are in immediate want of a large blank book, 
spring back, paper of the best quality, ruled in double col- 
umns, for the purpose of exhibiting on the same page the 


whole of the debts and dues of each Cherokee, after the 
form spoken of by you and Mr. Lumpkin at Spring Place, 
and the receipts to be taken on the same page by the recip- 
ient writing his name opposite the amount paid. If such a 
book can be sent to us without delay, we will meet any 
proper charge or expense, and acknowledge your kindness 
in the matter. 

We also need four such blank books as the one re- 
turned to Col. McMillan, containing the Tennessee ap- 

We also want one ream of best letter paper ; one ream 
of foolscap, ruled. If your health will allow of your attend- 
ing to this matter, through the agency of your brother, 
and the books can be sent to us without delay, it will do us 
a personal favor and promote the public interest at the 
same time. If it is not convenient for you to comply with 
our requests, please to notify us without delay. 

We know your disposition and fidelity to public trust, 
and therefore admonish you to take care of your feeble 

Very respectfully, your obedient servants, 



New Echota, 
Office of the Commissioners, 

Dec. 14th, 1836. 
Brigadier General John E. Wool, 

Commanding in the Cherokee Country, &c. 

We find it indispensable to the most enlightened dis- 
charge of our official duty to have free and daily access 
to the papers and records of the Cherokee people, which 
we understood have been regularly kept for many years 
past, and are now in the possession of Mr. John Ross, or in 
the care of some other person selected by him for that pur- 
pose. Cases of deep interest are daily arising, connected 
with the general and individual interest of the Cherokee 
people, which, if the information given to the Commission- 
ers is to be relied on, are involved in obscurity, for the 
want of the records herein referred to. 

Indeed, many claims which are already before the Com- 


missioners cannot be finally adjusted without access to 
these papers. 

You are apprised that the Government of the United 
States, in the ratification of the late Treaty, have recognized 
the persons named in the Treaty as a Committee, and their 
successors in office as the legally authorized agents and 
representatives of the Cherokee Nation, to transact all the 
business of the Nation to the termination of the time that 
the Indians are to remain in their present abodes. Mr. 
John Ross is no longer recognized by the Federal Govern- 
ment as the representative of the Cherokees east, having 
declined to serve as one of the Committee under the provi- 
sions of the Treaty. Therefore, we recognize the Commit- 
tee, or the members now engaged in transacting the busi- 
ness of the people, as the only legal representatives of the 
Nation, and as being entitled to all papers and records of 
the Nation which may be necessary to enable them to 
perform their official functions with facility and correct- 
ness. Moreover, we have just cause to believe that Mr. 
Ross will neither surrender these papers to us nor the In- 
dian Committee, unless we use imperative measures. 

We have, therefore, after mature consideration, deemed 
it our duty, under the plenary powers with which we have 
been clothed by the President of the United States, to use 
all prudent means to obtain the possession of all the papers 
and records hereinbefore referred to. 

Now, sir, we are at a loss to devise any proper means 
for obtaining these papers without your official aid and 
assistance. To our minds, you hold the only prominent 
and proper position to obtain these papers. As to the 
mode and manner of discharging this duty, so as to pro- 
duce the best effect in furthering the object of the faithful 
execution of the Treaty, we of course leave to your better 
judgment and discretion. 

We are ready and willing to take the responsibility of 
the act of forcibly taking these papers, should force be- 
come necessary ; and we • hereby respectfully request 
that you will devise the plans and order the means which 
may be necessary to carry into effect the objects which 
we have hereinbefore set forth. 

Our confidence in your judgment and ability to execute 
the desirable object of obtaining these papers induces us 
to forbear entering into any details in the way of advice 
to you. Suffice it to say, we consider this communication 
to you strictly confidential, and to be entrusted to none in 


its execution but such as you fully confide in. Permit us, 
however, to add that the possession of these papers should 
first be respectfully sought by request to the person or 
persons in whose possession they may be found — prepared, 
however, at the same time, if the request be denied, to 
obtain them by force. 

We have the honor to be, very respectfully. 
Your obedient s'?rvants, 


Commissioners, &c. 

New Echota, 
Office of the Commissioners, 

Dec. i6th, 1836. 
C. A. Harris, Esq., 

Commissioner of Indian Afifairs, 

War Department, Washington. 

With a view of keeping you advised of the state of 
affairs connected with our official duties, we submit the fol- 
lowing: For the first time, both of the Commissioners 
unitedly entered upon business at this place on the 8th 
inst., since which time they have been assiduously engaged 
in the discharge of the variegated duties with which they 
are charged by the Government. The valuations of the 
improvements of the Indians are chiefly completed by the 
agents appointed for that purpose, and the books have 
been returned to Major Curry, the Superintendent, and 
most of them have been transcribed, and one-half at least 
are now before the Commissioners. But, unfortunately for 
the public service, Major Curry has for the last two weeks 
been closely confined to his bed by severe and serious in- 
disposition, which deprives us entirely, at this important 
juncture, of the valuable services of this vigilant, able and 
most useful officer, occupying, as he does, the most im- 
portant post at this time to render us efficient aid in mak- 
ing progress in the most desirable branches of the trust 
confided to our care. Major Curry being wholly unable to 
examine and certify the books of the appraising agents, 
we shall, as far as possible, supersede that necessity by our 
own personal examination and scrutiny. We are still re- 
ceiving, registering and attending to claims for spoliations 


— claims against the Nation, and claims against individuals 
of the same, as provided for under the Treaty. We have 
caused to be transmitted to this place sufficient funds to 
enable us to enter upon the various necessary payments 
provided for by the Treaty, and Dr. Minis, the disbursing 
agent, is now here in the discharge of his duties. We find, 
however, that emigration and making payments must 
be simultaneous. They must go hand in hand. Emi- 
gration must immediately follow payments. Therefore, we 
are the more seriously impeded on account of the serious 
indisposition of Major Curry, the Emigration Agent. No 
other individual can at this moment supply the place of 
Major Curry to advantage. He is intimately acquainted 
with every branch of his official duty — able, persevering 
and untiring. Thus we have been retarded in preparing 
one most important book. The General Register, or book 
from which payments will be made, cannot be prepared 
faster than we can procure material for that purpose, to 
suit the proper returns from the Valuing Agents, claims 
against the Nation, against individuals, and claims for 
spoliation. Many of the Cherokees are anxious to emi- 
grate immediately, and are still hanging on us and begging 
for subsistence. We should do everything we can to 
hasten emigration, and but for the indisposition of Major 
Curry vou would soon hear of a detachment being off for 
the West. 

The compHcated difficulties attendant on the successful 
management of this business can scarcely be conceived of 
by anyone at a distance from the scene of action, but we 
are not disposed to indulge in any apprehension of ulti- 
mate success. Under our present powers and instructions 
from the Government we are sanguine of the best success 
that the nature of things will admit of. 

Under the 9th article of the Treaty, the Indians are to 
be furnished, at the discretion of the President of the United 
States, with a sufficient sum to enable them to obtain the 
necessary means to remove themselves to their new homes. 
We suppose the Commissioners are now authorized to ex- 
ercise this discretion, which will be exercised with great 
caution and due consideration in all the bearings on the 
subject. All the intelligent Cherokees, as well as those 
who assume to be such, are desirous of obtaining their 
dues as soon as possible. Therefore, we are fully aware 
of the necessity of beins" the more guarded in the exercise 
of this discretion, and shall extend it to none but with a 


view to their individual benefit, and of furthering a faith- 
ful execution of the Treaty. 

We have the honor to be respectfully, 
Your obedient servants, 


Commissioners, &c. 

New Echota, Dec. 17th, 1836. 
Commissioners' Office. 
Mr. John Ridge, 

President of the Indian Committee. 

The conference held with you yesterday, on the subject 
of the official duties and rights of the Indian Committee 
provided for under the Treaty with the Cherokees, induces 
us to submit to you in writing the views which we entertain 
on the subject, and which were in substance communicated 
to you yesterday in convention. 

The Committee are charged with all the duties and 
clothed with all the power expressly pointed out in the 
Treaty, and no more. They have no plenary power. We 
were, therefore, surprised that an idea should be enter- 
tained by you, or anyone else, that the Committee was 
vested with power to determine and make final decision of 
the proper application of the sixty thousand dollars set 
apart for the pavment of persons claiming to have ren- 
dered service to the Nation, as well as for other claims the 
Nation held by citizens of the same. 

There is no duty which devolves on the Commissioners 
more intricate and difficult to discharge than to arrive at 
a just and enlightened decision on the very class of claims 
herein referred to. In order to discharge our duty cor- 
rectly, the investigation of these claims will require the 
best lights and most deliberate consideration of which the 
Commissioners can avail themselves. 

From the conversation held with you yesterday, one of 
the undersigned, Mr. Lumpkin, deems it his duty to advert 
to several facts which have now become matters of record. 
Mr. Lumpkin first met you here early in the month of 
September last. At the very first conference which he held 
with five members of your Committee, the question of fill- 
ing the vacancies of the seven absent members of the Com- 


mittee arose, when Mr. Lumpkin expressed to you his 
strong desire that the Committee should faithfully dis- 
charge the duties assigned them under the Treaty, and ex- 
plained to the members present his views of the import- 
ance of the Committee discharging all their duties with the 
utmost fidelity to these people. 

But, at the same time, Mr. Lumpkin, in the most ex- 
plicit manner, informed the members present that if any 
one or more of the members of the Committee should fail 
or refuse to discharge the duties assigned them by the 
Treaty, that it would by no means hinder him and his 
associate Commissioner from the discharge of their duties, 
and that the execution of the Treaty in no degree de- 
pended upon the fidelity of the Indian Committee. And 
these views of Mr. Lumpkin were without delay communi- 
cated by him to the Government at Washington, and have 
been fully sustained by the President of the United States, 
all of which has been fully made known to you, from time 
to time, and without reserve, and which of itself, when 
taken in connection with the explicit terms of the Treaty, 
would seem to be sui^cient to forbid the preposterous idea 
that the Commissioners of the LTnited States should sur- 
render the discharge of an imperative duty which devolves 
on them to one of the parties in interest, or to their au- 
thorized agents. Moreover, we find it our duty to advert 
to the fact that the Treaty failed to provide for the pay- 
ment of the compensation and expenses of your Commit- 
tee, and that Mr. Lumpkin, one of the undersigned, with 
zeal and earnestness, urged upon the President of the 
United States the expediency, the justice and the necessity 
of your Committee being reasonably compensated for their 
official services to the Nation, in settling their afifairs under 
the provisions of the Treaty. 

And upon this representation of Mr. L. to the President 
of the United States, the Commissioners were authorized 
to allow the Committee a reasonable compensation, not ex- 
ceeding four dollars per day to each member, while in 
actual service, requiring at the same time the certificate 
of the Commissioners that the services had been actually 
performed according to the charge. Your records will 
show the number of days you were in session during your 
first term, or meeting, which was adjourned to a given 
day, with the expectation of both Commissioners meeting 
you by the day designated. But Mr. Lumpkin, after sepa- 
rating from you, received information which convinced 
him that the other Commissioner would not be in attend- 


ance on the day appointed for your meeting, and imme- 
diately notified you of the same, and requested that you 
would postpone your meeting until you should be informed 
by him that both Commissioners were in attendance at this 
place. This information and request, although received, 
was disregarded by you,and you met in the absence of the 
Commissioners and transacted business according to your 
own views of expediency and propriety. Now, sir, most 
assuredly the Commissioners are not assuming more than 
will be conceded to them by all enlightened men, when 
they retain to themselves the right of judging to what ex- 
tent your proceedings thus had shall be considered en- 
titled to their official sanction as Commissioners. 

The President of the United States has thought fit to 
vest the Commissioners with plenary powers, in all matters 
connected with the execvition of the Treaty, and they feel 
the full force of the delicacy and responsibility of the trust 
confided to them, and have therefore taken great pains, 
and have felt deep solicitude, as you well know, to 
strengthen the hands, and add to the weight of character 
of the Indian Committee, who are friends of the Treaty. 
Yea, more, in all our official acts, we have recognized the 
Committee alone as the legal authorized representatives 
of the Cherokee Nation East to transact the business of 
the Nation arising under the provisions of the Treaty. 

And further, you are aware of the measures we have 
taken to enable you more effectually to represent and 
serve your people to their great benefit. 

Holding ourselves accountable to our Government for 
the expenditures which may be incurred in the sittings, 
&c., of the Indian Committee, we feel bound to reserve to 
ourselves the right of judging and determining when a 
convention and session of the Committee may be necessary 
to a faithful discharge of their official functions. In the 
absence of a general meeting of the Committee, we would 
advise that the officers of the Committee, to-wit, your 
President and Secretary, be authorized to transact such 
business as is customary for similar officers to transact 
under the Cherokee government, when out of council. 
This communication you will consider intended for the 
Committee as well as yourself. 

Very respectfully, your friends, 





A due consideration of the last letter, hereinbefore 
recorded, like many others connected with this subject, 
Kvill exhibit at once, and in a single letter, to the consid- 
erate and enlightened reader the variegated intricacy 
and importance of the duties which were devolved on the 
first United States Commissioners called to the work of 
executing the Cherokee Treaty of 1835. 

First, this letter shows the difficulties which were de- 
volved on me alone, for the want of a co-Commissioner. 
The whole labor and difficulty of organizing all the com- 
plicated machinery, books, &c., preparatory to the work 
of executing the Treaty, devolved on me alone. More- 
over, the misconceptions of the Indians who were friendly 
to the Treaty had to be removed before any progress 
could be made. The Indian Committee, appointed to set- 
tle the business of the Cherokees, needed much instruc- 
tion to prepare them for an enlightened discharge of their 
duty. Moreover, at the very threshold of studying the 
subject of this Treaty, I perceived the necessity of the 
Commissioners' being vested with plenary power from the 
Government, for in many cases the emergency required 
prompt action, a sound discretion, and a readiness to take 
the respo7isibility . All this, on being suggested, was cheer- 
fully granted by President Jackson. 

The foregoing letter will serve as one item of evi- 
dence to show the efforts which I made to raise and ele- 
vate the character of the Treaty party, by urging them to 
a faithful discharge of their official duty, as committee- 

And while I shall never cease to bear witness to the 
honor and fidelity of Ridge and his party, when compared 
with any other portion of Indian people with whom I have 
had intercourse, it will be seen from this letter that it 
cost me great care, watchfulness and labor to prevent 
Ridge and his party from running into gross improprieties 
and extravagance. He and many of his friends had often 
been lobby members of Congress, and had acquired some 
taste for extravagance, especially when exercised at the 
expense of the Government. In a word, the Committee, 
instead of continuing to view themselves as a business 
committee, appointed to procure and investigate facts 
and report thereon to the Commissioners, aspired to the 
dignity of what they had witnessed in Congressmen. They 
wished the sessions of this Committee to be interminable. 
They admired the compensation of four dollars per day. 
They wished to get rid of the tests of the Commissioners 


on their proceedings. They became pleasantly and gen- 
tlemanly assuming. It became necessary to correct their 
high notions and set them right. 

The foregoing letter had the desired effect in accom- 
plishing all that was desired. A few days only for reflec- 
tion was all that was necessary for these noblemen of na- 
ture to love the friend who had chastised them in the 
true spirit and language of parental kindness. They laid 
aside their extravagant assumptions, returned to their 
sober duty, and no further difficulty occurred on that head. 

Hastily written, Sep. 6th, 1853. 


New Echota, Commissioners' Office, 
Dec. i8th, 1836. 

Brigadier General John E. Wool, 

Commanding in the Cherokee Nation. 

Sir : — We find a growing disposition in the poor and 
needy Cherokees, who are now destitute of food and rai- 
ment, to flock to this place and press themselves on our 
consideration and care, as candidates for immediate emi- 
gration to the West. You are apprised of the serious in- 
disposition of Major Curry, the Emigrating /Vgent, and 
the consequent want of preparation in that department 
for the immediate reception and enrollment of these per- 

We are clearly of the opinion that this is the impor- 
tant and almost exclusive point at which subsistence and 
clothing ought to be furnished to the poor and needy por- 
tion of the Cherokees. Such an arrangement would effect 
much in promoting emigration. 

We therefore have to request that your skilful aid may 
be rendered us, by having as large an amount of rations 
as you can conveniently command transported to this 
place (without exceeding your funds for that purpose), 
and placed in store for the purpose suggested ; and when 
we are prepared for their reception, we will say to them, 
"Come and partake of the bounty of the good," &c. We 
attach great importance to this arrangement, and shall 
confidently rely on your co-operation. 

We have the honor to be. 

Respectfully Yr. obt servts., 




New Echota, Sunday Evening, 
Dec. 1 8th, 1836. 
To Gen'l Andrew Jackson, 

President of the United States. 

Sir : — We have this moment received, by express, the 
painful inteUigence that Major B. F. Curry departed this 
life on the i6th inst., after a serious and painful illness of 
several weeks. In the death of Major Curry the Govern- 
ment has lost one of its most faithful and valuable agents, 
and the loss comes at a time, and under circumstances, 
which makes it in some respects irreparable. His inti- 
mate knowledge of Cherokee affairs, as connected with 
his official station, cannot be imparted to another without 
loss of time ; but his vacancy must be filled with the least 
possible delay. The present posture of Cherokee affairs, 
as communicated to the War Department a few days ago, 
produces at this time the greatest and most important 
press of business on the oiitice held by Major Curry that 
has ever occurred or can again occur. 

We are greatly at a loss to fix upon, or recommend, 
a suitable person for this important oiTice at the present 
time. We therefore ask of the President, as a matter in- 
timately connected with the discharge of the various duties 
assigned us, that no person may be appointed to succeed 
Major Curry who may not be acceptable to the Commis- 
sioners. The duties to be performed are too nearly allied 
to be well performed by conflicting materials. Under the 
powers already conferred on the Commissioners, they will 
not hesitate to make an immediate arrangement, not only 
for the safe keeping of the papers and records of Major 
Curry's late office, but for the transaction of business, 
until we are advised from the President. 

The duties of the office not only require a gentleman 
of talents and business habits, but of untiring persever- 
ence, energy and industry, as well as constitution to un- 
dergo great labor and fatigue, and above all, sound judg- 
ment and fidelitv of character. We have the most entire 
confidence in the judgment of the President in this matter, 
but sulifer us to say it might be better to fill the office 
temporarily, rather than to hazard any man not person- 
ally known to the President. 

We are, with the highest regard and consideration. 

Your obt. servts., 




New Echota, 

Dec. i8th, 1836. 
George W. Curry, Esq., 

Cherokee Agency. 

Dear Sir: — Mr. Hargroves has just arrived here trom 
the Agency, and communicated to us the sad and melan- 
choly intelligence of the death of your highly esteemed 
and much lamented brother, Major B. F. Curry. The 
subject is too serious for us to ofifer you the ordinary 
words of condolence. Suffice it to say for the present 
that we bear cheerful testimony to the official merit and 
fidelity of Major Curry's character, and mingle our sor- 
rows with those of his family and kindred. 

Under the authority of the President of the United 
States heretofore conferred on us, we feel ourselves fully 
authorized to, and do therefore, hereby confer on you 
the temporary charge and official care of all papers, books 
and records appertaining to the office of Emigrating 
Agent, lately held by your deceased brother. 

Moreover, we would charge and advise you, in the 
most earnest and friendly manner, to be most scrupulous- 
ly cautious and watchful over all papers and books con- 
fided to your care and keeping, and see that nothing be 
taken or withdrawn from said office which may be in any 
way or manner connected with said office, or the public 

We have communicated the occurrence of the vacancy 
to the President of the United States, and, till otherwise 
instructed, you will continue to discharge such official 
duties as appertain to the office as you were in the habit 
of discharging during the life time of your brother. 

You will, in a special manner, give your attention to 
the making and completing the returns of the Valuing 
Agents, and have them forwarded to this place. If you 
received our communication on the subject of blank books 
and papers, please to let us hear from you on that sub- 

We are, 

Very respectfully yr. obt. servts., 




New Echota, Jan'y 23d, 1837. 
C. A. Harris, Esq., 

Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 


Sir : — We have had the honor to receive your several 
communications of the 29th and 30th ult. and 3d and 6th 

The Cashier of the Augusta Bank has notified us of 
the reception of the $250,000 referred to in your letter of 
the 29th ult., which will be drawn from the Bank as it 
may be needed for making payments under the Treaty. 
But for the affliction and death of Major Curry, several 
thousand of the Cherokees would by this time have been 
on their journey, or already in their new Western homes. 
These afflictions, however, unavoidably put a total stop 
to all preparations in the Emigrating Department for 
two months. During Major Curry's illness, for four 
weeks, uncertainty of the issue kept everything station- 
ary. After his death we were apprised that we could do 
nothing more than we have done, that is, have the office 
and papers taken care of, and have the returns of the 
valuations completed, transcribed, &c. If we had placed 
a person in the general discharge of the duties of the of- 
fice, it would only have increased confusion, and have 
lessened the responsibility of the permanently appointed 
agent, without hastening the most desirable object of 
speedily emigrating the Indians. 

Gen'l Smith, the newly appointed Emigrating Agent, 
has not yet reported himself to us, but we learn he is at 
the Agency, and have therefore directed Geo. W. Curry, 
Esq., to turn over to Gen'l Smith all papers and records 
appertaining to the office. We are ready and desirous 
to render any aid in our power to the Superintendent of 
Emigration, as well as to all other officers and agents en- 
gaged in this business, and shall do all that can be done 
by our efforts to promote the service in which we are 

Your views of the necessity of concentrating all the 
offices connected with the execution of the Treaty at one 
point most fully coincide with aur own views ; and the 
preparations already made at this place for winter quar- 
ters and for transacting the business here seem to us to 
forbid the idea of any change from that place at the pres- 
ent. Therefore, the office of the Emigrating Agent and 
the records of the Agency ought to be removed to this 


place without delay. Towards the approach of summer 
we shall probably find it expedient to remove higher up 
the country, as we hope by that time to have gotten off 
most of the Indians who reside convenient to this place. 

We are gratified at the confirmation of Dr. Young's 
appointment, believing it to have been a judicious one. 

The services of an additional disbursing officer are 
now necessary in this country, as payments will com- 
mence being made here to-day to a considerable extent, 
to persons capable of emigrating themselves and manag- 
ing their own affairs with discretion. These persons have 
for some time past been anxious to depart. We also 
have some hundreds of the poor and destitute now here, 
ready to depart the moment that comfortable means of 
transportation are provided, and the neccessary agents are 
ready to take charge of them. 

These poor emigrants must be accompanied by a phy- 
sician and disbursing agent. 

We have done, and are still ready to do, all that can. 
be done to expedite and push forward every branch of 
this perplexing business ; but we now have before us some 
thousands of claims for adjudication arising under the 
Treaty, and while we are engaged in personal attentions 
to the discharge of duties confided to others, our legiti- 
mate business must of necessity stand still. Moreover, 
notwithstanding the plenary powers conferred on us by 
the President of the United States, it is too obvious to be 
concealed that the United States officers attached to the 
military are indisposed to co-operate harmoniously with 
our views and suggestions. These officers have not the 
interest which we have in this matter. This is the land 
of our homes, wives, children and friends. If troubles 
grow out of our Indian relations here, that which is most 
dear to us must suffer. The contents of your letter of 
the 6th inst., on the subject of Cherokee funds, shall be 
communicated to the Cherokee Committee. 

We are. 

Very respectfully yr. obt. servts., 




New Echota, Jan'y 23d, 1837. 
Gen'l Nathaniel Smith, 

Cherokee Agency, 

Calhoun, Tennessee. 

Sir : — We have been notified from the War Depart- 
ment of your appointment to the office of Superintend- 
ent, &c., to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of 
Major B. F. Curry; also of the appointment of John S. 
Young, to conduct the first detachment of emigrating 
Cherokees to the West. 

We have been requested to render you every aid 
within our power to promote the efficiency of the service 
in which you are about to embark ; and further, it has 
been recommended that your office and papers should 
be kept at the same place with that of the Commissioners 
and other offices attached to this service. Therefore, un- 
der all these circumstances, we have to request that you 
will, with all practicable dispatch, report yourself in per- 
son to the Commissioners at this place, in order to a free 
and full conference on all the various subjects connected 
with the official duties which now devolve on you. W^e 
shall cheerfully do anything in our power to render you 
efficient aid in the discharge of your official duties. 

Let it be kept in mind that your office must be re- 
moved and kept at this place during the present winter 
at least. 

In great haste. 

Respectfully yr. obt. servts., 



New Echota, Jan. 24th, 1837. 
Dr. Philip Minis. 

Sir : — We have already daily complaints that the re- 
cipients under the late Treaty cannot obtain the kind of 
funds which are required to suit their convenience and 
interest. If these complaints continue, you, as well as 
the Commissioners, will incur the public censure. In or- 
der to a justification, we have to request that you will re- 
port to us, in detail, what kind of funds you received from 
the Tennessee banks, and also a detailed statement of 
the kind of funds you now have on hand, to wit : what 


amount of specie you have on hand, and what amount of 
bills, and on what banks. If the deposit banks have forc- 
ed unsuitable funds on your hands, it must be corrected. 
As to the funds hereafter to be drawn from banks, we 
must be consulted. 

The payments under the Treaty must be made in 
funds to suit the recipients. 

Very respectfully yr. obt. servts., 



New Echota, Jan'y 24th, 1837, 
Commissioners' Ofilice. 
Brigadier Gen'l John E. Wool. 

Sir : — As far as time and circumstances would allow, 
we have examined the list of names submitted to you by 
the Indian Committee as persons entitled to receive the 
benefit of the fund set apart for the benefit of the poor 
classes of Cherokees by the i8th Article of the Treaty 
of 1835. 

We have great confidence in your judgment and dis- 
crimination in this matter, and frankly admit to you that 
other imperative duties have prevented us from scrutin- 
izing this list so far as to place any great reliance on our 
conclusions in regard to the persons recommended to 
your favorable consideration. 

Under all the circumstances, however, we would ad- 
vise that the recommendation of the Committee be sus- 

Very respectfully yr. obt. servts., 



New Echota, Jan'y 27th, 1837, 

Commissioners' Office. 
Gen'l Smith. 

Sir : — In reply to your note of this date we have to 
inform you that we found what is termed the public build- 
ings at this place in such a state of decay and delapida- 
tion as to render them wholly unfit for public offices, and 


have, therefore, been under the necessity of procuring 
such rooms as we could obtain from private citizens to 
transact the pubHc business in. 

Such repairs, we understand, have been made to the 
old public buildings at this place, by some of the officers 
of the Government, as to render them habitable, but, as 
this has been done by our assent, we cannot now, with 
propriety, incommode those who have had the buildings 
repaired. Therefore, we can only advise you to the course 
which we have pursued ourselves. 

Procure the best and most convenient accommodation 
you can for your office, and rely upon the Government 
to reimburse you for any necessary additional expense. 
If we had accommodations suited to our own wants we 
would cheerfully divide with you, but we have none un- 
der our control. We shall be pleased to see you at our 
lodgings, and confer with you more fully on the subject 
of your note, at any time which may suit your conveni- 

Very respectfully yr. obt. servts., 




Commissioners' Office, 

New Echota, Jan'y 30, 1837. 
C. A. Harris, Esq., 

Indian Dept., 


Sir: — In your letter of the loth of October last, you 
state that the President has decided that the Indian Com- 
mittee, under the 12th Article of the Cherokee Treaty of 
1835, may be paid such a sum as the Commissioners may 
fix, not exceeding four dollars per day, for every day of 
actual service, the necessity for which will be certified by 
the Commissioners, or one of them, upon the accounts. 

The Committee having gotten through with the great- 
er portion of the services assigned them under the Treaty, 
and being now in great need of their compensation, they 
request that some arrangement may be made for them to 
receive their respective dues, before their departure for 
the West. The amount necessary to pay the Committee, 
including contingencies, paper, &;c., will not exceed four 


or five thousand dollars. We also enclose you a paper 
addressed to us by the Committee, on the subject of the 
expenses attending the execution of the Treaty, which 
we submit for the purpose of eliciting information, with- 
out remark or comment, on our part. 

A great number of the most wealthy and intelligent 
men of the Cherokee Tribe have reported themselves to 
us as ready for emigration, and have requested the priv- 
ilesfe of emisfrating themselves and families in terms of 
the Treaty — perhaps 7 or 8 hundred souls. The good 
character, intelligence and standing of these persons 
clearly entitle them to the privilege which they desire 
under the Treaty, and consequently could not be denied. 

We have not. tkerefore, hesitated to make them pru- 
dent advances to enable them to emigrate themselves 
and families comfortably. A large number of these per- 
sons are attached to both parties — many of the most 
reputable friends nnd adherents of Ross are amongst 
the number. The e are also now at this place at least 
three hundred souls, of the common Indians, under the 
charge of the Superintendent of Emigration, and ready 
for their departure to the West. And many more in dif- 
ferent parts of the country, we entertain no doubt, may 
be readily collected and brought to join this first emi- 
grating party, under the provisions of the Treaty. Gen'l 
Smith, the Superintendent, is now here, and we have held 
frequent conferences with him, and endeavored to put 
him in full possession of all our views and information 
connected with his office ; and we shall continue to com- 
municate to him freely, whenever our opinions are sought. 

Payments have already been made, to an amount ex- 
ceeding one hundred thousand dollars, and will for some 
time to come continue to be heavy ; therefore, a disburs- 
ing agent to accompany the emigrants is now wanting, 
and we trust will be furnished without delay. We have 
assured the emigrants, who are now about to leave for 
their new homes, that the Agent of the Government West 
would be ready to receive them, take them by the hand, 
and discharge every duty incurred by the Government 
under the stipulations of the late Treaty ; and we trust 
in this we may not be disappointed, for much of our fu- 
ture success will depend on the fidelity of the Govern- 
ment in this matter. All the men of intelligence, char- 
acter and property who are now about leaving for the 
West have been very urgent to get every dollar tliey 
could here, from the consideration above that they may 



be delayed in receiving their just dues promptly after 
their arrival at the West. We have assured them that 
their apprehensions were groundless. The present com- 
pany of emigrants is composed of many wealthy men, and 
we shall, at an early day, furnish you with an estimate 
of the amount which will be due the present party, on 
their arrival in the West. 

Under all the circumstances in which we find our- 
selves placed, we consider it due to ourselves, as well as 
the Government in whose service we are engaged, to 
ask your attention to our present situation. The Chero- 
kee Treaty of 1835 assigns to us, as Commissioners, the 
duty of deciding on all claims which may arise under the 
Treaty. Our instructions, from time to time, especially 
those of the 17th of Oct. last, have assigned to us greatly 
enlarged powers and duties ; indeed, we are clothed with 
plenary powers, to supervise and direct anything con- 
nected with the execution of the Treaty. We have cer- 
tainly neither sought nor declined any extra service im- 
posed upon us in connection with the execution of this 
Treaty. The incidental duties, however, assigned to us in 
connection with our legitimate duties, we would have 
gladly waived but for the ardent desire which we have felt 
to witness the consummation of a treaty so important 
in its consequences to all the various parties in interest. 
In attempting, however, in the most unassuming and 
modest manner, to avail ourselves of the services of the 
military in carrying forward our views, we have found 
ourselves repulsed, if not insulted, in every attempt which 
we have made to obtain the co-operation of Gen'l Wool 
in execution of our views. When we had politely requested, 
as we conceived and intended, the aid of an escort to 
guard the public funds in their transportation from one 
place to another, our communication was treated with 
contempt — sent back, accompanied with a querulous, peev- 
ish insult, intended to insult the President as well as our- 
selves. When we have advised Gen'l Wool in regard to 
the disbursement of public funds under his control for the 
subsistence and support of the poorer classes of the Cher- 
okees, and respectfully asked for information touching 
the disbursements made by him, the information has been 
withheld, and answers to our communications refused. 
We have received letters from Gen'l Wool on the most 
trivial subjects relating to the mode of issuing rations, 
&c., intended, as we believe, to produce controversy on 
subjects of no importance to the public interest. The 


truth of all these statements is fully sustained by the cor- 
respondence itself, herein referred to, a part of which 
correspondence was forwarded by one of the undersigned 
to the President of the United States, and to which no 
official answer has been received from Washington. Our 
present object in calling your attention to the foregoing 
facts at this time is to justify ourselves in asking that we 
may be wholly relieved from the responsibility of the 
military operations in this country, as well as the dis- 
charge of the duties of the Emigrating Agent. Other- 
wise, let it be distinctly understood that the officers and 
agents of the Government referred to are not to be per- 
mitted to treat with insult and contempt our official ef- 
forts to discharge duties with which we have been charg- 
ed by the President of the United States. We cannot, and 
will not, consent to be held responsible for the acts of 
those over whom we have no control. We would greatly 
prefer, after the 4th of March next, for it to be distinctly 
understood that our duties are restricted to what sums 
are to be assigned to the Commissioners under the pro- 
visions of the Treaty. 

Under any circumstances, whether we are private citi- 
zens, or agents of the Government, we shall use our best 
efforts to have this Treaty faithfully executed, keeping 
constantly in view the obligations of the Government to 
the Cherokees, as well as the honor of the Federal Gov- 
ernment, and the deep interest which people of the sev- 
eral States feel, in whose limits these remnants of the 
Cherokees now reside. This communication is made 
from a sense of duty, and not with a view of officially ar- 
raigning others, with a view to condign punishment. We 
are by no means singular in not being able to co-oper- 
ate with Gen'l Wool, as it is well known here that he has 
constantly complained of every officer and agent of the 
Government here, since he entered this country, from 
the President down, who has had the misfortune to have 
to advise or instruct him in his operations. He seems 
never to understand things in the light in which thev are 
intended, except, indeed, when he happens to be compli- 
mented or applauded. 

Very respectfully yr. obt. servts., 




New Echota, Feb'y 6th, 1837. 
John Ridge, Esq., 

President of the Cherokee Committee. 

Dear Sir: — Under existing circumstances, we feel it 
to be our duty to call your attention, and that of your 
friends in whom you confide, to several subjects worthy 
of your serious consideration, all of which have been duly 
considered by us. 

And first, we have, in the exercise of a most respon- 
sible discretionary power, made considerable advances 
to many of the Cherokee people who have reported them- 
selves as being ready for immediate emigration, those ad- 
vances being made out of their respective valuations, 
and being persons recommended to us by you and your 
Committee as persons of ample prudence and capacity to 
manage their own affairs to advantage. 

It has been reported to us through various channels, 
some of which we are compelled to credit and respect, 
that the efifect of these payments has been to increase 
drunkenness, gambling and disorder amongst the Cher- 
okee people. Indeed, Gen'l Smith, the Emigrating Agent, 
has sent us a message requesting that no further advances 
be made to the Cherokees, until the moment for their de- 
parture to the West. 

Moreover, it is reported to us that many of those who 
have enrolled for emigration are still here, spending their 
time and money in manner worse than useless. If these 
things be so, and we presume they cannot be denied, it 
is obvious that advances have been made to unworthy 
recipients, and will not a perseverence in such a course 
of making advances to unworthy and incompetent per- 
sons, deeply injure the friends of the late Treaty, as well 
as those who are charged with its faithful execution? 

Those to whom advances have been made cannot be 
permitted to remain here in dissipation. Those who have 
enrolled for emigration must go, and no longer charge 
the Government with their detention. 

No further advances will be made by us to any one, 
except it be such as have a right clearly to demand it un- 
der the Treaty. And we trust we shall not hereafter be 
annoyed and importuned by persons of doubtful preten- 
tions to these advantages. You will please to read the 
Treaty and forbear from encouraging your people to ex- 


pect more from us than the letter and the spirit of the 
Treaty authorizes. 

Very respectfully your friends, 



New Echota, Feb'y loth, 1837. 
Hon. B. F. Butler, 

Atty. Gen'l U. S., 


Sir: — In pursuance of our duty as Commissioners for 
settling claims under the Cherokee Treaty of 1835, we 
wish to avail ourselves of the aid of your opinions in re- 
gard to the true and proper construction of that provis- 
ion of the Treaty which provides for the payment of 
claims of citizens^ of the United States /^r services rend- 
ered the Cherokee Nation. We are not able to find any 
provision in the Treaty for claims of the above descrip- 
tion, except what is contained in the loth Article of the 
Treaty — which limits the amount which may be thus ap- 
plied to the sum of sixty thousand dollars. The opinions 
of the Commissioners on this subject perfectly coincide. But 
our dif^culty arises from the fact that attorneys at law, 
claiming to have rendered legal services to the Cherokee 
Nation, have already presented claims against the Cher- 
okee Nation to an amount greatly exceeding sixty thou- 
sand dollars (none of which have as yet been allowed or 
paid). These lawyers urge that no limit, less than three 
hundred and sixty thousand dollars, can be found in the 
Treaty, to circumscribe their demands, and they appeal to 
Mr. S'chermerhorn, who negotiated the Treaty, as author- 
ity to sustain their construction of the instrument. 

We do not ask your opinion because of a doubt which 
exists in our own minds in regard to this subject, but 
we desire it as the highest legal opinion of the country, 
and therefore will be respected and yielded to as the high- 
est authority. Allow us further to request that you would 
carefully examine the Treaty in reference to this particu- 
lar class of claims, and suggest to us your views. First, 
what constitutes a proper claim for legal services rend- 
ered the Cherokee Nation under the Treaty. Second, -to 
constitute such a claim, is it necessary that the claimant 


should have been employed by the authority of the Na- 

We are greatly surprised at the number and complex- 
ion of the claims of this class which have already been 
presented for our consideration. Sixteen attorneys-at- 
law have already presented their claims for services al- 
leged to have been rendered the Cherokee Nation, their 
demands varying in amount from one to upwards of thir- 
ty thousand dollars each. We are not alarmed at this un- 
reasonable and dishonest attempt to defraud Cherokee 
people out of their national patrimony, and we mention 
these things alone to place you on your guard in making 
up your opinions on this subject. 

We have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, yr. obt. servts., 



Commissioners' Office, 
New Echota, March 9th, 1837. 
C. A. Harris, Esq., 

War Dept., Washington. 

Sir : — We have received your letter of the 14th ult., 
acknowledging the receipt of our three letters therein re- 
ferred to. 

Gen'l Smith, the Superintendent of Emigration, has 
not yet returned to this place from Tennessee River, 
where he has been engaged for some time past in pro- 
viding for, and starting, emigrant Cherokees to the West. 
We are therefore unprepared, until we receive his report, 
to give you a correct report of the emigrants who have 
actually left the country. Consequently we cannot at this 
time make up an accurate estimate for the War Depart- 
ment, or the Western Agents of the Cherokees. This 
can only be done after we have our accurate roll of the 
emigrants and their families who have departed for the 

We have, however, in a train of completion the final 
settlement of all the business and claims of the emigrants 
which are to be adjudicated by us, which are already in 
such a state of preparation and forwardness as will en- 
able us to prepare and forward at an early day all that 


is desired, after receiving the report of the emigrating 
agent. Oiir work is in as great advance as the material 
afforded would allow. 

As heretofore suggested to you, we are very desirous 
that the Government should promptly discharge its obli- 
gations to the emigrants, upon their arrival at their new 
homes ; therefore, we shall strive to discharge promptly 
every duty which devolves on us, calculated to effect that 
very desirable object. 

Dr. Minis did not arrive here until the 4th inst., 
which w^e apprehend will produce some embarrassment 
and expensive delay to the Superintendent of Emigra- 
tion. On his arrival here with the $250,000 received from 
the Bank of Augusta (as he reports verbally to us), we 
requested him to place these funds in the care of General 
Wool, after taking out the necessary amount to meet 
the estimates of the Emigrating Agent, and then proceed 
to Gunter's Landing, on the Tennessee River, to the im- 
mediate relief of Gen'l Smith. To this arrangement he 
assented, and accordingly left here on the 6th inst. Capt. 
Bennett, the disbursing officer, has reported himself to us 
by letter, and we are daily expecting his arrival at this 
place. In his absence General Wool has politelj attend- 
ed to such disbursements as were deemed absolutely 
necessary at this place, and will turn over the funds to 
Capt. Bennett on his arrival. 

Upon the subject of our business location at this place, 
it is only necessary to state that imperative duty compels 
us to remain here for the present ; and we are wholly un- 
able to say anything definite at this time on the subject 
of a change. We now have the necessary records from 
the Agency to enable us to progress and transact our 
business. Since the late emigrants left here we have quite 
a calm. 

Our future success, in regard to emigration, greatly 
depends on John Ross and his delegation now at Wash- 
ington. If Ross receives such countenance at Washing- 
ton as to induce him on his return to advise emigration, 
most of the Indians will gladly go ; but if he is caressed 
and flattered at Washington he will retard emigration, 
and give the Government and its agents much trouble. 

We still entertain the belief, however, that the Treaty 
can be fully executed, and the Cherokees removed in the 
face of all possible opposition, and without the effusion 
of human blood. From information already acquired, 


we anticipate considerable difficulty in the adjudication of 
claims for compensation for reservations. 

Whatever aid can be obtained from the records of the 
War Department going to establish the relinquishment 
of the claims of reserves would be useful to us. An heir 
of a reserver, Lewis Milton, has presented a large claim 
for the payment of a reservation, which you will find 
pointed out in the Double-head Treaty of 1806, provid- 
ing for Lewis Milton and Charles Hicks. Our impression 
is that this claim is barred by the Treaty of 1817. What- 
ever evidence the records at Washington may afiford cal- 
culated to aid in arriving at a just conclusion we would 
gladly avail ourselves of, as a great effort will be made 
by interested persons to impose upon the Government, 
and practice fraud. We are therefore preparing at every 
point to meet the expert showings of claimants and law- 

We have thus far postponed our decisions upon all 
the claims for reservations, with a view of collecting all 
the information we can upon this branch of our duty. 
Any information calculated to elucidate this subject will 
be useful to us. 

We are, very respectfully, 

Yr. obt servts., 


New Echota, March 13th, 1837. 
Hon. B. F. Butler, 

Sec'ty of War, ad interim. 

Sir : — We have the honor to acknowledge the receipt 
of your letter of the 20th ult., accompanied by a copy of 
your letter of the 9th of January last, to Gen'l Wool. 
Your views, as expressed in your letter to Gen'l Wool, 
are precisely such as we understood to be the views of 
the President of the United States and Secretary of War. 
Judging as we do from all the communications heretofore 
made to us and Gen'l Wool on the several subjects to 
which they refer, our views coincide fully with your own, 
on every point. 

At this time the personal relations between Gen'l 
Wool and ourselves are harmonious, and we trust will 
remain so. 


Your letter to Gen'l Wool has doubtless had its de- 
sired effect ; but we were not apprised of its contents, as 
you desired we should be, until the reception of the copy, 
which you have just sent. 

We are deeply impressed with the importance of har- 
monious action amongst all the agents and officers of 
the Government engaged in this service of executing the 
Cherokee Treaty. Therefore, we have done, and shall 
continue to do, all that ought to be done by us to concili- 
ate, so far as such a course may tend to promote the suc- 
cess of the service in which we are engaged. 

By profession and practice we are men of peace, and 
nothing but a deep sense of public duty will induce us to 
complain of others, or take up arms in self-defence. We 
disclaim all unkind feelings to any one, but duty compels 
us to report to the Government such facts as stand con- 
nected with the public interest. An ofificial responsibility 
to the Government necessarily compels us to report facts 
which, if concealed, would impede a successful issue of our 
official labor. This duty, however, of complaining of 
others, you may rest assured, is as painful to us as it can 
be unpleasant to the Government at Washington. 

We are, sir, with very great respect, 

Yr. obt servts.^ 




Commissioners' Office, 
New Echota, March 22, 1837. 

Sir: — We have the honor to submit the following' r- 
port and estimates, as the nearest approach to accuracy 
which the data in our possession will enable us to make. 

Under the superintendence of the Emigrating Agent, 
500 Cherokees embarked on board of suitable boats, at 
the Cherokee Agency, about the ist inst., for Arkansas. 
The Indians were well provided for and left in good 
health and spirits. 

A larger company of the most wealthy and intelligent 
have availed themselves of that provision of the Treaty 
which authorizes them to emigrate themselves and fam- 
ilies, and set out for Arkansas a few weeks ago, by land. 
We estimate the number in this company at 600 souls, 


which will sufficiently explain the cause of the heavy ad- 
vances made to so small a number of persons. 

They are persons, too, of undoubted prudence and 
economy, and in no instance within our knowledge have 
they made an indiscreet use of the money which has been 
advanced to them. 

The settlement of the business and afifairs of these emi- 
grants has received our first attention, and has enabled 
us to complete, as far as practicable, a final adjudication 
of their business. With the exception of a few cases of 
litigation, their afifairs may be considered finally settled. 

From the time which has now elapsed since we first 
invited creditors to present their demands against the 
Cherokees, we presume that nearly all the just demands 
against the emigrants have been presented and adjusted. 

The payment of individual debts which has been al- 
lowed against these emigrants will all be paid in the course 
of a few weeks. We can, therefore, with an approach to 
accuracy, estimate the amount of funds which will be 
necessary to make the required payments under the 
Treaty to those who have actually emigrated. We deem 
it indispensable to the attainment of the greatest accur- 
acy that we should prepare and forward to your depart- 
ment, as well as to the proper agents out West, accurate 
duplicates from our register of payments, which will 
plainly exhibit the true state and standing of each emi- 
grant's afifairs, properly certified and officially signed by 
us. We are apprised that the mode herein suggested will 
give great additional labor to this office, but we deem it in- 
dispensable to our object to which we attach great im- 
portance, to wit : placing responsibility in the right place ; 
and the speedy payment of the Cherokees after their ar- 
rival at their new homes. In the winding up of this busi- 
ness it will be our duty, and we have made our arrange- 
ments accordingly, to furnish complete duplicates of our 
books to the War Department and Western agents, which 
will enable each office to exhibit, at one view, the credits 
and debts of each individual Indian ; what has been paid 
out by us, and to whom paid ; as well as the amount which 
remains due to each individual after his emigration. 

The money already disbursed under our direction has 
been to the following objects : First, the largest portion 
has been allowed to persons deemed capable of emigrat- 
ing themselves and families. A large portion of these 
have already gone, and the balance are now making their 
preparations for departure in the course of the present 



year. The policy of making prudent advances to the 
wealthy and intelligent has gone far to remove all oppo- 
sition to the Treaty among the most influential classes 
of the people. The great body of the intelligent who have 
been reimbursed, with the opponents of the Treaty, have 
now become recipients under its provisions, and conse- 
quently their tone and temper have been greatly changed. 

Second. We have made advances of one-half their 
dues to some forty or fifty persons who have determined 
to become citizens of the States, and the balance now 
due these will have to be paid in a short time, in conform- 
ity v.'ith the stipulations of the Treaty in reference to such 
persons. These are also in good circumstances, and con- 
sequently the payments to them consume funds pretty 

Third. We have adjudicated and paid a portion of the 
national debts. 

Fourth. We have paid for a part of the missionary 

Fifth. The expenses and compensation of the Indian 
Committee and a portion of the expenses attached to 
our ofifice have been paid. 

The aggregate of the whole of these advances amount 
to about the sum of $300,000, which leaves a balance of 
the $400,000, subject to our order and disbursement, of 
$100,000. This sum, however, will, every dollar, be dis- 
bursed very soon. It is now applicable to the payment 
of $100,000 of individual debts which have already un- 
dergone final adjudication, and stands charged against 
the respective individuals against whom they have been 
adjudged. Moreover, we shall continue to make advances 
to such Cherokees as are capable of emigrating them- 
selves and who are actually preparing to go, as well as 
to those who may be allowed citizenship in the several 
States. Under this view of the subject as herein presented, 
we request (without delay) that the further sum of $400,- 
000 be placed within our reach and control, subject to 
our order, for all of this amount will probably be needed 
on or before the middle of May next. We shall continue 
to forward you our estimates, as time and circumstances 
may require. 

It would greatly add to the facility and convenience 
of all who are concerned in these disbursements if the 
funds were placed, by order of the Treasury Department, 
in the Georgia Railroad Bank, at Athens, Georgia, and 
the branch of the Planters' Bank of Tennessee, located 


at Athens, Tennessee. It is desirable that equal portions 
of the sums which may be disbursed here should be placed 
in the banks herein designated, simultaneously. 

It is attended with great inconvenience to this serv- 
ice to be under the necessity of drawing funds from Nash- 
ville, Tenn., and Augusta, Ga., both on account of dis- 
tance and hazard. We would suggest the expediency of 
$150,000 being ready in the West, to meet the payments 
there, as soon as our abstracts exhibiting the just dues 
to each emigrant can reach the agent and officers of the 
Government, West, who are charged with the duty of 
making these payments. 

The Indians are a slow and tardy people in the trans- 
action of business, but we still entertain the hope that the 
Cherokee Treaty will, in due time, be fully executed with- 
out a resort to those vigorous measures which have been 
found necessary elsewhere. A great deal, however, yet 
depends upon the course of John Ross, after his return 
from Washington. A short time more will develop his 
course. We shall keep a close watch on all his move- 
ments, and shape our measures accordingly. At present 
we are moving on here harmoniously, and have concluded 
to avail ourselves of the present calm to make a short 
visit to our families and return to our labors with renewed 

We are, very respectfully, 

Yr. obt servts,, 



C. A. Harris, Esq., 

Commissioner of Indian Afifairs, 

War Department, Washington. 

New Echota, May 4th, 1837, 
Commissioners' Ofifice. 
To C. A. Harris, Esq., 

Sir: — Having received no reply to our communica- 
tion of the 22(1 of March last (a copy of which is herewith 
forwarded to you), we have to urge your immediate at- 
tention to the subject of funds as therein referred to. 


Our public funds here are nearly exhausted, and we see 
no reason to change our opinions or estimates as here- 
tofore presented in our letter hereinbefore referred to. 
Very respectfully yr. obt. servts., 



Commissioners' Office, 
New Echota, May 20, 1837. 
C. A. Harris, Esq., 


Sir :— Your several communications, together with 
the enclosures therein referred to, of the 20th and 24th 
ult. and two of the 25th, and one of the 29th ult., we now 
have the honor to acknowledge. 

Lieut. Richard Bennett informs us that his entire time 
will be occupied in making payments to the army at the 
several places where the troops are stationed. He says, 
however, that he will make an arrangement which will 
enable us to draw the necessary funds from the Tennes- 
see Branch Bank, at Athens, where you inform us the 
funds will be deposited, and by our checking in favor of 
Capt. Simonton, who has for some time past been en- 
gaged at this place in making payments under the Treaty, 
under our requisitions and under our supervision. We 
shall give the necessary instructions in relation to this 
subject and hope to have no difficulty or delay in the pro- 
curement of funds. 

In relation to the long absence of Dr. Minis, when 
on his trip to Augusta, and upon the subject you now ask 
for information, we must refer you to our several letters 
stating the facts at the time, which embrace all the in- 
formation we have upon the subject. The copies of the 
letters accompanying yours of the 24th we were pleased 
to receive, as they afford us the official means of rectify- 
ing many false rumors and reports which have been cir- 
culated amongst the deluded Cherokees. The course of 
the Government at Washington, if steadily adhered to, 
cannot fail to produce a good efifect on Ross and his ad- 
herents, if, indeed, anything can operate on their own 
ruin and destruction. We incline to the opinion, however, 
that Ross's obstinacy remains unsubdued, and we are 
not without apprehension of the evil consequences which 


may finally result from the unconquerable ambition of 
this most extraordinary man. 

We were gratified to receive the opinion of the Attor- 
ney General of the United States on the point of the 
Treaty therein referred to. It is ample and highly satis- 

We are pleased to learn that prompt measures have 
been taken to make all proper payments to the Cherokees 
who have emigrated, and we shall, without loss of time, 
complv with the request contained in your letter of the 
25th ult., on that subject. We shall furnish you with a 
full copy of all the communications and instructions which 
we may send West connected with the emigrated Chero- 
kees under the late Treaty. We have carefully read the 
letter of Captain Armstrong (a copy of which you enclos- 
ed), and fully concur in the opinions which he has ex- 
pressed, and shall therefore endeavor to have his views 
on the subjects adverted to sustained. 

In a subsequent communication we intend giving you 
detailed information in regard to the progress and pros- 
pects of our labors here. 

We are, very respectfully. 

Your obt. servts., 


Comsrs. Office, May 21st, 1837, 
New Echota, Georgia. 
To Lieut. Van Horn, 

Fort Gibson, Arkansas. 
Sir : — We have received information from C. A. Har- 
ris, Esquire, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, that ($150,- 
000) one hundred and fifty thousand dollars has been re- 
mitted and placed in your hands at Fort Gibson, for the 
purpose of paying claims under the late Cherokee Treaty 
of 1835. We have also been requested to notify you 
when and where these payments will be expected to be 
made, in order to enable you to make your arrangements 
accordingly. We have also been requested to furnish you 
with such information and instructions as may be neces- 
sary to enable you to take the proper receipts, &c., so as 
to prevent any difficulties hereafter in the settlement of 
your accounts. In conformity with the foregoing in- 


structions from the War Department, we herewith send 
you a Hst of the names of the emigrants who are author- 
ized at this time to receive payments at your hands, un- 
der the provisions of the Treaty of 1835, together with 
the amount due to each individual, carried out opposite 
to his name. The amount due to each individual is the 
residue due to him, or her, after having finally adjusted 
all their business which has come before the Commission- 
ers. These several amounts have been taken from our 
book, termed Register of Payments, which is made up in 
a form which will exhibit the true standing of each indi- 
vidual's afifairs, in form of debtor and creditor. We show 
by this record the amount of valuations, spoliations and 
claims which have been allowed to each individual, as 
well as the advances in cash and claims which have been 
allowed, and which stand charged against each person. 
Therefore, the amounts which you have to pay are the 
clear and uncontroverted balances which are due to each 
person, as is shown by the list which we herewith furnish 

Our object in being thus full and explicit upon this 
subject is to relieve you from all embarrassment, and to 
enable you to make the necessary explanations to the 
recipients, as some of them may be under some misap- 
prehension in regard to the amounts due them, arising 
from the fact that some of the claims against the emi- 
grants have been adjudicated and allowed as just debts^ 
since their departure to the West, and some cases of liti- 
gation have been decided which may vary the amounts 
both for and against individuals who have emigrated. 
However, these discrepancies in the expectations cannot 
often occur, as their business in the general was finally 
settled before their departure. To prevent all embarrass- 
ment and error, as far as practicable, we subjoin the fol- 
lowing form of receipts, to be taken by you on the pay- 
ment being made to each individual. You will take du- 
plicate receipts ; on the return of one of which you can 
make your settlements, and the other will afford the 
means at the Cherokee Agency, West, to make and carry 
out the proper entries upon the copy of the Register of 
Payments with which we intend to furnish that office in 
the conclusion of our duties here. 

(Form of Receipt.) 

No Received of (here insert the name of the Dis- 
bursing Agent) dollars, being 


the amount now due me, as appears from the certificate 
of Messrs. Lumpkin and Kennedy, Comsrs. for deciding 
on claims under the Cherokee Treaty of Dec. 29th, 1835, 
as per number on book, Register of Payments, made out 

under the direction of said Commissioners. This 

day of 183. .. 

The first blank number will be filled by simply putting 
the number of the receipt which you take from the recipi- 
ent. The second blank number in the proposed form 
will be filled with the number of the individual on the 
Register of Payments (and that number will provide the 
name of each person on the list which we propose send- 
ing to you), which we have prepared each individual is dis- 
tinguished by his number and not the page of the book. 
We would suggest the expediency of your having blank 
receipts printed, and the duplicates intended to furnish 
the means of completing the entries on the Register of 
Payments might be bound, or stitched together in a 
cheap form, suitable for the files of the office of the Chero- 
kee Agency, West. 

In regard to the time and place of making these pay- 
ments, it is only necessary to remark we are apprised of 
no reason why these payments should not be made imme- 
diately. As to the place where they should be made, we 
would recommend that point which may be most conveni- 
ent to the emigrants, and at the same time not incompat- 
ible with the interest of the Government and your ofificial 
duty. You will do well to bear in mind that this com- 
munication has no reference to, or connection with, the 
subject of the transportation or subsistence of the Chero- 
kees. The whole of that branch of the disbursements has 
been confided to Gen'l Smith, the Superintendent of Emi- 
gration, and he being absent from this place we are un- 
able to furnish you with the necessary information on that 
branch of the business. We shall, however, request Gen'l 
Smith, without loss of time, to report to us a full and de- 
tailed statement of the advances which he has made to 
the emigrants for transportation and subsistence, and 
when we obtain his report you shall be furnished with the 
same, together with the necessary instructions. 

We are, very respectfully, 

Yr. obt. servts., 





New Echota, May 23d, 1837, 
Commissioners' Office. 
Capt. I. P. Simonton, 

Disbursing Agent, &c. 

Sir : — In conformity with our understanding in the 
interview held with you this morning we would suggest 
the amount of $100,000 as the proper sum to be brought 
to this place at present from the Branch Bank of Tennes- 
see, located at Athens, to meet the anticipated payments 
under the Cherokee Treaty. 

To insure the safe transportation of the same, we 
would advise that you procure from the commanding of- 
ficer at this place a sufficient military escort to secure 
the safe transportation of the funds. 

The existing embarrassments which pervade the whole 
country in relation to the currency induces us to suggest 
to you the expediency of your being very guarded as to 
the kind of funds you receive from the bank. 

We are desirous that twenty-five per cent, out of the 
$100,000 should be procured in gold, or silver, as the in- 
terest of the Indians requires specie payments in many 

The balance may be paid in the bills of the Tennessee 
bank, made payable at its branch in Athens, or at Nash- 

Very respectfully, 

Yr. obt. servts., 



New Echota, May 30th, 1837, 

Commissioners' Office. 
Capt. I. P. Simonton, 

Disbursing Agent, &c. 

Sir : — Being apprised that you have been instructed 
to consider yourself relieved from duty at this place and 
join your military station and report yourself for duty 
there, "as soon as you shall have performed the duties 
in which you are now engaged, in the Indian Department," 
we deem it proper to state to you that the duties in which 
you are now engaged, as Disbursing Agent, under the 
Cherokee Treaty of 1835, will necessarily require the con- 


stant services of a competent agent to the close of the 
present year ; and we take pleasure in adding that, if con- 
sistent with the public interest, we should be much pleased 
at your continuance at this place. 

Very respectfully, 

Yr. obt servts., 


Commissioners' OfBce, 

New Echota, May 31st, 1837. 
C. A. Harris, 

Comsr. of Indian Afifairs, 

War Dept., Washington. 

Sir : — Herewith we enclose for your information copies 
of the communications and papers which we have this 
day forwarded to Lieut. Van Horn, on the subject of 
making the necessary disbursements to the emigrating 
Cherokees, West, under the provisions of the Treaty. We 
have forwarded these papers by the hand of a trustworthy 
emigrant who intends going direct to Fort Gibson. 

You will please to examine our communications to 
Lieut. Van Horn, and inform us whether our instructions 
meet the approbation of the War Department. 

This business would have been attended to much soon- 
er, if we could have procured from the Superintendent, 
Gen'l Smith, the roll embracing a list of the late emi- 

Very respectfully, 
Yr. obt. servts., 


Commissioners' Office, 

New Echota, June 5th, 1837. 
C. A, Harris, Esq., 

Comsr. of Indian Afifairs, 

Sir: — Mr. John Ross has at length returned to this 
country, and being the Master Spirit of opposition to 


the execution of the late Treaty, we have not failed to 
keep a constant eye upon all his movements, as far as the 
circumstances in which we are placed would allow. He 
is, however, a very reserved, obscure and wary politician. 
We know of no overt, direct act of opposition to the ex- 
ecution of the Treaty that legally criminates himi, but we 
do know, since his return home from Washington, and 
his o-rand Northern tour, that the spirit of emigration has 
greatly subsided. 

Those of the Cherokees who a few months ago were 
expected to have been off before this time now say they 
intend going in the fall, and those who some time past 
spoke of going in the fall now say that Mr. Ross will at- 
tend the next session of Congress, and they still hope he 
will be able to obtsin some change, or modification, of the 

A third and numerous class, who are enveloped in 
gross darkness, who know nothing, and will hear nothing, 
except it comes from Ross, say they will never leave this 
country — that the}' intend to die here. 

The intelligent and wealthy are zealous in settling all 
their affairs, and getting all the money they can under the 
Treaty, looking exclusively to their own interest, and 
with the most perfect and apparent indifference to the 
interest of the ignorant portion of their people. The In- 
dians commit daily depredations on the live stock and 
other property of the white population. Never, at any 
former period, has there been so much theft committed 
by the Indians as at present. 

The reports which you probably see in newspaper 
paragraphs, boasting of the great success which is now 
attending the Emigrating Department, is altogether un- 
founded, fallacious and false. We see it stated that the In- 
dians are daily enrolling in great numbers for emigra- 
tion. We suppose this is intended to designate persons 
amongst the Cherokees who are condescending to receive 
provisions from the Agents of the Government, and who 
promise that they will emigrate next fall. These persons 
are fattening on the bounty of the Government, in order 
to act as circumstances may hereafter inchne them, either 
for good or evil. Our plan now is, and always has been, 
to carry off emigrants as fast as a sufficient' detachment 
can be collected, and, if necessary, subsist them at the 
West instead of here. If we continue to feed and clothe 
these ignorant people here, they remain content, and will 
never be willing to change for another home. 


We would Still hope this Treaty may be carried out 
without the effusion of human blood ; but we are compell- 
ed to say since the return of Ross we consider the issue 
much more doubtful than heretofore. The military force 
in this country has not had the slightest effect in main- 
taining the quiet and good order of the Indians. It has 
probably had some effect in restraining the white popu- 
lation from committing depredations on the Indians, but, 
as heretofore stated, the Indians have been guilty of in- 
creased depredations on the property of the whites, and 
manifest but little regard or respect to the military offi- 
cers of the Government. Indeed, we fear that the ignor- 
ant Indians construe the kind protection extended to 
them by the civil and military officers of the Government 
— shielding their rights, property and persons — as indi- 
cations of a want of power to carry out the late Treaty 
without the consent of Ross. Ross is at the foundation 
of all this mischief, and we apprehend his ambition may 
lead him to destroy his people, rather than let it be said 
that he had yielded in the least to the most powerful gov- 
ernment on earth. The amount of debt against individ- 
ual Cherokees will far exceed our anticipations. We dis- 
cover few attempts at fraud, except by those claiming to 
be natives. 

Very respectfully, 

Yr. obt. servts., 


New Echota, Georgia, 
Comsrs. Office, June 19th, 1837. 
To Martin Van Buren, 

President of the United States, 


Dear Sir : — After much reflection, we have considered 
it our duty to address you directly, on the subject of our 
present relations with the Cherokee Indians. You may 
consider the communication either private or official, as 
your judgment may determine best. 

It is made from a sense of duty to the country, and 
from a desire to render you every aid in our power which 
may in any degree promote the success of your adminis- 


That portion of the execution of the Treaty confided 
us has been attended with many difficulties and embar- 
rassments ; but so far as regards the object of this com- 
munication it may suffice for us to state, and our records 
will sustain the statement, that no business of similar 
magnitude and importance and complication (when all 
the circumstances are taken into consideration) was ever 
in so short a period adjusted, systematized and, to a great 
extent, settled and brought into a form which now rend- 
ers its completion comparatively a plain and easy duty. 

Under the provisions of the Treaty, the Commission- 
ers were made the administrators of the afifairs of the 
whole Cherokee people — a population probably amount- 
ing to 18,000 souls. At this time the individual debts and 
credits of this whole people have been pretty nearly all 
brought upon our books and records, and final settle- 
ments have been made with all who could be induced to 
attend to their afifairs, as authorized to be settled under 
the Treaty. All claims of a national character which have 
been presented to us are either adjusted or in a train of 
adjustment, as far as the circumstances will allow. 

After the foregoing brief statement — reference to 
what appears to be the legitimate business of the Com- 
missioners under the Treaty — we beg leave to advert to 
other duties connected with the execution of the Treaty 
with which we were charged by your immediate prede- 
cessor, Gen'l Jackson. We allude to the general super- 
visory care over the whole business with which we were 
entrusted. The importance and delicacy of this task did 
not deter us from making many and faithful efforts, in 
rendering the best aid and service in our power to promote 
the best interest of the country in connection with this busi- 
ness, in conformity with the desire of President Jackson. 
The great importance of having this Treaty faithfully and 
harmoniously executed, and to the interest of all the 
parties in interest, was duly appreciated by us. and recon- 
ciled us to the discharge of many unpleasant duties, in 
order to carry into efifect this great national object. More- 
over, we were urged and encouraged to this delicate and 
arduous undertaking because we believed, and still be- 
lieve, that by wise and judicious measures, and unity and 
concert of action amongst the agents and officers con- 
nected with the execution of the Treaty, the work might 
have been triumphantly accomplished, and this remnant 
tribe of Indians saved from the dreadful consequences 


which we have witnessed elsewhere with the Creeks and 

But it is now only necessary to say that this super- 
visory care confided to us, so far from producing harmony, 
has been a constant source of discord, the commander of 
the military forces being chagrined at the confidence 
placed in us by the President of the United States. The 
moment that the Commissioners were presented in the 
new light of being clothed with plenary powers to super- 
vise the whole business of executing the Treaty, the mili- 
tary stationed here to secure the peace of the country 
have been worse than useless. The Commissioners and 
other authority have been disregarded, if not contemned, 
and nothing but their standing and weight of character 
in the country, in connection with a most faithful and per- 
severing discharge of all and singular their public duties, 
has sustained them. For some time we persevered in 
devising and urging plans calculated to promote emigra- 
tion under the Treaty ; and, in order that our advice might 
be more acceptable, writing was avoided and verbal con- 
versations resorted to, but all to no purpose. Nothing 
was done by the military which we advised to be done. 
In the meantime, Ross, who is the soul and spirit of all 
opposition to the Treaty, repaired to Washington, and, 
although faithfully informed by the Government that the 
Treaty would be scrupulously and faithfully executed, he 
seems nevertheless to have gained strength and confidence 
amongst his adherents, from the respectful and kind 
treatment which he received at Washington and else- 
where. He has returned home with increased weight of 
character. His brother's house is now the headquarters 
of many of the officers and agents of the Government, 
about the Agency. He, Ross, feels secure in the courtesy 
and respect which he receives from every officer of your 
administration, and the kind feelings entertained for him, 
in a special manner, by the Army agents. Sir, under this 
state of things, the Cherokees will not emigrate under this 
Treaty, except by force of arms, and when that is applied 
the result may be war. Nothing now can preserve the 
peace of the country and emigrate the Cherokees but such 
movements on the part of the Government as shall con- 
vince Ross and his adherents of the utter imbecility of 
their great idol. If you will read the memorial of Ross 
and his associates to the Congress of the United States, 
in Feb'y last, in connection with his written communica- 
tion to the War Department, you will not fail to per- 


ceive a spirit of arrogance and opposition to the late 
Treaty of a startling character. If the presumptions of 
this man are permitted to proceed unchecked, the result 
may already be written. His opposition to the Treaty, 
in the face of every branch of the American Government, 
will prevent the execution of the Treaty by that Govern- 
ment, except at the point of the bayonet. If Mr. Ross, 
aided by the ingenuity and sophistry of legal men, can 
so manage his opposition to the Treaty as to avoid legal 
personal liability and punishment, he and his advisers will 
then have accomplished the object for which they have 
so long labored, viz : to bring on the Government the 
odium of forcibly removing the Cherokees from the land 
and graves of their fathers, and thereby revive the noisy 
sympathies of the deluded fanatics, from one end of the 
Republic to the other. In conclusion, we assure you that 
this man Ross is sporting with the lives of thousands of 
human beings. Has not the Government power to pre- 
vent such a catastrophe? We think it has. 

Very respectfully, 
Yr. obt. servts., 


Commissioners' Office, 
New Echota, June i6, 1837. 
C. A. Harris, Esq., 


Sir : — With a view to keeping you fully advised of the 
progress made and in preparation in furtherance of the 
execution of the Treaty, we submit the following facts : 
All demands against individuals of the Cherokee Nation 
which have been presented to us since we entered upon 
the duties of our appointment up to the present date (with 
the exception of a very few cases, postponed to procure 
testimony), have now been fully investigated, and our de- 
cisions have become a matter of record. 

Of these claims against individual Cherokees many 
have been rejected. Yet the number which have been 
allowed, and the larger portion paid, amount to upwards 
of three thousand cases. 

We now have upon our Register of Payments the 
name of every Cherokee in the Nation who has undis- 


puted assets coming under our cognizance, whether for 
valuations, spoliations, or other claims arising under the 
provisions of the Treaty. Therefore, our books and rec- 
ords now begin to assume a tangible and official-like 
form. We can, upon any call, without delay, exhibit the 
true state and condition of the affairs of each individual 
Cherokee, except in the comparatively few cases where 
litigation still exists. We still find, however, some old 
valid claims occasionally coming in, especially debts orig- 
inating amongst the natives themselves. The citizens of 
the United States, we presume, have generally brought 
forward their demands. 

We have also decided upon all the claims of the Chero- 
kees for spoliations, so far as they have been presented 
through the Indian Committee, or otherwise, with the ex- 
ception of a few cases which require further proof and 
investigation. We entertain no doubt, however, but that 
many of the Cherokees have just claims for spoliations 
which have not yet been presented. This arises from op- 
position to the Treaty. Mr. Ross and many of his ad- 
herents still stand off. And it is to be regretted that this 
omission to attend to their interest bears most heavily 
on the most ignorant class of Ross's following, for we 
find no men more vigilant in attending to their claims 
under the Treaty than the intelligent friends of Ross. 

We shall now have time and opportunity, and shall 
devote ourselves to the investigation of the more impor- 
tant class of cases arising under the Treaty, to wit : claims 
of citizens of the United States for services rendered the 
nation, claims for reservations, &c. Some claims of the 
last named description, however, have been already ad- 
judicated and settled. 

The whole of the missionary establishments were val- 
ued and returned by the different Valuation Agents in 
whose districts they were located, under the direction of 
Major Curry, and we have, in one instance, given our 
certificate for the payment of the valuations, in terms of 
the Treaty, to the Secretary of the Missionary Board. 

Please to let us know whether or not we shall con- 
tinue to make these settlements ? We still find ourselves 
embarrassed upon the subject of funds to meet our pay- 
ments here. We have heretofore apprised you of our 
failure to obtain the funds from the deposit bank in Ten- 

We are now here in suspense, upon the subject of 
funds. Indeed, we have neither funds nor information 


in regard to the prospect before us, except what we 
gather from the pubHc prints. In a word, sir, we have, 
by untiring exertion, brought our part of this business to 
a point which Vvill hereafter enable us to discharge all 
of our duties with the greatest promptitude and dispatch. 
We can hereafter send with emigrating parties (if indeed 
we have any to send) a full and complete statement of 
all their affairs. 

As we suggested to you in our last, the prospect of 
emigration is by no means encouraging, and if anything 
is doing to promote emigration, except what we do 
ourselves, it is unknown to us. We very seldom see or 
hear anything from the Emigrating Agent, and we have 
so devised and suggested plans of operation to promote 
emigration and further the execution of the Treaty which 
have been wholly unheeded that we have of late tried to be 
content with a faithful discharge of our own duty. These 
Indians might have been peaceably taken away under this 
Treaty, but we are almost ready to despair of it now. 
Trouble will grow out of the present state of things. 
Everybody, except ourselves, so far as we can learn, is 
trying to persuade and coax Ross, and he is still full of 
the spirit of resistance, and, as we learn he intends being 
a lobby member of the next Congress. This, the time 
stipulated for the removal of the Indians, will soon ex- 
pire, and a great portion of them still here. Then will 
come the evil day. The white population will no longer 
forbear. The Indians must then go — yes, go quickly 1 
No good man can now witness the unusual state of things 
here and fail to desire the speedy removal of these people. 
Every day they remain here is pregnant with evil. The 
daily strifes and thefts which occur alTord renewed cause 
for apprehension that some outrage will terminate in the 
effusion of human blood. 

We have incidentally heard that there was some 
change in the command of the Army at this place, but 
we have no official notice on the subject, and are there- 
fore unapprised who has the command of the Army here 
at present. 

But let the command devolve on whom it may, it is 
obvious to us that the officer in command should be in- 
structed by the War Department to watch vigilantly the 
movements of John Ross, and instead of the troops re- 
maining stationary, as they do, that they should keep in 
constant motion, and visit every part of the country, and 


suppress any rising spirit of insubordination which may 
show itself amongst the deluded followers of Ross. 

Very respectfully, 
Yr. obt. servts., 


Commissioners' Ofifice, 
New Echota, June 26, 1837. 
Gen'l Nathaniel Smith, 

Superintendent of Cherokee Emigration. 

Sir: — Your letter of the 23d inst. is now open before 
us, and, in reply to that part which informs us of the gen- 
eral dissatisfaction of the Cherokees in North Carolina 
in regard to their valuations, and the expression of your 
opinion that their improvements had not been valued as 
high, by 50 or 100 per cent., as those of the balance of 
the Nation, we have to inform you that their complaints are 
wholly unfounded, and that your opinions might have 
been formed without a proper knowledge of the facts 
in relation to the subject upon which you have expressed 
them. We are satisfied that the valuations of the Indians 
in North Carolina are as liberal, all things considered, 
as those of any other portion of the Cherokee people. 
Their cleared lands are valued at from seven to eleven 
dollars per acre, and much the larger portion at eight 
dollars per acre. Their cabins and fruit trees are put 
down at prices equal to the average prices allowed in 
other parts of the country. We have before us the means 
of knowing, and state to you the facts from our record — 
the books of the Valuing Agents deposited in our ofifice. 

Therefore, these people should not be countenanced 
or encouraged by you in their unfounded complaints and 

We are fully apprised of the obstinacy and indisposi- 
tion of these Indians to yield to the terms of the late 
Treaty. And we feel it our duty to add that we have too 
much experience and knowledge of the character of these 
Indians to flatter ourselves that we can coax or hire them 
into a compliance with the terms of the late Treaty, so 
long as Ross and his partisans are permitted to assume 
the stand v.-hich they now occupy. The duties which de- 
volve on us will be discharged with fidelity to the coun- 


try, but with due forbearance and humanity to these un- 
fortunate and deluded Indians. 

But, sir, if that man Ross is permitted to use his in- 
fluence in opposition to the execution of the Treaty to the 
end of the time allowed for the removal of the Indians, 
we will not now undertake to record the melancholy 
catastrophe which awaits the ignorant portion of this peo- 
ple. Stationary as the nature of our office compels us to 
be most of the time, yet we have not failed to avail our- 
selves of all the information which could be obtained con- 
nected with the prospects of emigration, since the return 
of Ross from Washington ; nor have we failed to commu- 
nicate our views weekly to Washington. We have long 
since anticipated the very state of things which you now 
suggest, and concur with you most fully that your pros- 
pects of emigrating the Cherokees, under the existing 
circumstances and state of things, are by no means flat- 

We are, respectfully, 

Yr. obt, servts., 



Commissioners' Office, 
New Echota, June 26, 1837. 
To the President and members of the National Commit- 
tee to aid in settling the business of the Cherokee In- 
dians, under the provisions of the Treaty of 1835. 

Gentlemen : — Having invited your attendance here at 
this time, to sit in council on business connected with 
your official obligations to your people, it may afiford you 
some satisfaction to be informed that, during your long 
recess, much has been done and accomplished by the 
Commissioners in furtherance of a faithful execution of 
the Treaty. Indeed, every duty devolving on the Com- 
missioners which, from its nature, was susceptible of com- 
pletion, will be found in a finished state. Every individ- 
ual of the Cherokee Nation, having assets coming under 
the cognizance of the Commissioners, whether for valua- 
tions, spoliations, or other claims, may now find his, or 
her, name and amounts registered and recorded upon 
our books, and each individual may, at a moment's warn- 


ing, be informed of the state and standing of his individual 

There is, however, a great mass of business, deeply 
interesting to the Cherokee people, which, from its na- 
ture, yet remains open for further investigation. But 
everything which remains in an unfinished state is in as 
great a state of forwardness and preparation as the na- 
ture of things and the circumstances would allow. 

The Commissioners have given to the whole of their 
proceedings a permanent record form, and if the files and 
records of their office are preserved and handed down to 
the posterity of the Cherokee people (which ought to be 
done), these records will become a perpetual monument 
in the pages of history of the wisdom, forecast and pa- 
triotism of that much abused portion of the Cherokee 
people who have taken the responsibility of making and 
sustaining this Treaty. 

We have found the duties to which we have been called 
arduous, delicate and often embarrassing ; but we have dis- 
charged them so as to maintain the approbation of our 
own consciences, and fearlessly invite the most rigid 
scrutiny of gainsayers, if such there be. No complaints, 
hov.ever, have reached our ears, except from disappoint- 
ed and selfish claimants, whose demands could not be 
sustained by our best judgments. 

With an earnest desire to mete out justice to all, we 
have felt it to be our special duty, in every case, most 
vigilantly to guard the funds of the Cherokee people from 
unjust and unreasonable demands. 

The claims which have been presented to us for spol- 
iations, during your recess, are herewith submitted for 
your consideration and investigation, and the result of 
your deliberations on these cases you will please to re- 
port to us at your earliest convenience. 

We regret to learn that a spirit of opposition to the 
execution of the Treaty is still abroad in the land, and we 
will not conceal from you our serious apprehensions that 
this spirit of delusion and infatuation may result in the 
most serious calamity to that portion of the Cherokee 
people vv'ho are the misguided dupes of aspiring, ambi- 
tious, selfish men. The intelligent men of all parties are 
availing themselves of the liberal provisions of the Treaty, 
and each one settling his own private affairs accordingly, 
while we find the ignorant and misguided stand off at a 


There can be no doubt that many of the latter class 
have just claims for spoliations which ought to be pre- 
sented and adjudicated ; but neither you nor ourselves 
have the power to overcome the prejudices which rest 
upon the minds of these misguided people, and, therefore, 
whatever of evil, loss, or suffering may fall upon them, 
the sin will rest upon the heads of those who are at this 
auspicious moment engaged in the unholy work of de- 
ceiving and misleading the ignorant. 

We congratulate you most sincerely on the prosper- 
ous journey and safe arrival of our emigrating friends 
last spring at their new homes in the West, and take 
pleasure in adding that the Government of the United 
States have been prompt and vigilant in remitting the 
necessary funds to meet all payments due to the emi- 
grants as fast as they arrive in the land of their new 
homes ; and we have not failed to forward to the proper 
ofificers. West, the necessary data and estimates to en- 
able them to discharge the duty of making payments with 

We have some further business to lay before you, 
which will be made the subject of a special communication. 

Our incessant labors for three months past, without 
a single day's intermission, calls for relaxation. We 
therefore intend taking a short recess, as soon as the 
business of your present meeting can be accomplished. 

We are, gentlemen, with unabating zeal for the hap- 
piness and prosperity of the Cherokee people, very re- 
spectfully, your faithful co-operators in endeavoring to 
execute the Treaty, and thereby save the Cherokee peo- 
ple from evil. 



Commissioners' Ofifice, 
New Echota, June 26, 1837. 
To the President and members composing the Cherokee 

Committee, under the Treaty of 1835. 

Gentlemen : — We herewith lay before you the claims of 
various individuals against the Cherokee Nation for legal 
services alleged to have been rendered to the Nation. 

Our object in submitting these claims for your exam- 
ination and investigation is to avail ourselves of all the in- 
formation which you afiford us relative to these several 


claims ; therefore, you will please to report to us the re- 
sult of 3^our deliberations oil thfse several cl .iiiis, in writing. 

We are desirous of obtaining all the facts in connec- 
tion with these claims, whether in support of the claims, 
or otherwise. 

Everything tending to throw light on these compli- 
cated and extraordinary demands will aid the Commis- 
ioners in making up a final judgment and decision be- 
tween these claimants and the Cherokee Nation, in terms 
of the provisions of the Treaty. 

By a careful examination of the papers which exhibit 
the demands of these claimants, you will not fail to per- 
ceive that it is wholly inadmissible to allow these several 
claims as they stand stated in these papers. 

From this showing, it is obvious and clear that in many 
cases amounts stand charged several times over and over 
again by these different claimants for the same identical 

If A has rendered services, he ought to be paid for 
them ; but B, C and D must not be permitted, each one, to 
receive equal and separate compensation, as well as A 
who actually did the work. If a master workman should 
have a dozen assistants engaged with him in the accom- 
plishment of any given undertaking, it is wholly inadmiss- 
ible that the employer should first pay a full price for the 
work done to the undertaker, and then pay a full price for 
the very same work to each one of the subordinates of 
the principal undertaker. It is necessary for you to scru- 
tinize and understand this subject. Moreover, in these 
claims it is apprehended that services rendered to indi- 
viduals have been charged to the Nation ; and in many 
of these cases it is believed the individuals have already 
paid a full compensation for all the services rendered. If 
you have any knowledge of payments having been made 
for services charged in these papers, it is desirable that 
the Commissioners should be correctly informed on the 
subject. In conclusion, we desire all the information you 
can give upon this subject at your earliest convenience. 

We are, very respectfully, 

Yr. obt. servts., 

John Ridge, Esq., 

President, &c. 


Commissioners' Office, 
New Echota. July 3d, 1837. 
C. A. Harris, Esq., 

Commissioner, &c. 

Sir: — We have received your letter of the 15th ult., 
on the subject of funds, &c. We have to regret that we 
are still out of funds to meet the requisite payments un- 
der the Treaty. This failure of funds has operated, and 
will continue to operate, most injuriously on the minds 
of the ignorant Indians who are already indisposed to 
emigrate soon to the West. Their leaders who arc op- 
posed to the Treaty find no difficulty in so misrepresent- 
ing this want of suitable funds as to induce the ignorant 
to give credence to all such statements as may be calcu- 
lated to impress their minds with the belief that the Treaty 
is invalid and will never be executed by the Government. 

In the Disbursing Department, with which we stand 
connected, we have found ourselves throughout embar- 
rassed for the want of a Disbursing Agent, or funds. The 
first Disbursing Agent sent to our relief was Dr. Minis, 
and during his continuance here he always professed to 
be charged with so many more important duties that he 
could rarely be kept here long enough to make the neces- 
sary disbursements authorized by us. Since he left here to 
accompany the emigrants to the West, we have never had 
a Disbursing Agent under our instructions at all. It is 
true that after the departure of Dr. Minis Gen'l Wool po- 
litely and voluntarily did the business of Disbursing 
Agent, which prevented much delay and embarrassment 
in our department at the time. 

Caot. Simonton, to whom Gen'l Wool turned over the 
business, discharged the duty of Disbursing Agent to 
our entire satisfaction, as long as he was in funds, but 
since the funds gave out and we were informed by you 
that $200,000 had been placed in the Planters' Bank of 
Tennessee, and a like sum in the Augusta Bank of Geor- 
gia, to meet our estimates, subject to the draft of Capt. 
Bennett, when countersigned by us, we made the call 
upon the Tennessee bank, and of the result you are ap- 
prised. We were disappointed. As soon as we ascer- 
tained that the funds could not be procured from the Ten- 
nessee bank, it occurred to us to apply to the Augusta 
Bank, Georgia, to meet our payments, subject to the draft 
of Capt. Bennett, when countersigned by us, where we 
believed, and still believe, the draft of the Government 


would be honored. We therefore immediately requested 
Capt. Simonton to go in search of Capt. Bennett, who is 
understood to be the Army Disbursing Agent, and ob- 
tain his order on the draft, to enable us to obtain the 
necessary funds from the Augusta Bank. We think Capt. 
Simonton left here nearly a month ago, and did not re- 
turn till yesterday, and reports to us that Capt. Bennett 
declines giving his order upon the Government draft to 
another person, before he shall have first ascertained that 
the funds are ready in the Augusta Bank. 

Thus, you have all the reasons which we are able to 
give you why we have been kept here in this painful sus- 
pense for the last month. None of these Disbursing 
Agents consider themselves either under our control or in- 
structions, nor have we authority to say they are. 

We know that the most important disbursements 
which have been, or are to be, made under the Cherokee 
Treaty, are immediately connected with our office, and 
we have never yet had a Disbursing Agent who consid- 
ered this branch of the busines his most important duty. 
The Disbursing Agents are chiefly occupied in paying a 
few military officers and volunteer companies, and in at- 
tending the Emigrating Agent in his department, al- 
though no Indians are at this time emigrating. 

As to the kind of funds which would suit to make pay- 
ments here at this time, it is proper to remark that every 
recipient would prefer specie because it is worth more 
tha^ the paper of any bank. The paper of the suspended 
banks has all depreciated, yet all recipients who intend 
to use these funds in Georgia would take the bills of the 
Augusta Bank, rather than lie out of their dues. The re- 
cipients who wish to use these funds in the State of Ten- 
nessee will be satisfied with nothing but specie, and will 
not take the bills of any bank in Tennessee in payment 
for their demands against the Government. 

Our only object in giving you this retrospective sketch 
is to afiford you the means of having the evils of which 
we complain considered and corrected. 

We are, very respectfully, 

Yr. obt. servts., 




Commissioners' Office, 
New Echota, July 3d, 1837. 
C. A. Harris, Esq., 

Commissioner, &c. 

Sir : — We have received your letter of the 14th ult., 
accompanied by a copy of a letter from the Hon. J. P. 
King to the Secretary of War, to which you refer us. In 
reply, we shall attempt to correct any improper impres- 
sions which may be entertained on this subject, by a sim- 
ple statement of the facts connected with the case. In 
our general instructions of the 25th of July, 1836, we find 
the following: "The debts of the Cherokees are to be 
paid from the proceeds of the valuations of their improve- 
ments and of any claims they may have against the Na- 
tion. If the debts exceed the assets of any individual, a 
pro rata payment will be made to the several creditors." 

These instructions have been invariably followed by 
the Commissioners. All the claims which have been al- 
lowed by the Conmissioners have been considered as 
standing on an equal footing. No preference has been 
given to old debts, or even old judgments, over new ones 
equally just and well sustained by evidence. Claims based 
upon judgments from State courts upon written obliga- 
tions, and upon open accounts, have all ben placed upon 
the same footing upon our Judgment Docket, when the 
Commissioners have been satisfied of the justice of the 
demand, by satisfactory evidence. The Commissioners 
protest gainst the correctness of Mr. King's suggestion 
to the Secretary of War, that claims of a doubtful nature 
are admitted at all by the Commissioners. 

The valuations of Elijah Hicks amount to $2,852.50, 
and Hicks is still here, living in the country. The de- 
mands exhibited against Hicks, and which have been al- 
lov\^ed by the Commissioners, amount, in the aggregate, 
to the sum of $4,128.56^, and the claim of the Kerrs & 
Co. (represented by Mr. King) upon the execution, and 
which has been allowed by the Commissioners, amounts 
to $3,857,123/2- The whole amount allowed to other 
claimants against Hicks is only $271.43^)4. Upon the 
application of Kerr, we have this day issued our certifi- 
cate in his favor for the sum of $2,665.63, being his pro 
rata allowance, according to our instructions. If, upon 
an examination of the facts herein stated, we shall here- 
after be instructed from the War Department to pay the 
balance of Hicks' valuation to Mr. Kerr, to the exclusion 


of the claims of all the small creditors of Hicks, and which 
claims have been allowed by the Commissioners, such in- 
structions will be obeyed and respected by us ; and we 
shall take it for granted that the same principle must be 
maintained in all similar cases. We are apprised that 
there are other outstanding demands against Hicks which 
have not yet been brought before the Commissioners for 

We are, respectfully, 

Yr. obt. servts., 



Commissioners' Office, 
New Echota, Ga., July lo, 1837. 
To His Excellency 

Newton Cannon, 

Governor of Tennessee. 

Sir : — The Commissioners appointed to adjudicate and 
decide on all claims arising under the Cherokee Treaty of 
1835, with a view to a faithful discharge of their duty, are 
desirous of obtaining all the information (if any) which 
may be found on the files and records of any branch of 
the Executive Department of the Government of the State 
of Tennessee upon the subject of reservations allowed to 
Cherokee Indians within the limits of your State, under 
the Treaties of 1817 and 1819. Under the provisions of 
the late Cherokee Treaty (Article the 13th) in reference 
to reservations, we find the following clause : "In all 
cases where the reservees have sold their reservations, or 
any part thereof, and conveyed the same by deed, or other- 
wise, and have been paid for the same, they, their heirs, 
or descendants, or their assigns, shall not be considered 
as having any claims upon the United States under this 
article of the Treaty, nor be entitled to receive any com- 
pensation for the lands thus disposed of." Now, sir, if the 
Executive Department of the Government of the State of 
Tennessee, over which you preside, will afiford any evi- 
dence of the relinquishment of any of the reservees, un- 
der the said Treaties of 1817 and 1819, we have to request 
of you the favor of such information, in a certified and of- 
ficial form, as will enable us to determine (as far as the 


official information may justify) which of the reservees in 
the State of Tennessee have relinquished their claims, or 
any part thereof, as set forth in the foregoing clause of the 
13th Article of said Treaty. Any expense which may be 
incurred at your department in procuring the information 
sought will be promptly remitted, whenever we are in- 
formed of the amoimt. You will readily see the object 
and the importance of the information sought by us in 
relation to this matter. It is to obtain the necessary evi- 
dence to form a correct decision between the claimants 
for reservations, of the one part, and the government on 
the other. 

You will therefore please to excuse the liberty which 
we have taken, and permit us to request a reply to this 
communication at as early a day as may suit the conveni- 
ence of your Excellency. 

We are, very respectfully, 

Yr. obt. servts., 


P. S. — If you have any personal information bearing 
on this subject, and feel at liberty to communicate the 
same, it will be gratefullv received. 

W. L. and 
J. K. 

P. S. — A similar letter, written at the same time, to 
Governor Dudley, of North Carolina. 

W. L. 

Commissioners' Office, 

New Echota, Ga., July 13, 1837. 
Capt. I. P. Simonton, 

Disbursing Agent, &c. 

Sir : — You will please to proceed, without loss of time, 
to the City of Augusta, Ga., and present the Government 
draft, which we have countersigned, for the sum of $200,- 
000, to the proper officers of the Augusta Bank, for pay- 
ment. Not being informed in regard to the kind of funds 
deposited by the Government in said bank to meet the 
draft, and being fully apprised of the universal embarrass- 
ment which pervades the country in regard to the cur- 
rency, as well as a sense of propriety, forbid any desire 


on our part to make any unreasonable demand on the de- 
posit bank of the Government, especiahy on this Augusta 
Bank, which has so long and so justly enjoyed the pub- 
lic confidence. 

We have to request, however, that you will explain to 
the President and ofBcers of the Bank our embarrass- 
ments in regard to funds in making the necessary Gov- 
ernment payments, under the provisions of the Cherokee 
Treaty, and ask in our names, as well as your own, that 
as large a portion of the draft may be met in specie as 
can be afforded by the Bank, under all the existing cir- 
cumstances. You are apprised that nothing but specie 
will suit the convenience of the recipients under the 
Treaty. If the Bank can furnish you with one-fourth of 
the amount of the draft in specie, and the balance in its 
own bills, we think the funds can be used in making pay- 
. ments to the amount of the draft, $200,000. You will re- 
cieve no paper from the Bank, except in its own bills. 
Should the Bank be unwilling to furnish you with the 
amount of specie proposed, you will be justifiable in re- 
ceiving any amount of specie you can obtain, and the bal- 
ance in the bills of the Bank, with the express understand- 
ing, however, that if the bills cannot be passed ofi by us 
in making the required payments under the Treaty, you 
will return the amount not disbursed to its present de- 
posit, to the credit of the Government. Should you ob- 
tain funds, you will, in the exercise of a sound discretion, 
procure such means of transportation and guard as may 
insure the safe transmission of the funds to this place. 
Very respectfully, 

Yr. obt. servts., 



Commissioners' Office, 
New Echota, Sep. 7th, 1837. 

To the President and members of the Cherokee Com- 

We have this day received, and read with due atten- 
tion, your communication of the 5th inst., protesting 
against the construction put upon the Treaty by us, touch- 
ing the payment of the individual debts of the Cherokee 


people. When an Indian has stolen the property of a 
white man, and the white man has received no remunera- 
tion whatever for the same, you deny the right of the 
Commissioners under the Treaty to consider such claims, 
however just in themselves, in the nature of just debts, 
and rely upon what you conceive to be the custom of the 
States for the support of the opinions which you 
have expressed. Moreover, you seem to consider 
no claim against an Indian in the nature of a just debt, ex- 
cept notes and proven accounts. We might here close 
our reply, by merely informing you that the claims against 
which you protest have been in every instance proven 
accounts for property taken without the consent of the 
owner, in preference to obtaining credit in the usual way. 
But you are under a misapprehension in supposing 
that under the laws of the States recovery cannot be made 
from a person who takes his neighbor's property, with- 
out his consent. Most of the States have provided by 
special enactment of law for the recovery of the value 
of stolen property, by a civil action, as well as for the 
criminal prosecution of such ofifenders. We should deep- 
ly regret the state of morals in any political community 
where property might be plundered and the offender, if 
he could escape the whipping post and gallows by flight, 
should be considered a subject of so much sympathv that 
his effects which he had left behind were considered too sac- 
red to be applied to the remuneration of his injured neigh- 
bor. You are wholly mistaken in supposing that the 
Commissioners allow any claim upon mere allegation. 
They do no such thing. Not a solitary claim of a white 
man against an Indian has been allowed but upon clear 
and satisfactory proof. Moreover, the whole amount of 
the claims of citizens of the United States against indi- 
viduals of the Cherokee Nation, for stolen property which 
has been allowed by the Commissioners, now amounts to 
but a few hundred dollars (less than one thousand), while 
we have postponed claims amounting to many thousands 
of dollars which we beHeve to be just claims for 
property stolen by Cherokee Indians merely be- 
cause the offender could not be identified to our 
satisfaction. We have not yet determined the 
question whether the Treaty provides for the pay- 
ment of just claims of this description out of the funds 
of the Nation. While we have been thus scrpulous in 
guarding the funds of your people, both national and in- 
dividual, we have daily witnessed claims of the Cherokee 


people recommended to be paid by your Committee, for 
merely alleged thefts and depredations said to have been 
committed upon their property by citizens of the United 
States, without giving over the name of the offender, the 
time, or place, when or where the act was committed. 
We have, however, always put a liberal construction on 
your motives, and, in every instance where our conscience 
would justify, assented to your recommendations. We 
are truly glad to find a disposition on your part to guard 
the funds of vour people against improper demands. And 
you may rest assured that if you will exercise the vigil- 
ance and fidelity on your part which we have always 
done, and shall continue to do, on our part, to prevent 
the admission of unjust claims, from whatever source 
they may emanate, no Treaty ever has been, or will be, 
executed with greater fidelity to any people than this 
Treaty will be to the Cherokee people. 

The subject matter, as well as the formality of your 
communication, seem to us to call for this prompt and 
somewhat detailed reply. 



New Echota, Com'rs' Office, 
September 8th, 1837. 
To the President and members of the Cherokee Com- 

We yesterday received from you various spoliation 
claims which you have acted upon. We herewith return 
those upon which we find the word ''admitted'' written, 
with a request that the President of your Committee will 
add his official signature, after the word "admitted," on 
the back of each claim. 

This requisition is made to guard against fraud and 
imposition which might possibly be attempted by the 
word "admitted" being improperly written on a claim 
which had not been allowed by your Committee. We 
find this v/ord "admitted" written in different handwrit- 
ing, on different claims. 




Commissioners' Office, 
New Echota, Sep. 9th, 1837. 
To J. Mason, Jr., Esq. 

Sir : — Ever_v day since your departure from this place 
we have desired to respond fully, in writing, to the in- 
quiries addressed to us, through you. from the War De- 
partment ; but each day has forced us to the discharge of 
new duties, of a nature so pressing that we have not here- 
tofore found time for such a reply as would satisfv our- 
selves, and consequently not calculated to afford the in- 
formation sought bv vou. As to anvthing contained in 
any of our correspondence with the officers of Govern- 
ment at Washington which may be considered in the na- 
ture of complaints from us, we must beg leave to refer 
to the correspondence itself. We have, upon all occa- 
sions, in our correspondence, written with candor and 
frankness, whether speaking of persons or things ; never 
in a spirit of unkindness to others — unless truth is un- 
kind — and always under a sense of duty to ourselves and 
the service of the country in which we were engaged. We 
are not now disposed to reiterate what may be termed 
our complaints. After the occasion for strong feelings 
and expression of opinion has passed and gone, we are 
indisposed unnecessarily to rekindle the expiring embers. 

However, our views and opinions in regard to what 
would have been the best mode of executing the late 
Cherokee Treaty remain unchanged, and will be briefly 
submitted. We entered this country as the Agents of 
the Government, intrusted, in part, with the execution 
of a Treaty which we consider the supreme law of the 
land. We disclaimed all power or authority to negotiate 
— our business was to execute the supreme law. We con- 
sidered all the old arguments in relation to Cherokee 
rights now settled, and the argument upon that subject 
exhausted. Where an argument called in question the 
validity of the Treaty, we entered our protest. Upon all 
proper occasions (and we sought to create such) we la- 
bored to convince the Cherokee people of the kindness 
and magnanimity of the Government towards them, as 
exemplified in the provisions and terms of the Treaty. 
Moreover, in the administration of the duties confided 
to us, and in the exercise of some powers of a disinter- 
ested nature which had been confided to us. we think we 
are not vain in believing that our efforts have produced 
a very general and satisfactory effect upon the intelligent 


and wealthy portion of the Cherokee people, which has 
continued to spread and increase, until we are now con- 
vinced that most of the wealthy and intelligent will not 
only yield acquiescence to the Treaty, but they are open- 
ly, or secretly, well pleased with its provisions. Mr. Ross 
and his humble followers oppose the Treaty — first, be- 
cause it was not made by Ross ; and secondly, because 
the Treaty provides for the whole Cherokee people, of 
every grade and condition, without conferring any special 
power over the public fiends of the Nation upon Ross and his 

Now, sir, if every other olBcer and agent of the Gov- 
ernment connected with this service of executing the 
Treaty had, from the beginning, acted upon the principles 
we have briefly laid down, the Treaty would by this time 
have been carried out triumphantly. From the nature of 
our duties, we have necessarily been stationary the greater 
part of our time ; but the military officers, and the Emi- 
grating Agent and his assistants, have had abundant time 
and the best of opportunities to have visited every part 
and portion of the whole Cherokee country, and to have 
fully explained and to have informed the people, by kind 
and persuasive arguments, by such arguments as would 
have convinced the people of the necessity and expedi- 
ency of their yielding to the Treaty. But this course has 
been omitted. Much the larger portion of the Cherokee 
country has not yet received the first visit from any of 
these officers or agents of the Government, for the pur- 
poses herein pointed out. 

These officers and agents have passed from one part 
to another when other business or duty may have called 
them. But the idea of visiting the poor Indians in their 
obscure settlements, for the purpose of explaining, to them, 
and thereby prepare their minds for emigration, has never 
been entertained by these officers or agents for a moment. 
It was altogether unreasonable to expect that the ignor- 
ant Indians, who are scattered over a country embracing 
five or six millions of acres of land, to come forward vol- 
untarily and seek information upon the subject of the 
Treaty from persons whom they have been taught to be- 
lieve were unfriendly and opposed to their interest. The 
Indians who have most intercourse with the friends of 
emigration have been, and will be, the first emigrants, 
and hence the propriety and expediency of the officers and 
agents of the Government pursuing the course which 
we have suggested. A great portion of the ignorant In- 


dians who are opposed to removal hear nothing upon the 
subject, except it be from persons disposed to confirm 
them in their opposition and delusion. These views which 
we entertain have often been set forth and urged upon 
the officers and agents of the Government, in our free 
and friendly conversations with these officers and agents ; 
and would long since have been reduced to system and 
in detailed and written form, and furnished to these offi- 
cers and agents, but for the fact that experience had con- 
vinced us that there was no disposition on the part of the 
commanding officer, Gen'l Wool, to carry out our views 
and opinions, for fear he might lower his dignity as a 
military man by operating under the instructions of civil 
officers of the Government. This feeling on the part of 
Gen'l Wool seems to have originated from the moment 
he was instructed by the War Department to consult with, 
and respect the advice of, the Commissioners in all mat- 
ters connected with his command. Our correspondence 
long since forwarded to Washington will most fully ex- 
plain our situation in regard to all these matters. And 
it may be proper to add that, in the absence of replies to 
our correspondence upon this subject, we deemed it most 
prudent for us to decline urging a subject which might 
be construed into a desire on our part to assume more 
than had been legitimately assigned to us by the authori- 
ties at Washington. Our position in relation to these 
matters has been one of great delicacy and responsibility. 
We know that the military might have been more act- 
ively and usefully employed than they have been, by visit- 
ing, under the command of intelligent and prudent of- 
ficers, every part and portion of the Cherokee country, 
acting towards the Indians in the true spirit of the Gov- 
ernment, as communicated to us by you, through the War 

Our views most fully coincide with those of the Gov- 
ernment, as communicated to us, through you, by the 
Secretary of War, in regard to kindness and forbearance 
towards the Cherokee people. But, at the same time, 
the minds of these Indians should be prepared for com- 
ing events. It is a fatal delusion for them to flatter them- 
selves that they can remain quietly in this country a sin- 
gle day after the expiration of the time stipulated in the 
Treaty for their departure. 

In the expression of our opinion that the military sta- 
tioned here had rather been productive of evil than good, 
our minds were directed to the frequent complaints which 


have reached us of the depredations of the soldiers upon 
the persons and property of the unofifending- citizens of 
the country. Many of these complaints, we presume, 
have already reached Washington. And we again repeat 
that we have not been able to discover that much good 
has resulted from the military stationed in this country. 
For upwards of six months past it has been known that 
a large number of Creek Indians have taken refuge in 
the Cherokee country. Some of them, it is true, were ap- 
prehended and delivered over to an Emigrating Agent 
of the Government; but they chiefly made their escape 
from that officer, and returned to this country, and at this 
time it is beheved by many that there are upwards of one 
thousand of these mischievous Creeks in the Cherokee 
country. The larger portion of them are supposed to be 
near this place, the heart of the country. We think these 
Creek Indians have a great influence in preventing Cher- 
okee emigration, and that they ought long since to have 
been apprehended by the military and sent out of the 
country. Many of these same Creeks are believed to have 
been amongst the first hostile party in the State of Ala- 
bama. We have entire confidence in the intentions of the 
Government in regard to the execution of the Treaty ; and 
in performing the duties assigned us we have most faith- 
fully endeavored to act in conformity with the views of 
the Government, as well as in friendly concert with all 
officers and agents with whom we have in any way been 
connected. But truth and duty compel us to add, with 
all due deference and respect to others, that, from the 
time the late Treaty was ratified, it became a matter of 
paramount importance to convince Mr. John Ross and all 
his followers, aiders and abettors, that this Treaty was the 
supreme law of the land, and therefore should be execut- 
ed. To have efifected this object in the best manner, we 
think that the Cherokee Committee, provided for by the 
Treaty and thus placed in the responsible situation of 
representatives of the Cherokee people for the purpose 
of aiding in settling all the unsettled affairs of the Na- 
tion, should have been fully recognized by the Govern- 
ment as the only official agents of the Cherokee people. 
So long as Ross and his followers are recognized by the 
Government of the United States, and its officers and 
agents, as the principal authorities of the Cherokee peo- 
ple, the validity of the Treaty must necessarily be doubt- 
ed. Every act and deed which tends to keep up the evi- 
dence of Ross's chief ship before the Cherokee peopife 


tends, at the same time, to lessen the confidence of the 
ignorant Cherokees that the Treaty can be executed 
against the assent of their idol, Ross. His visits to Wash- 
ington, his councils, his talk, the marked respect shown 
him by men high in office — all strongly tend to confirm his 
followers in their delusions in regard to his influence and 

Since the ratification of the Treaty, Ross, in his me- 
morials to Congress and in his correspondence with high 
officers of the Government — and indeed in all his actings 
and doings — has continued boldly to protest against the 
validity of the Treaty, declaring the Treaty to be a fraud- 
ulent attempt to divest the Cherokees of their just rights, 
&c. This course of Ross has had the strongest possible 
tendency to prevent the Cherokees from emigrating under 
the Treaty. And if this course be not considered in a 
legal point of view opposition to the Treaty, and calcu- 
lated to defeat its execution, we confess we are at a loss 
to conjecture what would be so considered. The Gov- 
ernment may not have the legal right to suppress this op- 
position ; it may not be wise and expedient to do so ; but 
the time must and will soon come when the people will 
be undeceived upon this subject. One of the States deep- 
ly interested in the execution of this Treaty (Georgia) 
has once heretofore measured strength with Mr. John 
Ross, and made him feel his impotence and tremble in 
the presence of her authority, and, when necessary, as 
a last resort, she will do so again. 

Our plan is (in all kindness) yet with unfaltering 
firmness, to use every possible exertion to prepare the 
minds of the Cherokees for that change of residence 
which certainly awaits them. And so much of the time 
for doing this has already elapsed that our principal re- 
liance now is upon the necessary arrangements for ample 
force, that the Government may be prepared to use the 
imperative tone with efifect when it shall become neces- 

This is now the only effective course, and will best 
preserve the peace of the country. 

We are, sir, with great respect, 

Yr. obt. servts., 




Commissioners' Office, 
New Echota, Sep. 15th, 1837. 
C. A. Harris, Esq., 

Com'r of Indian Affairs, 

War Department, 


Sir: — Through your official agency we are desirous 
of obtaining the opinion of the Attorney General of the 
United States, at an early day, on the subject of claims 
for reservations, arising under the provisions of the Cher- 
okee Treaty which we are engaged in executing. 

The 13th Article of the Treaty, upon the subject of 
reservations, taken in connection with the supplementary 
articles upon that subject, we consider ambiguous and 
susceptible of coniiicting and yet plausible constructions. 

Some of the reservees under the Treaties of 181 7 and 
1819, residing on the unceded territory, on territory not 
ceded by any treaty until the present Treaty of 1835, have 
presented their claims to the Commissioners for pay for 
their reservations, and consider themselves upon equal 
ground and footing with the reservees residing on the 
ceded territory under former treaties. It is proper to re- 
mark that a majority of this class of claimants have al- 
ready been allowed large sums of money by the valua- 
tion of their respective improvements, under the 9th 
Article of the Treaty of 1835. Some of these improve- 
ments have been valued and allowed, for sums of an 
amount equal to or surpassing the intrinsic, or fee-simple, 
value of the reservation claimed. But they still claim, un- 
der the construction of the Treaty which they put upon 
it, pay for the reservation as unimproved lands. 

A claim has also been presented to the Commissioners 
under the late Treaty for compensation for a large reser- 
vation of land made to Moses Milton, in the Cherokee 
Treaty of 1806, it being a life estate reservation only. 
This Treaty is commonly called the Double-head Treaty. 
In examining this claim see Article the loth of the Cher- 
okee Treaty of 1817. Upon this claim the question is: 
Does the late Treaty of 1835 recognize or contemplate 
payments for reservations of this description, as far back 
as the vear 1806? The larger portion of the claims pre- 
sented for reservations arise under the Treaties of 1817 
and 1819, and are principally from the State of Tennes- 
see, when it appears, from an answer to a letter we had 
written to the Governor of that State for information. 


from the records of the Executive Department of the 
State, that these records afford no information or Hght 
on the subject whatever. 

From the States of Georgia and North Carolina the 
Commissioners have obtained record proof, from the Ex- 
ecutive Department of those States, which will enable 
them to detect fraudulent attempts to establish unjust 
claims for reservations which have heretofore been re- 
linquished by the reservees. We have also (as you are 
apprised) information on the subject of reservations lying 
in the State of Alabama. Many of the claims which have 
been and will be urged upon the consideration of the Com- 
missioners for reservations are represented by able and 
interested counsel, persons of ample capacity and much 
influence in society, who have and will avail themselves 
of all their advantages in obtaining and taking their ex 
parte testimony upon which the support of their claims 
is based before the Commissioners. 

It has long since occurred to us that it would be ex- 
ceedingly difficult for us to arrive at just conclusions on 
these reservation cases if our judgments are formed upon 
the ex parte evidence of these claimants, or their counsel. 
So far the Commissioners have kept themselves uncom- 
mitted by avoiding hasty decisions on all claims for reser- 
vations, and we would now suggest the expediency and 
necessity of being authorized to have the services of some 
competent person, of adequate legal knowledge, to visit 
the various neighborhoods where the reservations are 
located, and collect such information and testimony as 
may enable the Commissioners to arrive at the true state 
of the facts in every case. In the State of Tennessee those 
reservations have been the subject of much legal and ju- 
dicial investigation, and it is presumed that the records and 
proceedings of the courts would shed much light upon 
this obscure subject. Some difficulty may arise in the 
location or mode of laying out the reservations under 
the Treaties of 1817 and 1819. The Treaty of 1817, upon 
this subject, reads : "640 acres of land, in a square, to 
include their improvements, which is to be as near the 
centre thereof as practicable." 

An opinion is entertained by some that the dwelling 
house, or residence, is to be made the center, in laying 
out the reservation. Others contend that the reserva- 
tion should be laid out so as to embrace the whole or as 
much of the improvements of the reservee as possible, 


not regarding the house as the central point of the 640 

This question becomes important from the fact that 
many of the reservees erected their dwelhngs on the high 
lands bordering on the river bottoms, and have fields in 
the bottom lands. Therefore, if the dwelling house is 
made the centre, regardless of their cleared lands, in many- 
cases one-half, or more, of their reservations would con- 
sist of poor ridge land ; whereas, if their fields are in- 
cluded on one of the surveys, and their dwellings on the 
other, they will embrace chiefly good land. Therefore, 
the important questions submitted for the consideration 
of the Attorney General may be stated as follows : Are 
claimants residing on the unceded territory entitled to 
compensation for reservations lying in the territory ceded 
under the Treaties of 181 7 and 1819? If yea, are they 
entitled to pay for their improvements also? 

2d. Is Milton's claim for compensation, under the 
Double-head Treaty of 1806, a valid one, as brought be- 
fore the Commissioners under the Treaty of 1835? 

3d. How should reservations be laid out, in reference 
to the improvements of the reservee? 

We are, very respectfully, 

Yr, obt. servts., 




Commissioners' Office, 
New Echota, Sep. i6th, 1837. 
Capt. I. P. Simonton, 

Disbursing Agent. 

Sir : — We have carefully considered your letter of this 
date, in which you state that on your return from Augusta 
you had four hundred thousand dollars ($400,000), and 
that you now have on hand $220,000, which shows that 
you have, within the last twenty days, paid out $180,000. 
If our impressions are correct, you have, in addition to 
the funds above stated, just claims on the Tennessee Bank 
for $200,000. If we are correct in our impressions, the 
propriety of asking for a further supply of funds from 
Washington at this time must depend upon the conting- 
ency of making the funds in the Tennessee Bank avail- 


able in our payments which we have to meet. If the 
funds due can be obtained from the Tennessee Bank, and 
added to the funds you now have in hand, we do not think 
the pubhc service here will require an immediate call for 
more funds. Under all the circumstances, we think it 
would be most expedient to ascertain, first, what can be 
done at the Tennessee Bank. We will submit the whole 
subject of making an arrangement with the Tennessee 
Bank to your judgment and discretion, with the single 
remark that > ou must receive nothing in the way of funds 
that you consider unavailable in making the payments 
in which you are engaged. And upon that subject you 
must, from your experience and knowledge of the pres- 
ent state of the currency, and the estimation of different 
currencies of this place, be well prepared to judge cor- 
rectly. Be sure and receive no funds from the Bank un- 
unless you have the privilege of returning the funds receiv- 
ed from the Bank, in case you cannot make the funds 
received availing in making your payments here. 
We are, very respectfully, 

Yr. obt. servts., 



Commissioners' Ofifice, 

New Echota, Sep. 23d, 1837. 
To John Ridge, Esq., 

Late President of the 

Cherokee Committee. 

Dear Sir : — Yours of yesterday's date is now open 
before us. All the business of interest to you and your 
people to which you refer shall receive our special at- 

And the confidence which you have been pleased to 
express, in regard to our fidelity to the interest of your 
people, shall never be disappointed, or lessened, by any 
act of ours. Whatever of error may have escaped us, we 
have designedly done no wrong. VVe stand ready for trial 
before high heaven, and all enlightened men. We shall 
live and die conscious of having discharged our duties 
connected with the Cherokee Treaty with untiring de- 
votedness and fidelity to the best interest of the Cherokee 


With feelings of very sincere friendship and personal 
regard for you, as a man, we mingle kindred emotions 
with those which you must feel at this moment from the 
peculiar circumstances in which you are placed. 

Under no circumstances can a reflecting man bid a 
final adieu to the beloved land of his birth, and that of his 
fathers for generations past, without exciting the strong- 
est emotions of the human mind. 

But to command a sufBcient stock of reason, forti- 
tude, and energy to overcome not only the prepossessions 
of our minds in favor of our native land, but to be the 
leader and guide of a whole nation, in making a similar 
sacrifice upon the altar of Patriotism, in obedience to the 
force of irresistible circumstances, requires the most lofty 
efforts of man. Sir, you have made this sacrifice. You 
have made this efifort, in the face of death and the most 
determined opposition from high sources, to save your 
people from certain impending ruin and destruction. 

We trust — we hope — we think — success will crown 
your efforts. May the God of our fathers prosper your 
way ! May you long live to be useful to your people ! 
May you and they prosper, under the divine guidance of 
an all-wise Providence ! May you and your family long 
be the honored instruments of usefulness to your people 
in the land which has been guaranteed to you and your 
people ! And may the faithful pages of history hand down 
to posterity your noble acts to save your people, and do 
you that justice which, at this time, is denied to you by 
your vile enemies and opponents ! 

With mingled emotions of joy and grief, we bid you 
an affectionate farewell. We rejoice at the fair prospects 
before you, and yet, at this moment of separation, we 
feel sad. 

May God bless you. 



Commissioners' Office, Ga., 
New Echota, Sep. 28th, 1837. 
To the Cherokee Committee. 

Gentlemen : — We have for some time past desired the 
close of your present long session, and when we take 
into view the expense of your daily sittings, we are forced 


to feel our own responsibility in being called upon to 
sanction such expenditures. We therefore earnestly, but 
respectfully, advise the close of your present session at 
the earliest practicable day. 

We verily believe, under all the existing circumstances, 
that every day you remain in session is fraught with mis- 
chief to the Cherokee people. 



The Cabins, New Echota, 
Sep. 24th, 1837. 

*Col. John H. S , 


Dear Sir : — Being alone, on this good Sabbath day, 
when there is no church-going bell, you will pardon me for 
addressing you on a subject of national interest. Having 
read to you, when here, a copy of the communication of 
the Commissioners to Mr. Mason, which I suppose will 
be laid before the Secretary of War, as well as the Presi- 
dent of the United States, and. I presume, will be access- 
ible to your inspection at Washington, I shall omit at this 
time dwelling on the views therein submitted. Nor will 
I encumber this communication with a recapitulation of 
the difificulties and obstacles which I have encountered 
since I entered upon the business in which I am now en- 
gaged. Suffice it to say that the legitimate business of 
the Commissioners in settling and adjudicating all claims 
arising under the Treaty, is as nearly accomplished and 
completed as could possibly have been done under the 
circumstances. Upwards of five thousand cases have 
been passed upon, examined, decided, and recorded by 
the Commissioners, and a complete and full record of the 
whole may now be seen in good official order. 

Not one solitary case is at this time suspended, except 
for the want of additional information, or testimony, 
which is in a train of procurement, and will be settled 
as soon as the nature of the case will permit, so as to se- 
cure justice to the parties. Moreover, every individual 
of the Cherokee people, high and low, rich and poor, 
male and female, so far as the best exertions of the Com- 

* Name undecipherable in manuscript. 


missioners could accomplish the object through the prop- 
er agents, now stands credited on the books of the Com- 
missioners with all the individual dues arising under the 
Treaty, including the valuations of their improvements 
of every kind, as provided for in the Treaty, and all the 
demands against these individuals have been examined 
and finally adjudicated, and the demands which have been 
allowed charged and settled accordingly. I advert to 
this subject for the purpose of correcting a most erron- 
eous impression, that the legitimate business of the Com- 
missioners has by some means been obstructed, so as to 
impede the speedy execution of the Treaty. Nothing can 
be more false. If any Cherokee Indian could be removed 
to his new home to-morrow, the administration of his 
affairs, so far as they have been confided to the Commis- 
sioners, would be found in a state of completion which 
would secure the just interest of almost every individual 
as secured to him, or her, by the Treaty, and the excep- 
tions would be found chargeable in every case to individ- 
ual obstinacy, in refusing to attend to their own interest. 
It is true, however, that our labors are still incessant, 
arising from various causes, which may be explained as 
follows : 

Persons deemed competent to remove themselves are 
urging that advances of money be made to them for that 
purpose. Every such application requires investiga- 
tion, and the exercise of a sound discretion. Almost any 
intelligent Cherokee, although the valuations are believed 
in the general to be most liberal and equitable, complains 
before the Commissioners, and wishes valuations to be in- 
creased. We are in a position to have complaints from all 
who choose to make them, and upon all subjects to give 
a patient investigation of the complaints presented. These 
troubles, however, afford us the opportunity of correcting 
many misapprehensions, as well as of rectifying any er- 
rors which may have occurred. Thus, scarcely a day passes 
without an opportunity for us to produce some impress- 
ions favorable to emigration. The drones of the Govern- 
ment send all the complaining Indians to the Commis- 
sioners, and they patiently hear, and, as far as they can, 
administer to their relief. Hence it is that these drones 
think the Commissioners have much to do. But they are 
greatly mistaken in supposing that the legitimate busi- 
ness of the Commissioners cannot be accomplished at 
any moment when the Indians are ready to emigrate. 
Three-fourths of the burthens which seem to be press- 


ing on the Commissioners consists in discharging duties 
which legitimately devolve on others. 

We have had frequent complaints of the inequality of 
valuations, but, upon the most thorough investigation of 
these complaints, I am fully convinced that these com- 
plaints are chiefly groundless. T am quite confident that 
the valuations as returned by the Agents, which have been 
approved by the Commissioners, is the nearest possible 
approach to equality and justice that could be obtained, 
under all the circumstances attending this branch of the 

This Treaty, sir, should be executed faithfully, to sus- 
tain the honor of the country, and to promote the best 
interest of the Cherokee people. And to secure this ob- 
ject no person should have been charged with any of- 
ficial responsibi'ity in its execution who is a Ross ma7i — 
who joins Ross in denouncing the Treaty as a corrupt 
fraud practiced upon the Cherokee people. 

At a time like this, no person shoulrl be subsisting on 
the Government, in this country, whose feelings and 
views coincide with this man Ross. The open and avowed 
opponents of the administration of the Federal Govern- 
men are not the persons to execute this Treaty harmoni- 
ously. Ross should be distinctly informed that the Treaty 
will be executed at all hazards ; and he should not b? per- 
mitted longer to encourage the delusive hopes of the ig- 
norant Indians that, through his mighty influence, the 
Treaty will yet be abrogated, or modified. No officer or 
agent of the Government should spend an idle day here, 
until the emigration of the Indians has actually taken 

The silly idea of erecting fortifications here has ([uite 
astounded me. Every dollar expended in this country in 
fortifications and defensive works to protect the whites 
from the Indians is an idle waste of the public money. 

The only fortifications needed in this country, in any event 
is good soldiers, well armed, under proper commanders. 
With proper forecast and preparation, no war can pos- 
sibly arise here that might not be terminated in four weeks. 
With one thousand militia volunteers, raised in Georgia, 
I can drive every Cherokee Indian in the Nation to Ar- 
kansas, without the loss of a man, except by the conting- 
ency of natural death, &c. If, indeed, fortifications were 
needed, it would not be at the Agency, where our mili- 
tary chieftains purpose, but, in such an event, we should 
erect forts, to protect our women and children ; but noth- 


ing- of the sort will be necessary. Look at the map of this 
country ! Here, where I have stood alone, as regards 
defensive preparations, for upwards of twelve months, is 
the very centre of the Cherokee Country, and in this 
County (Cass) and in the adjoining County of Cherokee, 
I presume we have at present 8,000 Indians, and in other 
bordering counties, in Georgia, 3,000 more, and in all 
these counties we have a very sparse white population. 
By way of instructing them into the nature of their true 
condition, I think the Government would do well, forth- 
with, to disarm every Indian in the country. The arms 
might be deposited at the proper point, ready to be re- 
turned to them again, on their departure to the West. 

Let us never cease to urge upon the consideration of 
the Government its deep obligations to the treaty-making 
party. The Government cannot sustain its honor with- 
out sustaining these men. If Ross and his savage bands 
should murder these noble, patriotic men for their hon- 
est efiforts to save their people, the lives of Ross and his 
associates would be the only adequate atonement. 

Your old friend and obt. servt., 


Note. — It is due to my associate Commissioner, as 
well as myself, that I should state the fact that during 
our official connection every ofificial letter, paragraph and 
sentence which bears our official signatures jointly was 
composed and written by myself, and then signed by 
us both. Judge Kennedy invariably approving of the 
drafts of my official correspondence, decisions and other 
papers. These facts are known to Col. Wm. H. Jack- 
son, of Walton County, who copied these official writ- 
ings, and who is still living at the time of this writing, as 
well as to many others who are yet in the land of the liv- 
ing. Morover, these original drafts, in my own hand- 
writing, are still in my possession, in a good state of 
preservation. But as they are more liable to be scattered 
and destroyed than this volume, I have been induced to 
make this note. It is proper to add that Judge Kennedy 
was very competent to have discharged much of this la- 
bor, to the credit of the office which we held, but he in- 
variably urged me to its performance, alleging as a rea- 
son my more intimate knowledge of all these matters. 


Whoever reads understandingly the correspondence 
presented in the preceding chapter will be able to com- 
prehend and appreciate, to some extent, the magnitude 
and hazards of both life and reputation which were de- 
volved on me as United States Commissioner un- 
der the Treaty of 1835. They will also find, pre- 
sented in an uncontroverted and official form, the 
transactions connected with the whole subject. For 
the failure of the Federal administration in dis- 
charging its share of public duty connected with the 
subject, I offer the following apology. The President of 
the United States, Gen'l Jackson, from age, bodily infirm- 
ity, and long continued labor and care, in stations of the 
highest responsibility, and being at that moment a de- 
clining, and not a rising, stm, on account of the near ap- 
proach of the termination of his brilliant Presidential 
course, his energy upon this occasion was less efficient 
than on many other important fields of strife and contest. 
His -views were correct in every point connected with 
this subject. 

His instructions and directions to all officers engaged 
in this service were ample and good ; but his subordinates 
in office, especially those in the Cherokee Country, were 
guilty of many delinquencies and failures to discharge 
their duties with that energy and fidelity which that im- 
portant service required. They no longer felt the influ- 
ence of the setting sun. The long suspense of three or 
four months, produced by holding the office of Commis- 
sioner in reserve for Gen'l Carroll while he was engaged 
in the discharge of another more lucrative office, was, al- 
together inadvisable, and justly subjected Gen'l Jack- 
son, at the time, to some censure, by those who felt the 
injury of this delay. For the want of a co-Commissioner 
the execution of the Treaty was greatly retarded, and af- 
forded time for Ross and his co-workers to do much mis- 
chief, by impressing the minds of the ignorant Indians 
with the belief and delusive hope that the Treaty was in- 
valid, and could never be executed. While I did all 
that could possibly be done, by a single Commissioner, 



for the want of a co-Commissioner very much that was 
most important to have been done promptly was greatly 

After Mr. Van Buren and his new Cabinet came into 
office, I found them wholly destitute of the intimate knowl- 
edge of men and things connected with the then standing 
and condition of Cherokee afifairs so actually necessary 
to carry forward to final consummation the emigration of 
the Cherokees, as provided for by the Treaty of 1835. 
Moreover, I found myself embarrassed and burthened 
at every step by the complexion of the military command, 
stationed in this country for the express purpose of aid- 
ing in the objects of my Commission. But I will not 
here enlarge upon this ubject, but rely upon my official 
correspondence, submitted in the preceding chapter. Be- 
fore I take leave of this part of the subject, however, I 
will, in this chapter, present that portion of the official 
proceedings of the Commissioners which will best exhibit 
the intricacy and importance of some of the subjects ad- 
judicated by them, especially the claims of a host of law- 
yers, under pretense of having rendered great and 
important services to the Cherokee Nation. Although 
the Commissioners entertained not the shadow of a doubt 
but that these lawyers had, from first to last, from begin- 
ning to end, been nothing more nor less than one unmiti- 
gated curse to the Cherokee people, and that they had 
been the prime and moving cause of most of the evils 
brought upon this people, and that their motives had been 
selfish and base, in protracting the calamities of these 
unfortunate Indians ; yet the Commissioners were forced 
to the conclusion, from the words of the Treaty itself, 
as well as the testimony of those who negotiated the 
Treaty, that it was intended to provide for the payment 
of what is termed these men's legal services — services 
calculated to destroy the Indians. However, it being the 
duty of the Commissioners to execute the Treaty as it 
was written, they endeavored to lay aside every prejudice 
and prepossession, and administer even handed justice 
to the unrighteous as well as the righteous, and to ad- 
minister the laws confided to their charge in strict con- 
formity to its letter and spirit ; and, to this end, they con- 
sulted and advised with the then Attorney General of the 
United States, the Hon. B. F. Butler, and in no instance 
did they depart from his legal opinions, in regard to the 
claims of these lawyers. In the first place, these claims 
were scrutinized and thoroughly investigated and exam- 


ined by the Commissioners, aided by all the light and evi- 
dence which could be procured, after which the Commis- 
sioners reduced their opinions to writing, and, in a for- 
mal way, made up their decisions on these claims. They 
then laid these claims against the Cherokee Nation before 
the Indian Committee, accompanied by all the informa- 
tion which had been procured in relation to them ; 
and here follow the proceedings of the Indian 
Committee on these claims. The report of the Indian 
Committee is given in their own words, as written out by 
John Ridge, President of the Committee, and accompan- 
ied by the order of the United States Commissioners, 
confirming the report. As heretofore stated, the Com- 
missioners did not assent to this report without reluc- 
tance, but deemed it best, under all the circumstances 
connected with the case, to acquiesce. 

I will also give the decision of the Commissioners, as 
written out previous to laying these claims before the In- 
dian Committee ; and the amounts adjudged by the Com- 
missioners to be due to these lawyers were some thou- 
sands of dollars less than that which was adjudged to be 
right by the Committee. Whereupon, the Commissioners, 
in respect to the opinions of the Indian Committee who 
were a party in interest, yielded something of their own 
opinions, and confirmed officially the opinions of the In- 
dian Committee. It is my intention not only to submit 
to the reader of these pages the opinions of the Commis- 
sioners upon a portion of these lawyers' claims, but some 
extracts from the evidence upon which these opinions 
were based. 

I would earnestly call the attention of the reader to 
what may be submitted in this chapter which has a strong 
political bearing in explanation of the history of Georgia. 
While Governor of Georgia, I often affirmed in mv offi- 
cial communications to the Legislature, as well as in my 
official correspondence, that the difficulties which the 
State encountered in obtaining the consent of the Cher- 
okees to their removal to the West was chargeable to a 
combination of selfish feed lawyers, imbecile or corrupt 
judges, political party aspirants, and deluded fanatics. 
Judge Wm. H. Underwood, when urging his claims be- 
fore the Commissioners as the front leader of this com- 
bination of lawyers and politicians, is sufficiently explicit 
in his admissions to confirm the truth of my strongest ac- 
cusations on this subject. Moreover, he admits that the 
Legislature of Georgia legislated him and his brother 


lawyers out of legal employment in the Cherokee Coun- 
try, and, as a matter of course, sent the Indians from the 
country ; and it is known to every one who is familiar 
with the history of that legislation that it originated with 
me, and on my recommendation was enacted by the Leg- 
islature. At the time, my political opponents held me up 
to the country as rash, unfeeling and unjust to the In- 
dians and their rights, and predicted the ruin and dis- 
grace of the State ; but now, when every one admits the 
wisdom of these measures, and the great benefits which 
have resulted to the State from the speedy acquisition 
and settlement of the whole territory, as well as the bene- 
fits and blessings which have resulted to the Cherokee 
people, we find many who reluctantly acquiesced in my 
Indian policy, after they saw its triumph, stand ready to 
claim a liberal share in these measures. 

As I have said and written a thousand times, these 
very lawyers, who are now the principal subjects of con- 
sideration, together with party politicians and Northern 
fanatics, had gained the mastery over John Ross him- 
self, and Ross had absolute control over the ignorant 
and consequently most numerous part of the Indians, 
and it being the interest of these several descriptions of 
men to keep the Indians in the States, for their own bene- 
fit, nothing but force could remove them from Georgia, 
and that force, I believe, I was the first man amongst all 
the living or the dead to recommend. 

But let me here explain what I mean by the force 
which I recommended. It was a power used conscien- 
tiously to save the deluded from ruin, the helpless from 
destruction, and the enslaved from bondage. For many 
years I held and urged a doctrine in regard to the true 
policy of the States and Federal Government towards 
the Indians which received but little countenance in high 
quarters; but my policy was founded in wisdom and the 
greatest possible good to the aboriginal race, and therefore 
must and will prevail. The doctrine is this : That the 
intercourse and policy of the United States in general, 
with the subdued remnants of the aboriginals, has been 
unwise, deceptive, insincere and fraudulent. 

Examine our Indian treaties — see their preambles. 
They carry the appearance, on their face, of the Indian 
being a sovereign and independent people, upon a perfect 
equality with the most civilized people. Yet no civilized 
government has ever recognized their fee simple rights 
to a large domain of land. No title to land, in a United 


States Court, his ever been considered valid, except first 
patented, or granted, by a civilized power, or State. All 
the treaties which have ever been made with Indians have, 
in reality, been consummated by obtaining the influence 
of a very fev/ individuals, and these few have been brought 
into the views of the civilized government treating with 
them, in most cases, by bribery, fraud and corruption. 
Their want of equality w'ith civilized men unfit them, in 
the general, for the complicated duty of forming treaties. 
The various provisions contained in these treaties will 
be found, in many cases, not to provide so much for the 
mass of the Indian people as for select and favored indi- 
viduals of paramount influence amongst their people. 

You may ask then, what is to be done ? My reply is : 
I believe the earth was formed especially for the cultiva- 
tion of the ground, and none but civilized men will culti- 
vate the earth to any great extent, or advantage. There- 
fore, I do not believe a savage race of heathens, found 
in the occupancy of a large and fertile domain of country, 
have any exclusive right to the same, from merely hav- 
ing seen it in the chase, or having viewed it from the 
mountain top. 

Wherever a wild and savage race becomes so far re- 
duced by a civilized people as to be considered subdued 
and unable to contend in battle with the Christian nation, 
immediately it becomes the duty of the superior race to 
look upon the inferior as children — minors — and incap- 
able of protecting and providing for themselves ; and, 
consequently, that benevolence, humanity and religion 
require the superior, with magnanimity and lib- 
erality, to take these orphans and minors by the hand, 
and do them all the good that the circumstances will 

And upon these principles, from first to last, have I 
acted towards the Cherokee Indians, as will more fully 
appear from my of^cial acts and deeds, widely spread 
upon the records of the country from the years 1827 to 
1840, inclusive. During those thirteen years I occupied 
the most important official positions connected with 
Georgia's strifes and conflicts in regard to Cherokee af- 
fairs. In the House of Representatives in Congress, in 
the year 1827, I commenced my operations for the rem- 
nant of these, as well as other Indians. I labored in that 
body four years, until all was effected in furtherance of 
my object that could be done by Congress. I was then 
called by the public voice of Georgia to the Chief Magis- 


tracy of the State, where I remained for four years more, 
until I saw the unoccupied lands of the Cherokee Coun- 
try settled by our intelligent freehold white population, 
and opposition to Cherokee emigration driven from the 
State, and the basis of a Treaty so deeply laid that it 
could not be prevented by any human efforts. A Treaty, 
too, of most extraordinary liberality to the Cherokee peo- 
ple. And after this Treaty was duly ratified and con- 
firmed, I entered upon the duties of Commissioner, and 
performed that work as hereinbefore set forth, I spent 
about eighteen months in that ofHce. Finding Ross and 
his Northern associates still struggling at Washington 
to detain the Cherokees from removal to the West, and 
apprehending that any detention of the Indians in Geor- 
gia, beyond the time stipulated in the Treaty for their 
removal, might produce fatal evils to the Cherokees, as 
well as injury to the white population, the Legislature of 
Georgia thought it best for me to be at Washington, and 
accordingly elected me to the Senate of the United States 
in November, 1837, where I remained, attending to every- 
thing connected with this Indian subject, till the whole of 
the Indians were removed to the West, without the shed- 
ding of human blood, and thus terminating the struggles 
of many years" conflict and strife, consummating most 
fully and completely the measures and plans which I had 
in view when I introduced my first resolution in Congress 
in 1827. 

Let it be remembered that I frankly admit that my 
plan was, from the beginning, not to be ^'palsied''' by the 
will of the Indians. I resolved upon carrying into efifect 
such measures as I believed to be best for the happiness 
and welfare of these people whom I viewed comparatively 
as children, not competent to judge and decide on the 
measures best calculated to promote their interest. .^nd 
now, in the presence of Almighty God, and before all 
mankind, I solemnly declare that, in all this business and 
the part I have acted in it, I have constantly kept in view 
the best and highest interest of these Indian people, and 
that in all my actings and doings in connection with the 
subject I have desired to benefit the Indians as well as 
the whites ; and, in my conscience, this day feel assured 
that I have rendered the Indians a good and faithful serv- 

Moreover, all the intelligent Cherokees, except Ross 
and those under his influence, left Georgia with the strong- 


est friendship towards me, and the most unshaken con- 
fidence in my fidelity to their interests. 

But I must forbear to dwell further on this subject, 
and proceed to give the promised documents. 

Commissioners' Office, 
New Echota, July 8th, 1837. 

Whereas, Wm. H. Underwood, Samuel Rockwell, Wm. 
Y. Hansell, Edward Harden, the heirs of Wm. Wirt, Bar- 
ron and David Irwin, Henry L. Simms, Thomas Latham, 
Robert Mitchell, and G. W. Churchwell, did, at different 
times, present to the Commissioners their several claims 
and demands, in writing, against the Cherokee Nation, 
for legal services alleged to have been rendered and per- 
formed for the Nation, together with evidence tending 
to sustain their claims as aforesaid, and the Commis- 
sioners having procured all the information and testi- 
mony within their reach calculated to throw light on the 
subject of these claims; and after having considered said 
claims and proofs with great care and deliberation, as a 
necessary duty devolving on them, and duly considering 
their duty as defined by the Treaty, together with in- 
structions from the Government of the United States, 
have determined to submit the aforesaid claims to the in- 
vestigation and judgment of the Cherokee Committee, 
as provided for by the provisions of the Treaty ; and after 
having submitted accordingly said claims, together with 
all the testimony in their possession, requesting said Com- 
mittee to carefully examine and report thereon to the 
Commissioners ; 

And the said Committee having performed the duty 
thus required of them, and made their report in the fol- 
lowing words, to wit : 

"The select Committee to whom was referred the 
claims of sundry lawyers, and accompanying papers, by 
your honorable body, beg leave to report : The claims 
of lawyers submitted by the Commissioners embrace the 
legal counsel of the Nation who operated in the chartered 
limits of Georgia, and at the Supreme Court of the United 
States at Washington City, with the exception of G. W. 
Churchwell. Upon these lawyers devolved labors, trials and 
responsibilities far superior in every respect to those 
who acted in Alabama and North Carolina, upon whose 
services your honorable body have passed its judgment 
in regard to their services. The counsel to which we re- 


fer we have every reason to believe will be satisfied with 
your award. 

"On the present claims, now under consideration, it is 
our duty to do equal justice. Our nation promised it, 
and we are in honor bound to perform it. And in the per- 
formance of this duty there are no ambiguities to obscure 
our wisdom, no shadow of words to darken our counsels. 
What we know, we know as well as others, to the extent 
of our capacity to comprehend our own national acts, as 
expressed in the Treaty. It is true the Treaty may be 
susceptible of ambiguities and ungrammatical sentences. 
If so, it is not our fault, but that of the United States who 
presumed to write in a manner not as clear as it ought 
to be. The views, conversations, pledges and opinions 
of Mr. Schermerhorn are entirely gratuitous, and the argu- 
ments of Mr. Attorney General is founded on them. 

"The arguments of the claimants are based upon the 
principle of interest ; and he is a fool who cannot speak 
a good word for himself. This is not said to derogate 
from the just claims of these lawyers. But when a ship 
is loaded with freight, all of which cannot be admitted 
into port, and it has sailed far and wide into strange 
oceans, without rudder or compass, and the crew have 
not navigated harmoniously together, we, the represen- 
tatives of the Nation who sold this our dear heritage — a 
domain which we yielded by force of circumstances — • 
possess the rudder. We have the right to say what the 
compensation of these lawyers shall be. 

"This right the Committee derives from a contract 
made by their Nation with the United States. In Article 
the nth, after appointing the Committee, the Treaty says: 
'And they be hereby fully authorized and empowered to 
transact all business on the part of the Indians which 
may arise in carrying into effect the provisions of this 
Treaty, and settling the same with the United States.' 
Novv this means a great deal. If it has no meaning, then 
the Treaty has none, and is but trash. 

"All business on the part of the Indians ! On whose 
business were these lawyers employed? And whose busi- 
ness was it to see them paid? The Indians, certainly. 
Every article is designed to have some particular and in- 
dependent meaning. Where it expresses a limitation of 
funds to pay for specific objects you cannot, without 
force, run into other funds to meet claimants. When 
the United States and our Nation, in Article the loth, 
said : 'The United States also agree and stipulate to pay 


the just del:)ts and claims against the Cherokee Nation, 
held by citizens of the same, and also the just claims of 
citizens of the United States for services rendered to the 
Nation, and the sum of sixty thousand dollars is appro- 
priated for this purpose,' we understood that both the 
Indian citizens of the Nation and citizens of the United 
States who had rendered services to the Nation should 
be paid out of the sixty thousand dollars. This is all that 
we appropriated out of the price of our country for this 
object, that is, claims of citizens of the Nation agams: 
the Nation, and of lawyers for services rendered to it. 
Justice is a term often explained according to the bisis 
of those who apply for it. In this case we occupy a 
ground upon which the impress of our footsteps will dis- 
cover whether we have walked in the right manner, not 
only towards our lawyers, but towards our own people. 
They are equally entitled to be paid out of the fund under 
consideration. We trust we shall satisfy the disinterested 
portion of the world that we have honorably acquitf^d 
ourselves in this matter. The papers connected with the 
claims referred to us for investigation are numerous, and 
to which we have devoted a careful examination. They 
are composed of the following claimants and charges as 
annexed : 

Thomas A. Latham $ 

George W. Churchwell 1,120.00 

Robert Mitchell 1,475 .00 

Wm. Wirt 20,000 . 00 

Henry L. Simms 6.675 .00 

Edward Harden 8,000 . 00 

Barron and David Irwin 19,275.00 

Samuel Rockwell 30,000.00 

Wm. H . Underwood 36,402 . 00 

Wm. Y. Hansell 30,075 .00 

Total $153,372.00 

"All these claims, except Thomas A. Latham's, Wm. 
Wirt, and G. W. Churchwell, are based upon cases dock- 
eted in various courts in the Cherokee Circuit, and are 
of every nature and kind usually brought to the notice 
of the judiciary. Consequently, if you read Judge LTnder- 
wood's cases on which he has charged, you have read the 
rest. Barron and D. Irwin, Rockwell, Underwood and 
Hansell are all partners in charging, in a majority of cases, 
and each one in the same case. Thus, the fees claimed 


for one service rendered becomes an enormous charge, 
not tolerated by the Committee. How are they then to 
be satisfied? By graduating down these charges to a 
proportionate scale ? This will not do, because he that 
has made the most unreasonable and largest charge 
would have the advantage. We can conceive of no rule 
by which these claims can be paid but the one contem- 
plated by the parties when these lawyers were engaged. 
We know they were not hired by the year, by the job, or 
for each case to be paid according to the customary fees 
in such cases. We think that it is not so, because of the 
utter silence of the parties on this point. If each case had 
to be charged and paid for, it is probable that to each 
lawyer would have been assigned a certain district of coun- 
try in which to perform and render service to the Nation. 
From Ross, ex-chief of the Nation, conclusive evidence 
might be obtained, but he feels so disgracious to the powers 
which have deposed him, and to the lawyers interested, 
we cannot expect any light from that source. In the ex- 
amination of these papers, from Judge Adams' testimony, 
which is herewith submitted, and the general understand- 
ing of the people of the Nation, these lawyers were em- 
ployed to render service for which each one of them was 
to receive compensation according to the good service, 
of justice, and discretion of the Nation. 

"If any other method is adopted, the rights of our Na- 
tion will be vindicated, for that was the contract. To 
prove this, John Ross's letters to some of these lawyers 
are in evidence before ns. Your Committee have then 
adopted this rule, and have impartially awarded the com- 
pensation to each lawyer the amount annexed opposite 
their names — this amount is made to only those whose 
national employments are proved, and of which the Com- 
mittee have no doubt, and in proportion to the services 
that each one has rendered to our Nation. Judge Under- 
wood is allowed more than others, because he was the 
first to defend us, and has been in the service of the Na- 
tion seven years. The sums previously allowed to the 
lawyers, which now follow, are not to be deducted : 

Judge Underwood $ 2,200.00 

Samuel Rockwell 1,000.00 

Wm. Y. Hansell , 1,000.00 

Edward Harden 500.00 

Barron & Irwin 250.00 

Wm. Wirt 2,000.00 

Total $ 6,950.00 


"The value of the property contended for has been 
stated by these claimants as enhancing the value of their 
services and fees. The valuations of John Ross and his 
spoliation claims and that of Joseph Vann, two of our 
wealthiest men, are mentioned. Your Committee beg 
leave to state that these lawyers have made a mistake — 
these valuations were not in controversy, or endangered 
in the cases on trial. It was only the occupant rights of 
the improvements, at best for a few years in controvers}^ 
as far as our citizens were concerned. As an offset to this, 
we give one example of the charges which the lawyers 
have made — on I^ittle Den's case, indicted for murder, 
which was on the docket, but the nimble-footed Little 
Den fled, and his case was not tried. For this single case 

Rockwell charges $ too. 00 

Hansell, in the same case 100.00 

Underwood, do do 500.00 

Barron & Irwin do do 250.00 

Simms do do 100.00 

Amt. charged in this one case $1,050.00 

"Your Committee would also remark that the Chero- 
kee Nation has failed in the courts of law on this earth. 
We are not to enjoy the blessings of Heaven on the 
land of our forefathers. From this favored spot we shall 
shortly be exiled, by force of circumstances. How many 
thousands of our people will carry but a few dollars, com- 
pared to the sums which we have agreed to give these 
lawyers? How few of our wealthiest men can, after all 
the sacrifices they have experienced, count as their own 
as many thousands as we have allowed to these lawyers ? 
But we have faithfully complied with our promises and our 
engagements. The Nation may hold up its head against 
all that may be said, if, indeed, anything can be said 
against her honor on this question. Your Committee are 
aware that the claimants have long and patiently waited 
for their compensation. We hope soon to see them paid, 
as we trust, to their satisfaction. Our lawyers were our 
friends in the day of our trials, and in the parting hour we 
shall still continue as such. 

"In conclusion, the Committee beg leave to report that 
Robert Mitchell and G. W. Churchwell have not proved 
their employment by the Nation. They have gone over- 
board. Col. Simms has proved his employment and some 
services, by gentlemen of high standing and character^ 


of our Nation. The Committee, as directed by you, have 
the honor to report, as the result of their deliberations, 
the following compensation to be allowed to each of the 
following lawyers, without any deduction for former pay- 
ments whatever : 

To Wm. H. Underwood $11,000.00 

Barron & D. Irwin 6,000 . 00 

Wm. Wirt 5,ooo . 00 

Samuel Rockwell 5,000.00 

Wm. Y. Hansell 5,000.00 

Edward Harden 3,000.00 

Henry L. Simms 1,000.00 

Thomas A. Latham 300.00 

Total $36,300 . 00 

"The foregoing report, having been first made by a 
select Committee of the Cherokee Committee, was then 
taken up by the whole Committee, and closed as follows : 
"The Committee of the Whole have had the report of 
the Sub-Committee under consideration, and do hereby 
approve of all of it, and submit it to the Commissioners 
of the United States. 

President of the Committee. 
"Committee Room, 
7th of July, 1837. 
Lovely Rodgers, Clerk." 

And the Commissioners, having duly examined and 
considered the foregoing report, in connection with the 
claims and evidence upon which the report is based, have 
deemed it inexpedient at this time to express any opin- 
ion on the remarks and reasoning contained in the report 
of the Committee. But with a view of doing speedy jus- 
tice to these several claimants, and with the impression 
that the Committee have faithfully endeavored to ap- 
proach the standard of justice and equity in determining 
upon the merit of these several claims, the Commissioners 
do hereby assent to the conclusions at which the Com- 
mittee have arrived, so far as to order and adjudge that 
certificates do issue in favor of the several claimants, in 
accordance with the report of the Indian Committee, the 
Commissioners reserving to themselves, however, the 
right at any subsequent time, upon a re-investigation of 


the whole subject, to make such further decree touching 
the premises as a sense of justice and duty may seem to 
enjoin on them. 




As an item in history, due to posterity, and tending to 
sustain and elucidate my often expressed opinions while 
Governor of Georgia, I herewith submit my official opin- 
ions, which were fully concurred in by my colleague, 
Judge Kennedy, as Commissioner under the Treaty of 
1835. And first, on the claims of Wm. H. Underwood, 
EsqV., who was the commanding spirit in this combina- 
tion of lawyers; also our decisions on a number of cases, 
jointly and severally, (the cases being connected in the 
form of their presentation) in the same decision, or decree, 
of the Commissioners, as attorneys for the Cherokee In- 
dians during their struggles for sovereignty and politi- 
cal controversy with the State of Georgia, in which will 
be clearly seen the admissions of Judge Underwood, in 
a very ingenious and able paper presented to the Com- 
missioners, in which is strongly marked his treasonable 
conduct to the State of Georgia, while he was enjoving 
all the advantages of citizenship under these laws. Those 
papers contain the vuiencumbered opinions of the Commis- 
sioners, whilst their opinions upon the same subject just 
recorded embrace also the opinion of the Indian Com- 
mittee which was unavoidably framed to conform to the 
nature of the case. 

It is proper, further, to state that while these deliber- 
ate and unencumbered opinions of the Commissioners 
were matured and written out, in due form, before the 
subject was submitted for the deliberation of the Indian 
Committee, it was done for the guidance of that Commit- 
tee, and doubtless had much influence on their decisions, 
as will be seen by the careful reader, as the opinions of the 
Committee, in every important particular, coincide with 
those of the Commissioners. And, lest it should be 
thought that I erred in pressing my own opinions on the 
minds of the Indian Committee to an improper extent, 
it is proper to state that the Commissioners were fully 
aware of the fact that these lawyers were daily tampering 
with some of the members of the Indian Committee, and 
endeavoring to corrupt them, and thereby obtain a larger 



amount of money for their alleged leji^al services. Hence 
the necessity of the Commissioners enlightening the In- 
dian Committee. 

As Judge Underwood admitted, and as will be fully 
sustained by the Executive and Legislative records of 
Georgia, from the time I became Governor of the State 
in 1831 to the close of 1835, the State was advancing from 
year to year in her settled policy to wind up all Indian 
controversies within her limits. Under this four years' 
progress, the Indians were not only removed from Geor- 
gia, and the heart-burnings of a thirty years' conflict put 
to final rest, but this combination of feed stipendiaries 
were driven into silence and obscurity. Their luxuriat- 
ing state and condition while in the employ of the princely 
Ross was indeed greatly changed. Who can now reflect 
upon the then state and condition of the Cherokee In- 
dians and still cast censure on those who encountered 
every difificulty and hazard to place these unfortunate In- 
dians in a land of hope and promise, where these selfish 
lawyers might cease from troubling and the weary In- 
dians might hope to rest. This noble work of being in- 
strumental in removing the Indians from Georgia has veri- 
ily carried with it an ample reward, more than compensat- 
ing for breasting the many storms of calumny, detraction 
and reproach which, at the time, was cast upon the heads 
of those who were engaged in this work of necessity. 

I deem it proper, further, to notice a particular and 
prevailing feature which was exhibited in the spirit of this 
numerous combination of lawyers towards each other. 
During the whole of the investigation of these claims these 
men were constantly engaged in attempts to invalidate 
and detract from the merit and justice of each other's 
claims, then pending before the Commissioners. And, 
for that purpose, in several instances were presented in 
VsTiting statements going to establish the fraud and false- 
hood of each other's claims. Extracts from some of 
these statements it is intended hereafter to submit to the 
reader. They would seek interviews with the Commission- 
ers, and when alone, each one would protest against the 
fraud and injustice of all the claimants, except himself. 
In the experience which I had touching the claims of 
these lawyers against the Cherokee Indians, I could not 
discover anything to sustain the belief that there was a 
particle of honor amongst thieves. 

I will now submit the awards of the Commissioners : 
First, upon the claims of Judge Underwood. Secondly, 


on the claims of Underwood, Rockwell, Hansell, Harden, 
and Barron and Irwin, taken up and decided, jointly and 
severally, all in the same award and on the same paper — 
awarding to each individual the amount which he should 
receive on his claims. 

Commissioners' Office, 
New Echota, Feb'y lo, 1837. 
Vv'm. H. Underwood 
The Cherokee Nation. 

Claims for Legal Services 
Rendered the Nation. 

The claimant states that he was employed as the at- 
torney of the Cherokee Nation, in a controversy of vital 
importance to said Nation, and which involved questions 
of the greatest magnitude, intricacy and difficulty ; and 
for the services he expected to render he now alleges 
that he was to be paid to his entire satisfaction, whenever 
these controversies should be terminated and ended. 

He further alleges that the controversies in which the 
Cherokees were engaged were not only difficult at first, 
but were rendered much more so from year to year by 
the continued legislation of the State of Georgia at every 
session from 1828 to 1835, inclusive. And that, for years, 
he succeeded by his individual efforts, unaided by other 
legal counsel, in thwarting and preventing the due execu- 
tion of the laws of Georgia, by obtaining from the courts 
the most important decisions in favor of the Cherokee 
people. And that this service in which he was engaged 
required of him, in order to devise remedies to meet the 
new exigencies growing out of the legislation of Geor- 
gia, and to sustain the foregoing allegations, the claim- 
ant sets forth a brief history of the proceedings herein- 
before alluded to, and again adverts to his untiring ef- 
forts to obstruct and prevent the operation of the laws 
of the State of Georgia over her Indian population. 

The claimant further alleges that he continued faith- 
fully and successfully to sustain the hopes of the Chero- 
kees against all the legislation of the State of Georgia, 
until the passage of an act by the Legislature of Georgia, 
divesting the courts of equitable jurisdiction over such 
cases as he had been employed in previously for the Cher- 
okees. After the passage of the act last referred to (in 


1834 or 1835), the claimant states that he became con- 
vinced that he could no longer sustain the Cherokees 
against the legislation of Georgia, and that he then 
repaired to Washington City, as the attorney of the 
Indians, and that he advised them to enter into a treaty 
with the United States with a view to emigration to the 

And the claimant further states that he cannot resist 
the belief and conclusion that ihe Clicrcke ■^ have ob- 
tained by treaty some millions of dollars more than they 
would have done had it not been for the protracted strug- 
gle which he enabled them to make, in resisting the policy 
of the States and that of the United States. The claim- 
ant further states that the service in which he was en- 
gaged for the Cherokees employed his whole time and 
talents, and caused him to abandon a practice of the law, 
w^orth more than four thousand dollars per annum. 

To support and sustain the foregoing claim, as set 
forth, Alexander McCoy and William Rodgers (two prom- 
inent white blooded natives), certify to the regular em- 
ployment of the claimant by the Cherokee authorities. 
Z. B. Hargrove, William Harden, C. D. Terhune, Henry 
Tightfoot Simms and Robert Mitchell, Esquires, all at- 
torneys-at-law, have certified in corroboration of the serv- 
ices alleged to have been rendered by the claimant. 

And further, these same lawyers have volunteered the 
opinion that a sum less than ($25,000) twenty-five thou- 
sand dollars would be inadequate to the discharge of the 
payment of the extraordinary services of this claimant. 

And upon this showing and proof the claimant sub- 
mits his case to the Commissioners. 

In the investigation of this case the Commissioners 
have not confined the range of their reflection to the con- 
sideration of the mere amount charged by the claimant — 
large as that amount is, it had seemed to be of small con- 
sequence, when compared with the principles which this 
case involves. It is in proof that the claimant was in the 
employ of the Cherokee authorities, and for the purposes 
hereinbefore set forth by the claimant himself. 

And from the personal knowledge of one of the Com- 
missioners, as well as from various other sources, in de- 
ciding on the correctness of the statements of the claim- 
ant in regard to the nature of his employment and his 
exertions to sustain the pretentions of the Cherokees to 
the right of sovereignty and independent government, 
within the acknowledged limits of one of the sovereign 


States of the Federal Union, the claimant no doubt zeal- 
ously endeavored to overturn the policy and laws of the 
State of Georgia. The loth Article of the Treaty, under 
which this claim is presented, provides for the payment of 
services rendered the Nation. The claimant now states 
that the principal chief of the Nation, John Ross, assured 
him, that, at the termination of the controversy, he 
should be paid to his full satisfadinn. This claimant, 
however, a few years ago, while this controversy was 
pending, was sv.'orn as a witness, in exculpation of his 
friend. Judge Hooper, who was suspected of being too 
much under the influence and guidance of this same 
claimant, and he then testified on oath "that he was to 
receive nothing more from the Cherokee people than a 
reasonable compensation for his services.'' 

Therefore, the duty which now devolves on the Com- 
missioners is to determine what amount of compensation 
will be reasojiable. Under all the circumstances of the 
case, as herein presented, the claimant estimates his serv- 
ices by an alleged loss of his professional practice, as an 
attorney-at-law, which he estimates as being worth to 
him upwards of $4,000 per annum, and the success which 
he alleges attended his labors in protracting the contro- 
versy between the Cherokees and the State of Georgia, 
and thereby, as he conceives, the Cherokees have obtained, 
as he supposes, several additional millions of dollars in 
the late disposition of their claims to the country. And 
these opinions of the claimant seem to be sustained by 
the certificates of the persons hereinbefore referred to. 

The services of the claimant, although presented as 
claims for legal services as a lawyer, obviously partake 
(as voluntarily stated by the claimant himself) deeply of 
a political character. The controversy in which the claim- 
ant was engaged originated and was carried on as a con- 
troversy between two political communities, contending 
for the right of sovereignty, jurisdiction and soil, as well 
as persons residing thereon, to a certain well defined dis- 
trict of territory. 

The claimant was engaged for the Indians, much the 
weaker of the two contending communities in respect to 
strength and power, as well known to the whole country. 
They were, therefore, exposed to all the evils and haz- 
ards which necessarily endanger a weaker community 
when exposed to a long continued and violent contro- 
versy with a stronger one, in every point of view, both 
physical and intellectual. And, in view of the particular 


case now before us, we are constrained to entertain the 
opinion that the best interest of the Cherokee people 
would have been promoted and greatly advanced by avoid- 
ing the conflicts and controversies into which he claims 
the credit of introducing and continuing for many years. 

The Cherokees can never be remunerated in dollars 
and cents for the losses which they have sustained by be- 
ing thus kept in conflict with the white population, for 
lo ! these many many years. By the long continuance of 
this controversy, they have acquired all the vices of the 
most abandoned amongst the white population, while 
they have acquired but few of their virtues. Therefore, 
the obtaining of money, by protracting their strifes, en- 
titles this claimant, in the estimation of the Commission- 
ers, to no additional compensation for his services what- 

As set forth by the claimant, he did all he could to 
increase the controversy, until forced to abandon it by the 
legislation of Georgia. That the labors and efforts of 
the claimant were arduous, long and often unpleasant 
may readily be admitted ; but that these services were 
beneficial or advantageous, either to the Cherokees or 
whites, can by no means be admitted or believed by the 

We believe his labors from first to last have been one 
unmitigated curse to the Cherokee people. If the claim- 
ant abandoned, as he has represented, a lucrative prac- 
tice of the law, worth upwards of four thousand dollars per 
annum, to engage in a more laborious and less pleasant 
business, it was the voluntary act of the claimant him- 
self, and one for which we cannot recognize any just 
claim to any more than reason ibie compensation. 

From the best lights which we have been able to ob- 
tain on this subject, in making up a judgment on the de- 
mands of the claimant, we have arrived at the conclusion 
that, by a fair and honorable practice of the law, two 
thousand dollars is a fair and reasonable compensation 
for attorneys of the best standing in this section of the 
country. And, further, we cannot admit, from any evi- 
dence before us, that the employment of the claimant by 
the Cherokees as counsel so far engrossed his whole time 
and attention as to preclude him from other legal 
employment as to justify the belief that the Cher- 
okee Nation stands justly indebted to him for 
the full value of his professional services for the entire 
time that he was in the employ of the Nation. We there- 


fore deem it just and right to make a deduction of one- 
fourth of the time alleged by the claimant, at least, to 
arrive at what we deem to be a fair and reaso7iable coiiipen- 

We have therefore decided and adjudged that the said 
Wm. H. Underwood, for a full and reasonable compen- 
sation for all his claims against the Cherokee Nation for 
his legal services, shall be allowed the sum of fifteen hun- 
dred dollars per annum, for the term of seven years, that 
being the time he was in the employ of the Nation, mak- 
ing the aggregate allowance of ten thousand five hundred 
dollars, from which sum, however, there shall be a deduc- 
tion of fifteen hundred dollars — that being the amount 
heretofore received by the claimant, by his own admiss- 
ion — leaving a balance now due to the claimant, Wm. 
H. Underwood, of ($9,000) nine thousand dollars. And 
for which said sum it is hereby ordered that a certificate 
be issued in favor of said claimant. 




Note. — Let it be understood that the foregoing decis- 
ion, as well as the next which wall follow, were never en- 
tered on the records of the Commissioners for the reason, 
as hereinbefore explained, that the Commissioners adopt- 
ed the judgment of the Indian Committee, which, as it 
pretty nearly agreed with the opinion of the Commission- 
ers, was assented to. from prudential motives. 


Commissioners' Office, 
New Echota, July ist, 1837. 

The following claims of lawyers, alleged to have been 
rendered to the Cherokees, in the way of legal services, 
appear to the Commissioners to be so connected and com- 
mingled together as to render it most expedient and 
proper to investigate and present them in the same con- 
nection which they seem to bear to each other. 

These claims are presented in items, but the aggre- 
gate amount claimed by each individual is as follows, to 


Wm. H. Underwood $ 38,602.00 

Samuel Rockwell 31,790.00 

Wm. Y. Hansell 31,075.00 

Barron & Irwin 19,375 .00 

Edward Harden 8,000.00 

Aggregate amount of these claims 

— six lawyers $128,845.00 

All the claimants in the above cases, except Barron 
& Irwin, have submitted satisfactory proof that they were 
employed by John Ross, the Principal Chief of the Cher- 
okee Nation, and Ross alleges that he was authorized to 
employ them by the Council of the Cherokee Nation in 
all cases arising under the laws of the State of Georgia 
where a Cherokee Indian or countryman was a party in 
litigation, in any legal case which might come before the 
Courts of Georgia. The employment of Barron & Irwin 
is not so clearly proven, but they have produced letters 
from Ross to them, urging them to attend to Cherokee 
cases, and assuring them that they should be paid for 
their services. 

The three first named claimants, to wit : Underwood, 
Rockwell and Hansell, have presented their claims both 
in a joint and separate form. First, they introduce the 
testimony of Mr. Schermerhorn, who negotiated the late 
Treaty of 1835 with the Cherokee Indians, to prove that 
the provision made in the loth Article of the Treaty was 
made with a special view to provide for their claims for 
legal services rendered to the Cherokee Nation, and 
further that it was imderstood, at the time of negotiating 
the Treaty, that these individuals should submit to the 
Commissioners who might be authorized to settle claims 
arising under the Treaty a regular bill of fees and costs 
in all the suits in which they may have been engaged as 
counsel for the Cherokees ; and, if lawyers' fees were not 
regulated by law, then they should be regulated by the 
usual charges of fees in similar cases, in the courts of the 
country where they practised as lawyers. And these 
claimants have accordingly made out and submitted to 
the Commissioners their several bills and charges, the 
reasonableness of which have been duly certified to by a 
number of practising attorneys. The case thus far would 
seem to constitute a regular firm, practising law for the 
benefit of the Cherokee people and in their behalf as a 
sovereign nation, in all cases whatsoever which might 
be brought against an individual of the Cherokee Nation. 


But when the time arrives for making up the charges 
against the Cherokee Nation, then we find each of these 
lawyers drawing up his separate bill of charges and fees, 
and' each one of this firm charging the Nation the full 
amount of fees which would have been charged if the 
whole services had been rendered by one individual, in- 
stead of the firm, and, in many cases, as will hereafter 
appear, additional auxiliary counsel claim to have per- 
formed the very same labor, and charge the full amount 
for having rendered said services. 

The lawyers who have certified to the reasonableness 
of the charges of these claimants, we apprehend, are not 
apprised of the fact that each one of this firm has made 
the following separate and distinct charges, for their sep- 
arate and individual benefit, in the very same cases, to 
wit : In a case of indictment for illegal residence, six de- 
fendants, each of these lawyers charges $600.00 for his 
services. Again, in the case of trespass and false im- 
prisonment, eleven defendants, each of these lawyers 
charges $t, 000.00. The State against eleven persons — 
false" imprisonment — each of these lawyers charges 
$1,200.00. Again, the State vs. Canotoo, an Indian, for 
digging gold, each of these lawyers charges $1,000.00. 
Again," Lewis Ralston vs. Joseph M. Lynch, both native 
Cherokees, of the white blood, each of these lawyers 
charges $2,000.00, &c., &c., &c., &c., &c. 

If these claimants were really practicing as a firm in 
behalf of the Cherokee Nation, and the provision of the 
Treaty was made for their special and exclusive benefit, 
as Mr. Schermerhorn seems to understand the matter, 
then it would appear to us that no separate charges ought 
to have been made by them. We should suppose that all 
would have felt themselves bound jointly in every case, 
and ought therefore to have presented one consolidated 
amount against the Cherokee Nation, instead of these 
exorbitant and separate amounts. It further appears, 
from unquestionable testimony now before the Commis- 
sioners, that in very many of the cases in which these 
claimants have submitted their charges, separate and full, 
against the Cherokee Nation, other practising attorneys 
in the same courts have actually rendered the most im- 
portant part of the services, and, we believe, in some in- 
stances, the whole of the services charged for by this 
firm, separately, each one for himself, and each an amount 
more than ordinary and sufficient to remunerate any at- 
torney for attending to the whole case, solitary and alone. 


If in a case of common assault and battery one hun- 
dred dollars be a reasonable fee, is it just, is it reasonable, 
that tlie Cherokee Nation should pay six lawyers one 
hundred dollars each for these services in such a case? 
Many such cases are before the Commissioners. It is 
not reasonable, and is not admissible, that a firm of three 
persons should have three times the value of the services 
of the whole firm, or that the firm should be paid for 
services rendered by others, instead of themselves, espe- 
cially when those who actually rendered the services are 
standing at the door, claiming an exorbitant compensa- 
tion for these services. 

Upon the principle of allowing but one payment for 
services rendered in each individual case presented, the 
bills of charges by the six lawyers first herein named 
will be found to amount to something upwards of forty 
thousand dollars, which, without entirely disregarding 
the opinions of the attorneys who have certified to the 
reasonableness of these charges, will be greatly dimin- 
ished by the following obviously just and necessary deduc- 
tions : First, deduct the 25 per cent, which they have 
charged for delay in receiving payment for their services. 

Second. Deduct all charges where both plaintiff and 
defendant were Cherokees in the cases, and in most of 
which it is believed that the persons now presenting the 
claims for legal services rendered the Nation have already 
been reasonably paid by the parties litigant themselves ; 
because most of the litigation of this character has been 
amongst the intelligent and wealthy portion of the Cher- 
okees, and deeply tinctured with the white blood. In- 
deed, they were often white men, entitled to native rights. 

Third. Make a proper deduction where the defend- 
ants were numerous, and yet each defendant stands charg- 
ed with full fees and charges, as though he stood charged 
for a separate ofifense from his fellows. 

These deductions, in the aggregate, will be found to 
reduce the whole of the demands of these six claimants, 
upon the principles which we have laid down, to the sum 
of about thirty-one thousand dollars, which sum should 
be justly and equitably divided amongst these several 

It satisfactorily appears in evidence that Edward Har- 
den was as legally and regularly employed as one of the 
Cherokee counsel for the Nation as anv one of his breth- 
ren of the bar, and for a time was considered quite a 
prominent associate of the firm hereinbefore alluded to; 


but, from his showing-, presented for services rendered 
bv him, it appears that he attended but very few courts, 
as the advocate of the Cherokees, but that in important 
cases, where, we presume, the greatest legal efforts were 
deemed necessary, most of the charges of Col. Harden 
will be found to consist of items for mileage and for at- 
tending councils, &c. Under all the circumstances, we 
consider three thousand dollars a liberal compensation 
for Mr. Harden, for all the services rendered by him to 
the Cherokee Nation. 

Barron & Irwin have submitted sufificient evidence to 
us to induce the belief that they performed much of the 
actual labor in very many of the cases in which the fees 
are claimed exclusively by Underwood, Rockwell and 
Hansell ; but we do further believe that these services 
were considered rather as auxiliary to the firm than that 
of leading counsel ; and, moreover, we have just reason 
to believe, from the evidence before us, that they have 
already received a fair compensation for a considerable 
portion of the services which they have rendered, and for 
which the Cherokee Nation has not been credited by 
them. It is therefore adjudged by the Commissioners 
that the sum of four thousand dollars, in addition to that 
which they have already received, is an ample and full 
compensation for all the legal services which they have 
rendered the Cherokee people and Nation. 

It now remains to divide equitably between Wm. H. 
Underwood, Samuel Rockwell and Wm. Y. Hansell twen- 
ty-four thousand dollars ($24,000) ; and, after the most 
full and careful investigation, we find it difficult to per- 
form this part of the duty which devolves on us, because 
it cannot be performed, from its nature, with mathemati- 
cal precision. The nearest approach which we have been 
able to make to that standard of justice and equity to 
which we have aspired has been to take into considera- 
tion the time which these several individuals have de- 
voted to this Cherokee service, and this leads us to the 
conclusion that the claims of Messrs. Rockwell and Han- 
sell stand upon an equal footing;, and that the claim of 
Wm. H. Underwood is not inferior to both the others, 
when united. 

We therefore award to Wm. H. Underwood twelve 
thousand dollars ; to Samuel Rockwell six thousand dol- 
lars ; and to Wm. Y. Hansell the like sum of six thou- 
sand dollars. 


We are apprised that these six claimants have all re- 
ceived, heretofore, some compensation for their services 
— some more and some less. But as John Ross, the Prin- 
cipal Chief, declared to them, at the time of making them 
some small advances, that he wished them to consider 
these advances only as an earnest of what they should 
receive at the termination of their labors, we deem it im- 
proper to deduct the amounts heretofore received from 
the amounts which we may herein allow. 

It is, therefore, after a full view of all the premises, 
ordered and adjudged that Wm. H. Underwood, Samuel 
Rockwell, Wm. Y. Hansell, and Barron & David Irwin, 
do each of them receive the following sums, as hereafter 
stated, in full for their several claims against the Chero- 
kee Nation, for legal services alleged to have been rend- 
ered said Nation, to wit ; 

Wm. H. Underwood $12,000.00 

Samuel Rockwell 6,000.00 

Wm. Y. Hansell 6,000.00 

Edward Harden 3,000.00 

Barron & Irwin 4,000.00 

And it is further ordered and adjudged that certificates 
do issue for the same accordingly. 

Signed, &c., 



Commissioners' Office, 
July 4th, 1837. 

The Commissioners having made and recorded the 
foregoing decision, as their final judgment upon the 
claims of Wm. H. Underwood, Samuel Rockwell, Wm. 
Y. Hansell, Edward Harden, and Barron & David Irwin, 
have, after further and most mature consideration, felt 
fully confirmed in the correctness of the decisions and 
judgments which they have thus recorded in regard to the 
said several claims. Nevertheless, they are impressed 
with the belief that it is due to the magnitude of these 
cases, and the principles which are involved in their con- 
sideration, further to state that the Commissioners, in 
making up their opinions upon these several claims, did 
not fail carefully to examine all the allegations set forth 



by these several claimants, whether presented in a joint 
or ex-parte form, especially those of Wm. H. Underwood, 
Esquire, who was obviously the leading and original 
counsel and adviser of the Cherokee people, his several 
associates having entered the Cherokee service at more 
recent dates, and all having practiced harmoniously to- 
gether, and striving for the same leading object previous 
to the late Cherokee Treaty of 1835. And Wm. H. Un- 
derwood, Esq., alleges that he was employed as the at- 
torney of the Cherokee people by their prifice, John Ross, 
in a controversy of the most vital importance to them, 
involving questions of the greatest intricacy and difficulty, 
and for which, as he now alleges, he was to be paid to 
his full satisfaction, when the controversv was ended. 
He further states that the controversy in which he was 
engaged was rendered much more perplexing and ardu- 
ous by the continued legislation of the State of Georgia, 
at every session of the General Assembly from 1828 to 
1835, inclusive, and that for several years he succeeded 
by his individual efforts, unaided by the efforts of other 
counsel, in thwarting and preventing the due execution 
of the laws of the State of Georgia, by obtaining from the 
courts the most important decisions in favor of the In- 
dians, and in contravention of the laws of the State. He 
further states that the service in which he was engaged 
required of him the deepest research and investigation, 
in order to devise a remedy to meet the new exigencies 
growing out of the legislation of Georgia ; and further 
to sustain the foregoing allegations, this claimant again 
gives a brief history of the proceedings, hereinbefore al- 
luded to, and again adverts to his untiring efforts to ob- 
struct the operation of the laws of Georgia from being 
exercised over the Cherokee people. This claimant fur- 
ther states that he continued zealously and successfully 
to sustain the Cherokees in opposition to the laws of 
Georgia, until the passage of an act of the Legislature, 
divesting the courts of equitable jurisdiction over such 
cases as he had been advocating in favor of the Cherokee 
people ; and that, after the passage of the act last referred 
to, he could no longer sustain the Cherokees against the 
legislation of Georgia. 

(September 27th, 1853. — In the midst of copying this 
article, the reader will please to indulge me in remark- 
ing, just in this place, by way of parenthesis, that the 
very act of the Legislature last alluded to by Judge Un- 


derwood, was passed by the Legislature of Georgia on 
my special recommendation, and was intended to effect 
the very object which was so effectually accomplished, 
as admitted by Judge Underwood. And this was the good 
result to Georgia for my bringing to the notice of the 
Legislature (in 1834) the conduct of Judge Hooper and 
this very combination oi j-cd iawyers and party politi- 
cians for which I have been so often unjustly censured 
and abused.) 

Whereupon, the claimant states that he repaired to 
the City of Washington, as the friend and attorney of 
the Cherokees, and advised them to enter into a treaty 
with the Government of the United States. And the 
claimant further states that he cannot resist the conclu- 
sion that the Cherokees have obtained by treaty some 
millions of dollars more than they would have done had 
it not been for the protracted struggle which he enabled 
them to make. The claimant further states that the serv- 
ice in which he was engaged for the Cherokees employed 
his entire time and talents for many years^ and caused 
him to abandon a lucrative practice, as a lawyer, which 
was worth more than four thousand dollars per annum. 

The next two claimants in order, Messrs. Rockwell 
and Hansell, together with Mr. Underwood, in a subse- 
quent and joint communication to the Commissioners, 
represent their claims in the following words : "We en- 
countered great difficulties, incurred much expense, and 
labored under constant expectation of personal violence, 
in consequence of the excited state of feeling, deep preju- 
dice and odium which our espousing the cause of the 
Cherokees created against us. The importance of the 
principles to be settled, the magnitude of the questions 
discussed, the value of the property involved, as also the 
rights of the Cherokees, together with the vast extra 
services rendered to this people, when out of court, in 
discharging them from imprisonment, are urgent reasons 
in favor of our claims, and to support our charge of 25 
per cent, for delay of payment, &c. 

"We also ask a liberal compensation for our extra serv- 
ices at Washington, which resulted in the ratification of 
the present Treaty, for which we ask the Commissioners 
to fix a reasonable amount. It is considered by all, par- 
ticularly by the Commissioner who negotiated the Treaty, 
that our services were most valuable, and without which 
the Treaty would not have been made or ratified. By it 



the Cherokees are now made wealthy, and are fully and 
amply provided for, with a sum more than as large again 
as was ever before offered to them for their country." 

In the investigation of these lawyers' claims, the Com- 
missioners have by no means confined the range of their 
reflection and consideration to dollars and cents. To the 
mere amount charged by these claimants — large as that 
amount certainly {$■ — it is deemed to be of but small im- 
portance, when compared with the magnitude of the 
principles involved. 

Admitting the correctness, as we do, of most of the 
historical facts set forth by these claimants, and what have 
been the nature and character of the controversy in which 
they have been engaged? From their own showing the 
controversy has been a political one, from beginning to 
end, not only of vital importance to the Cherokee people, 
but of vital importance to Georgia, one of the sovereign 
independent States of our Federal Union. 

The controversy in which these claimants have been 
engaged, in behalf of the Cherokees, originated and was 
carried on as a controversy between two political com- 
munities, contending for sovereignty and jurisdiction over 
territory and persons residing in a certain . district of 
country, and hence arose all the excitement, hazards, and 
odium to which these claimants have been exposed, as 
set forth by them. Had they any reason to expect less? 
Yea ; had they not good reason to have supposed that 
the part which they have acted in this matter would have 
exposed them to the severest punishment known to the 
criminal laws of every civilized State? They were citi- 
zens of Georgia, in the full enjoyment of all the advan- 
tages of the benefits of the legislation of the State, and 
all the immunities of other citizens. And they now come 
before us, and claim to have been the successful instru- 
ments of stirring up the Indian population of the State to 
rebellion against the laws of the State. They claim to have 
thwarted and impeded the laws of the State. They claim to 
have persevered, and they say, successfully, in this cause 
for seven years, to the great and constant annoyance of 
the State and all its peaceable and good citizens. More- 
over, they openly boast of their influence over judges and 
courts so far as to obtain from these courts decisions 
favorable to their continuance in impeding and overturn- 
ing the legislation of the State. Finally, they admit they 
were legislated out of their occupation of stirring up 
mischief and strife, and compelled to ground their arms, 


by the legislation of Georgia in 1834. They then claim 
to have made a virtue of necessity, having as their show- 
ing exhibits, gained a complete ascendency and control 
over the volition of the Cherokees, and, after exercising 
their influence, to keep them in strife with the State of 
Georgia for seven long years. And the State of Georgia, 
having become impatient and assuming an aspect of sever- 
ity against such perfidious conduct of her unloyal citi- 
zens who had proved traitorous to her welfare and best 
interest, these same claimants posted off to Washington, 
as the safe depository of the best of the Cherokee peo- 
ple. And these claimants claim to be the inspiring cause 
of forming the Cherokee Treaty of 1835. But this is not 
all ; it was, as they allege, through their influence alone 
that the Treaty was ratified by the Senate of the United 
States. Moreover, they fixed the consideration money 
which was to be given to the Cherokees for ceding their 
rights to the country. More yet, they fixed the price at 
several millions of dollars more than could ever have 
been obtained before. According to their showing, it 
would seem that they held in their hands the rights and 
destiny of nations and peoples. 

Nothing seems to have been equal to a controversy 
with these extraordinary lawyers, except the Legislature 
of Georgia in 1834. These men, if they are to be be- 
lieved, were the instruments to get up a controversy and 
strife between Georgia and the Cherokee Indians of a 
deeply vital character, they kept up and aggravated that 
controversy over seven long years, and, when forced to 
abandon it, they seem to think they ought to be rewarded 
most extravagantly for creating strife and deep injury 
to both the State of Georgia and the Cherokee people, 
and be liberally rewarded for making a virtue of necessity. 

We admit the temporary success which attended the 
efforts of these claimants and their political associates, 
in thwarting the Legislature of the State of Georgia, as 
well as the policy of the Government of the United States, 
in their object of the removal of the Cherokees to the 
West. And, moreover, we admit that the perseverance 
of these claimants was checked alone by the face of pub- 
lic opinion expressed through the Legislature of Georgia. 
And, further, it is admitted that these claimants, by their 
aid in protracting this controversy, excited the sympathy of 
the country, and helped to turn away the impending evils 
which this delay was likely to bring upon this unfortun- 
ate remnant of a once mighty race, and thereby induced 


the Government of the United States to give to these 
unfortunate people a most exorbitant price for the ter- 
ritory which they claimed. If these claimants really rend- 
ered any aid in making; and ratifying the Treaty of 1835, 
it was when further resistance to the authorities of Geor- 
gia not only became hazardous but hopeless, and the 
claimants should be credited with having made a virtue 
of necessity. 




Extract from a communication made to the Commis- 
sioners, in writing, Sep. 12th. 1837, and signed by Wm. 
H. Underwood, Samuel Rockwell, Wm. Y. Hansell and 
Barron and David Irwin, on the subject of the claims of 
General Edward Harden against the Cherokee Nation ; 

To wit : "We ought not, perhaps, to close these re- 
marks without adverting briefly to the report of the In- 
dian Committee which made the allowance of $3,000.00 
to General Harden, and $1,000.00 to H. L. Simms, in or- 
der the more clearly to manifest its want of justice to 

"In the amounts of General Harden, it is worthy of 
remark, and should be specially noted, that he has not 
put down any specific services that form a just claim 
against the Cherokee Nation, except the case of Canatoo, 
and in that case the services (if any) were voluntary, and 
rendered before his employment. This is a fact known 
to one of us (Judge Underwood) and stated bv his author- 
ity. ^ " 

"Let us now analyze his account. In March, 1831, 
and in September following, the missionary cases were 
disposed of, for which he charges $1,500.00. In this case, 
from the letters which his overweaning vanity prompted 
him to exhibit, they voluntarily paid him $100.00, as a 
donation for his services. Besides, these missionaries 
were white men, sent into the Nation by the Board of 
Foreign Missions, and were neither Cherokees nor the 
descendants of Cherokees, nor Indian countrymen. This 
certainly then can form no just charge against the Na- 
tion. We proceed with this account. 

"The next item is for various cases, at different times, 
$250.00. This probably was placed in general terms, be- 
cause it would have been imprudent to specify. The next 


item is for traveling to the Council of the Cherokees, at 
Red Clay. There is no pretense that he was ever re- 
quested to attend said Council, nor is there any evidence 
that he was there in any other capacity than that of a 

"The next item is : visiting John Ross at Cassville, 
$500.00. This visit was also before his employment by 
the authorities of the Cherokee Nation, and made for the 
express purpose of procuring that employment. This, 
according to the dates in his account, was in December, 
1833, and is the date of his employment. The next item 
is for obtaining injunctions, $250.00. He prudently 
leaves to conjecture what he did to obtain these injunc- 
tions. The bills were drawn by one of the undersigned. 
Judge Underwood, and printed, for convenience. In his 
item for injunctions he carefully omits to give the cases. 

"The next two items are for attending Cass Court, in 
March and April, 1834, $1,700.00. Here again no specific 
case is stated, and a modest charge, truly, for a man to 
make for two visits to Cassville, who held himself incap- 
able of charging more than he was entitled to for his 
services, by the judgment and opinions by men of the 
greatest legal talents and moral worth in the State, but 
whose names he cautiously and studiously conceals. Do 
these items exhibit what he did at Cass Court? They 
do not. The extent of his services is carefully concealed, 
doubtlessly from prudential motives. 

"The next item is for furnishing briefs in injunction 
cases. It would be highly edifying to have the perusal 
of that vaunted brief, in four pages. It is somewhat sin- 
gular, considering the character of the man, his great 
depth of research, surpassing legal acumen, and pro- 
found judicial knowledge, that this said brief has not be- 
fore this found its way into some of the literary periodi- 
cals of the day, to cheer the poor Cherokees in the reflec- 
tion that our great ancestor, Adam was a red ma7i; for, 
if our memory serves us, this was the whole burden of 
this extraordinary brief. The next item is : attending 
the case of prisoners, 250 miles, $250.00. The date is in 
August, 1834, and it is known that the General was then 
on his way to John Martin's, to obtain his $500.00, appro- 
priated to him by the Cherokee Council, at Red Clay. He 
accidentally, we believe, met with certain persons in the 
custody of the Georgia guard, and, for this, his tender 
conscience permitted him to charge $250.00 — rather a 
profitable trip! But he took no measures whatever for 


the release of those persons. Two of the undersigned, 
W. H. Underwood and Wm. Y. Hansell, went to Spring 
Place, and effected their release, without aid or assist- 
ance from the General. 

"The next item is: attending the courts of Cass and 
Cherokee Counties — charge, $500.00. Yet he exhibits no 
specific service rendered at either of these courts at which 
he may have staid two or three days. 

"The next item is : attending as a witness at Milledge- 
ville — and from the date of the item, Dec, 1834, we pre- 
sume the case in which he attended as a witness was that 
of Judge Hooper. The General must be hard run indeed 
to find charges against the Cherokees, when he resorts 
to such an one as this — $250.00 for such service! This 
case is familiar to us all. and we are at a loss to conceive 
upon what ground the General charges the Cherokee Na- 
tion for this trip to Milledgeville ; besides he received pay 
from the State. This, indeed, is standing ''on htph 
ground.'" Why, if this be a just charge against the Cher- 
okees, the General could with equal propriety charge for 
many a bootless trip which he has taken to the various 
courts in the circuit in which he resides ! He should care- 
fully have scanned his own accounts before he ventured 
grauitously to have attacked others. 

"The next item is for again attending Indian Council, 
at Red Clay, $500.00 — in October, 1835. This was an- 
other volunteer trip of the General, for which v/e pre- 
sume the Indians were expected to have been charged. 

"The next item is for attending Lumpkin and Forsyth 
Courts, in October, 1835 — $250.00. Unfortunately for 
the General, the courts in neither County was held in that 
month. Here the omission of specification does not aid 
him, for by the court calendar of that year Lumpkin 
Court sat in August, and in Forsyth on the first Monday 
in September. This item must be placed to an hallucina- 
tion of mind, in which the General sometimes indulges. 
The last item is a general retaining fee, $1,000.00. In 
putting down this pregnant item he probably intended it 
to be a ''file closer,''' and so, indeed, it proved to be, since 
it rounded out his aggregate in round numbers, to 

"This forms the sum of this amount which the General 
says was made out on the opinions of men of the great- 
est legal talents and moral worth in the State of Georgia. 
Of this sum he has actually received the sum of $3,500.00! 
It may be gravely asked for what ? Has he rendered any 


specific legal services? If he has, where is the proof? 
Yet this is the man who professes himself to be the occu- 
pant of higher ground than to aid his suffering clients in 
effecting a treaty with the Government, and who has ven- 
tured to make a wanton and gratuitous attack upon those 
who were instrumental in procuring that happy result. 
But, while the General has placed himself in this awk- 
ward attitude, the glaring injustice of the Indian Commit- 
tee is yet more manifest, in taking from others a portion 
of that sum set apart for the payment of accounts for spe- 
cific services, actually rendered, and giving it to him who 
had already been more than compensated for all he had 
ever done." * 

Here follows an extract from a communication re- 
ceived by the Commissioners from Wm. H. Underwood, 
Samuel Rockwell, Wm. Y. Hansell and Barron & David 
Irwin, dated Sep. 12th, 1837, relative to the claims of 
Henry Lightfoot Simms, attorney-at-law, against the 
Cherokee Indians : 

"We shall now briefly notice the accounts of Henry 
L. Simms, presented for nearly $7,000,000. When we 
first heard of this claim we were amazed, for we know 
that during the time of the Cherokee diflficulties, and 
when they were thickening and deepening around them, 
this same man, Simms, occupied situations entirely ad- 
verse to their objects and interests. 

"We find him a surveyor of the lands, the subject mat- 
ter of controversy ; Clerk of the Lottery which disposed 

* Justice to the memory of General Harden, whose descendants cannot be 
heard in reply to this vituperative statement, demands that something be said as 
an offset to an attack in which so much bitterness appears. No attempt at a resf- 
ular defence against the declarations in the foregoing paper will be made, but the 
following brief recital of facts will suffice to show that the good character of the 
General ever after remained as unsullied as it was before that paper was written, 
and that much of what was said about the extravagant bills of the lawyers named 
was exaggerated and uncalled for. 

On the 23d day of July, 1846, nearly nine years after the letter of Messrs. XTn- 
derwood, Rockwell, and others, was written, a commission was issued to General 
Edward Harden and Mr. B. H. Brewster, by the President of the United .States, as 
Commissioners, under the 17th article of the Treaty of Dec. 29, 1835, "to examine 
claims arising under said Treaty." It should be borne in mind that the service 
thus required of these gentlemen was just what Governor Lumpkin was supposed 
to do during his eighteen months' service as Commissioner under the same 
Treaty, beginning early in 1836, and ending with his resignation when he was 
elected U. S. Senator trom Georgia, in November, 1837. 

The duties of General Harden and Mr. Brewster were faithfully performed, 
and their report, dated and filed July 23, 1847, was submitted to the President, and 
bears this endorsement : 

" This report of the Commissioners under the Treaty of 1835-6, with the Chero- 
kees, will be placed on the file of the Indian Bureau, where the other papers and 
records relating to the Commission will be deposited. 

Washington, July 24, 1847. (Signed) James K. Polk." 

The report is No. 63, in Vol. VIII. of House Executive Documents, ist Session 
30th Congress. 


of the lands ; a member of the Legislature of 1834, and 
voted for the law of that session which destroyed the 
rights and abridged the equity power of the courts to 
relieve them ; a member of the Committee to investigate 
the conduct of Judge Hooper— he voted censure on the 
conduct of that Judge, for extending the mantle < f the 
law in protection of the Cherokees ; and lastly, a public 
prosecutor, to convict and punish the Cherokees for of- 
fenses committed against the laws of Georgia. Yet during 
all this time he now claims to have been one of their coun- 
sel, and obtains a certificate from a Cherokee of having 
rendered extensive service to the Cherokee people. Nor 
is this tissue of inconsistencies all, for he claimed merit 
before the then Governor of Georgia, that he was in favor 
of all the Indian policy of the State, and would have noth- 
ing to do with those lawyers who were striving 
to prevent the execution of the laws of the State, yet, 
after the many cases, civil and criminal, were adjudicated 
and disposed of, and after the ratification of the Treaty, 
he placed his name on the dockets of the courts, and 
claims from the Commissioners compensation for legal 
services rendered the Cherokees, while all concerned well 
know this attempt to obtain money is a gross fraud." 

I might extend these extracts, and similar ones, going 
to prove the dishonesty and fraud of every one of this 
whole pack of lawyers, to an almost indefinite extent. But 
let it sufifice to say that Judge Kennedy and myself en- 
tirely concurred in the opinion that these men, from first 
to last, had been nothing more than one unmitigated 
curse to the Cherokee people, and that not a man amongst 
them was worthy of credit. 

The foregoing extracts from the voluntary written testi- 
mony of lawyers who were claimants under the Cherokee 
Treaty for services rendered the Nation, is but a moiety 
of the mass of testimony of the same character which 
was placed in the hands of the Commissioners, in order 
to detract from the merit and justice of each other's 
claims. I never conversed with one of these lawyers alone 
who did not declare to me the fraud and corruption of 
every la^vyer claimant, except himself. Therefore, they 
all privately threw stones at each other. And this has 
been my reason for exhibiting, for the use of posterity, 
the corruption and perversity of this vile combination of 
feed lawyers, who acted as stipendiaries to John Ross, 
who would have utterly ruined and extinguished from 
the face of the earth the remnant of the Cherokee Indians 


but for the interposition of the Government of the State 
of Georgia. 

And much as Georgia has been reviled, persecuted, 
slandered and abused by both deluded and designing per- 
sons, for the course of her policy toward the Cherokee 
people, but for the untiring and persevering exertions of 
some of her sons, who were in the right position to exert 
influence in carrying out her policy, these Indians would 
have been utterly and hopelessly destroyed. I often of- 
ficially denounced this pack of lawyers, while in the Ex- 
ecutive Office of Georgia, and their baseness and perfidy 
"have been established by their own testimony, one against 
another, which goes to prove their selfishness and dis- 
honesty, while pretending to advocate the rights of the 

I have but partially submitted to the reader the great 
mass of material in which I abound to develop my official 
transactions in connection with the execution of the Cher- 
okee Treaty of 1835, ^s Commissioner on the part of the 
United States to discharge such duty ; yet I fear that I 
have already presented more than sufficient for the pa- 
tience of most readers. I am fully apprised that docu- 
mentary history, even on the most interesting subjects, 
will not be read by most persons with that interest and 
perseverance which the importance of the subject may 

I trust, however, that I have dwelt sufficiently on this 
subject to preserve many of the important truths of an 
important portion of the history of the country, and to 
enable the patient reader to judge correctly on a portion 
of history much involved in obscurity, by misrepre- 
sentation and perversion. I have been resolved, at least, 
to aflford the opportunity to all such as may take any in- 
terest in the matter to form a correct opinion of my own 
merit, or demerit, in connection with this important trust, 
and at the same time progress with that chain of Indian 
history with which a great portion of my life has been 
so closely identified. I have endeavored to confine my- 
self to such portions of the subject as I deem to be most 


After my election to the Senate of the United States, 
by the Legislature of Georg-ia, my whole attention was 
directed to the consideration of the discharge of the new 
duties thus devolved on me. 

I had often said and thought that the Senate of the 
United States, from its first organization as a body under 
the Constitution of the United States, had maintained a 
character which entitled it to the just claim of being one 
of the greatest assemblages of men on earth, unsurpassed 
in wisdom, dignity and moral worth. 

In point of talents, learning, variegated cultivation, 
experience and statesmanship, I can think of no assem- 
blage of men in any country who equal, or will bear a 
favorable comparison with, the Senate of the United States. 
No one individual is great in everything. Some are dis- 
tinguished for their superiority in one thing, and some in 
another. But the body, as a whole, is exceedingly well 
qualified to contest the question of greatness, when com- 
pared with any other body of men on earth. And the 
particular time (Nov., 1837), when I entered the Senate 
of the United States as a member, I think may justly be 
considered the palmy days of that body. There were Cal- 
houn and Preston, from South Carolina ; Clay and Crit- 
tenden, from ixentucky; Webster and Davis, from Massa- 
chusetts; Grundy and White, from Tennessee; Wright 
and Tallmadge, from New York; Benton and Linn, from 
Missouri ; King and Clay, from Alabama ; Sevier and Ful- 
ton, from Arkansas ; Buchanan and McKean, from Penn- 
sylvania ; Rives and Roane, from Virginia ; Southard 
and Wall, from New Jersey; Pierce and Hubbard, from 
New Hampshire ; Cuthbert and Lumpkin, from Georgia ; 
Strange and Brown, from North Carolina ; Allen and Mor- 
ris, from Ohio ; Tipton and Smith, from Indiana ; Clay- 
ton and Bayard, from Delaware ; Niles and Smith, from 
Connecticut ; Walker and Henderson, from Mississippi ; 
Young and Robinson, from Illinois; Prentiss and Swift, 
from Vermont ; Mouton and Nicholas, from Louisiana ; 
Lyon and Norvell, from Michigan ; Robbins and Knight, 
from Rhode Island; Williams and Ruggles, from Maine.* 

*The Senators from Maryland at this time were Messrs. Kent and Spence. 
The omission of their names by Gov. Lumpkin is presumably an oversight. 


It is true that many of the Senators here named, like 
myself, never claimed for themselves the distinction of 
being considered great men ; but there is scarcely an ex- 
ception on the whole list who might not have claimed 
for themselves, justly, the distinction of being born use- 
ful men in the service of their generation. And it is a 
notorious fact that in all legislative bodies those who 
make the least pretentions to public display of any kind 
perform the largest share of labor in the useful business 
of legislation. 

The most laborious and important work in all legisla- 
tive bodies is performed by its committees, and thus pre- 
pared for the discussion and action of the body. And 
generally the members who make least display on the 
floor of the Legislature, in truth, render the most impor- 
tant service to the country. 

But in such a body of men as the Senate of the United 
States I could but feel the magnitude of the responsibil- 
ity of my position. Upon mature reflection, however, my 
embarrassments were measurably dissipated, and that, too, 
from the consideration of the character of the body with 
whom I was now officially associated upon terms of per- 
fect equality. I felt confidence in the character and intel- 
lectual capacity of my associates. I felt that to each in- 
dividual member was secured a perfect, reliable guaran- 
tee of justice, and that each member would have conceded 
to him, by that body, all the merit and credit to which 
he might have any just claims. I knew, moreover, that 
no man, however gifted, could pass himself ofif for one 
copper more than his true instrinsic merit and worth of 
character entitled him to. These considerations at once 
placed me in ease. And never have I acted in any as- 
sembly of men, before or since, with so little embarrass- 

Having made up my mind to be content with zealous, 
honest efforts to discharge my whole duty, and be con- 
tent with the award of others, I had no further trouble, 
but to labor in my sphere. 

In this spirit, and with these reflections, I took my 
seat in the Senate of the United States on the i8th day 
of December, 1837, and it will be seen from the report 
of the proceedings of the Senate, as given in the Congres- 
sional Globe, that I took no active part in the discussions 
of that body, until the third of January following, when 
Mr. Calhoun's celebrated resolutions on the rights of the 
States, especially in connection with the slave question, 

j82 removal of IHE CHEROKEE 

was under discussion, when Mr. Lumpkin is reported to 
have addressed the Senate, for a considerable time, in 
favor of said resolutions, and in favor of retaining them, 
as originally presented by Mr. Calhoun. He believed 
that a larger portion of the North, at present, was op- 
posed to the constant agitation of the question of slavery, 
as persevered in by the Abolitionists and took no part in 
the proceedings of these agitators, and although the Sen- 
ate might not have the power to entirely suppress this 
spirit of fanaticism, it might, by the passage of these reso- 
lutions, check the proceedings of these excited and mis- 
guided people. Mr. Lumpkin then went into a consti- 
tutional view of the subject, after which the question was 
taken, on Mr. Morris' motion, to strike out the words 
"moral and religious," when there appeared 14 in favor 
of the said motion and 3[ against it. And by these pro- 
ceedings may be seen the rapid advance of abolition since 
that date. 

The report says this is but a slight sketch of these 
proceedings, and that the remarks of the speakers will 
be given from time to time, as prepared from the report- 
er's notes. My own remarks on this subject were never 
written out, either by the reporter or myself, and too 
much time has elapsed since for me to attempt to repeat 
them accurately. I have no doubt, however, but I argued 
then, as I do now, and have always done, that Congress 
had no constitutional power to legislate on the subject 
of slavery, with a view to encourage or countenance the 
spirit of abolition ; but that the subject should be left 
where the Constitution had placed it, and let each State 
act for itself on the subject of slavery. 

It was the duty of Congress in this, as well as all other 
cases, to protect each State of the Union in her constitu- 
tional guaranteed rights, and, as far as practicable, to 
suppress all impertinent intermeddling with the domestic 
institutions of the States. 

Therefore, by expressing the opinion of the Senate 
on these resolutions, some good might result, in staying 
the wild spirit of these Northern fanatics who seem to 
be much more concerned about the affairs of others than 
their own. 

At least, the passage of these resolutions might ]^\a.ce 
an effective weapon in the hands of our Northern friends 
who are for peace and the Constitution. 

T have long believed that neither the aggrieved States 
nor Congress had the power to put an effective stop to 


the impertinent intermeddling of the Abolitionist of the 
non-slave holding States with the institution of slavery. 
Ever since I have reflected upon this subject I have been 
convinced that the battle must be fought where the enemy 
is to be found — he must be met face to face, in striking 
distance. If the majority of the people of any State be 
sound on this subject, they have the power efifectually to 
stay the progress of the Abolitionist. Let us, then, by 
the passage of these resolutions, strengthen the hands of 
the sound men of the North. 

After due reflection, I have deemed it most expedient 
to give to the reader, in the next place, most of the promi- 
nent struggles which I encountered in connection with 
Cherokee affairs, in the order in which they occurred, in 
the Senate of the United States, and thereby, as far as 
practicable, close the history of my oilficial connection 
with these Indians affairs. To do this, I will give, in con- 
secutive order, the speeches made by me in the Senate of 
the United States. This kind of documentary history is 
the least liable to improper coloring, or misrepresenta- 
tion ; for these speeches were chiefly written out and pub- 
lished by the reporter of the Globe office, without any al- 
teration or correction whatever from me. 

It is my intention, hereafter, to advert to my senatori- 
cal course on various other subjects, but in this, from the 
time of life, being three score and ten, I may never accom- 
plish my present purpose — in that case I must leave to 
posterity the labor of my unfinished work. 

On the 22d of January, 1838. From the Congressional 
Globe : 

Mr. Lumpkin rose and stated that, in compliance with 
a resolution of the Senate, that a communication from the 
War Department has been made, and has been lying on 
your table for a week or more, furnishing copies of 
correspondence held with department in connection with 
the subject of the execution of the Cherokee Treaty of 
1835, which he now moves might be taken up. Mr. Tip- 
ton, of Indiana, inquired if the document which the Sen- 
ator referred to was the memorial of John Ross and 
others, presented at the last session and laid on the table. 

Mr. Lumpkin replied it was not, and again explained 
the nature of the document which he called for. My ob- 
ject, (continued Mr. Lumpkin) in rising at this time is to 
ask for the printing of the communication referred to, 
together with the accompanying correspondence. 

j84 removal of IHE CHEROKEE 

Although I have not had the opportunity fully of ex- 
amining what has been communicated on this subject, I 
take it for granted that the requirements of the resolution 
have been complied with ; and, if so, I deem it important 
that the Senate and the country should, without delay, be 
put in possession of the information communicated. The 
importance which I attach to having this information dif- 
fused arises from the consideration that it will tend ef- 
fectually to disabuse the minds of those who labor under 
the misapprehension which has been created by Mr. John 
Ross and his associates in regard to the validity of the 
Cherokee Treaty of 1835. 

While Mr. Ross continues to protest against the valid- 
ity of the Treaty, and is remonstrating to every depart- 
ment of the Government against its execution, this com- 
mamication is expected to show that the Government not 
only considers the Treaty the supreme law of the land, 
but has steadily progressed in its execution, and that the 
Treaty has actually, to a very great extent, been already 
executed, that very much has been done in execution of 
the Treaty which can never be undone. 

With me, sir, the execution of this Treaty is a sub- 
ject of very great importance, in whatever light I may be 
viewed here or elsewhere. In regard to my feeUngs and 
policy toward this people, I am conscious that the day 
will come, and is not now far distant, when my course 
of policy towards this people, from first to last, will re- 
ceive the approbation of all those who are well informed 
on the subject; at this moment, sir, nothing hinders the 
speedy consummation of this Treaty with the Cherokee 
people which would make them not only comfortable but 
would place within their reach the means of making them 
the most independent and best provided for people of al- 
most any community in the United States, except the op- 
position of John Ross and his associates, aided, as they 
are, by influential and talented individuals whom I am 
forced to believe are still laboring under great misappre- 
hension in regard to the true state and condition of this 
people, and the impending dangers which are threatening 
them at the present moment. 

This Treaty, sir, has been made and ratified according 
to the forms of the Constitution. It was negotiated with 
a delegation of the Cherokee people, who, in point of in- 
telligence, patriotism, 1 education, morality and probity 
of character will not only bear a favorable comparison 
with Mr. Ross and his delegation, now, perhaps, in the 


hearing- of mv voice, but they would gain by a compari- 
son with any delegation of the aboriginal race who have 
ever negotiated and signed a treaty with the United States. 
I have seen and read, sir, Mr. Ross's memorial, with 
its appendages, to the present Congress, which has been 
printed bv the other branch of Congress, and laid upon 
our tables. In that memorial he greatly derogates _ from 
the character, and impunes the motives, of the individuals 
who negotiated and signed the Treaty of 1835 ; and. that 
document being printed and circulated by one branch of 
Congress, I will now notify the Senate that I have in my 
possession a document written by Mr. Elias Boudinot, 
late editor of the Cherokee Phoenix, and one of the prin- 
cipal agents who negotiated and signed the late Treaty 
of 1835. This document is in the nature of a reply to 
the various allegations contained in the writings in his 
memorials herein referred to. Mr. Boudinot is a man of 
education, refinement and high moral sense of propriety, 
and has at all times been the able, efficient advocate and 
defender of the rights of his people. He has been with 
them in their six troubles, and is not disposed to forsake 
them in their seventh. If left to his guidance, he would 
quietly lead them out of all their difBculties by which they 
are encompassed, and plant them in a land of excellent 
promise. Mr. Boudinot is not only a nominal Cherokee; 
he is fully identified by blood and feeling with these peo- 
ple, having but little, if any, of the white blood coursing 
in his veins. The propriety of printing the communica- 
tion, together with the document referred to, arises from 
the fact that the Cherokee people are still kept in a state 
of delusion and misapprehension in regard to their pres- 
ent condition. Many of them, unfortunately, believe that 
Mr. Ross is doing something here to abrogate and over- 
turn the late Treaty; and no doubt many of them believe 
a valid treaty cannot be made without the assent of Ross. 
This is a most dangerous delusion to these unfortunate 
people, for the time is now speedily drawing to a close 
when they must take their departure for their new homes 
in the West. The time stipulated for their final departure 
is in May next, and when the time arrives, go they must. 
It will be said to them, "take up your beds and walk." 
No earthly power can abrogate or prevent the execution 
of this Treaty ; and these people, instead of being kept 
in dalliance by Ross and his associates, ought to yield to 
the advice of their better friends who stand ready to take 
them by the hand and lead them forth to their promised 


land of rest, where the white man will cease from troubling. 
Payments have been made under the Treaty to a very 
large amount. Nine-tenths of the most intelligent and 
wealthy Cherokees have availed themselves of the liberal 
advantages of the Treaty provided for them, and have 
become recipients under its provisions, and have either 
gone, or are preparing to go, to the West. The only dif- 
ficulty is with the ignorant and deluded, who are still 
looking to the operations of Mr. Ross, at Washington, 
and his delegation, who, I understand, still remain here, 
and some of whom may now be in our galleries, watch- 
ing our movements like lobby members. They are also 
engaged in writing letters home that their prospects are 
very encouraging here. Now, every one here knows this 
Treaty will be executed. Yet these unfortunate Cherokees 
are still kept in a state of delusion through the channels 

Air. Tipton said he now understood the Senator from 
Georgia, and highly approved of his object, &c., and the 
question then being taken on printing 500 extra copies of 
the communication from the War Department, it was 
agreed to. 

Mr. Lumpkin then offered the following resolution, 
which was considered and agreed to : 

Whereas, a memorial, accompanied by various other 
documents, of a deleeation of Cherokee Indians, remon- 
strating against the Cherokee Treaty of 1835, has been 
printed by order of the House of Representatives ; 

And whereas, said memorial and documents not only 
call in question the validity of said Treaty, but greatly 
derogate from the character and impunes the motives of 
these individuals of the Cherokee Nation who negotiated 
and signed said Treaty, on the part of the Nation ; 

And whereas, Elias Boudinot, late editor of The 
Cherokee Phoenix, and one of the principal agents of the 
Cherokee Nation who negotiated the Treaty, has written 
a reply to the various allegations set forth in the memor- 
ial hereinbefore referred to ; therefore be it 

Resolved, That fifteen hundred copies of the reply of 
Mr. Boudinot, herein referred to, be printed for the use 
of the Senate. 

Which was agreed to by the Senate. 

In Senate, Wednesday, 'i8th of April, 1838. 

The bill to provide for the security and protection of 
the emigrant and other Indians West of the States of Mis- 
souri and Arkansas was taken up, as in Committee of the 


Whole, when Mr. Tipton addressed the Senate at length 
on the merits of the bill. 

After which Mr. Lumpkin expressed a desire that 
every member of the Senate would turn his attention to 
the importance of this bill. He felt convinced that when 
Senators came to look into the merits of this bill it would 
not only meet the approval of the Senate but of every in- 
telligent, considerate man of the country. Mr. Lumpkin 
had no scruples as to the power of the Government to 
extend to remnants of this once mighty and chivalric race 
all the lastino- benefits of civilization which can be enjoyed 
by an agricultural people. Yea, he even looked forward 
to the day when these unfortunate sons of the forest — 
these children of Nature — might possibly become a part 
and parcel of ourselves, advancing with the same rapid 
strides in the pursuits of knowledge, wealth, civil liberty, 
and all the other requisites of human comfort and happi- 

The same bill was again called up April 27th, 1838, 

When ]\'Ir. Lumpkin urged the Senate to proceed at 
once to the consideration of this important measure which 
he looked upon as the best which could be devised, not 
only for the protection of the frontier States of Missouri 
and' Arkansas, but for the Indians themselves, and as 
eminently calculated to elevate and improve the condition 
of the Indians. The objects embraced in this bill, Mr. L. 
said, were not new — the subject had been before the coun- 
try from the days of General Washington till now, and, 
by a reference to public documents, it would be seen that 
Mr. Jefferson and all of his successors in office had viewed 
it as a subject worthy of the consideration of Congress 
to civilize and improve the condition of our native Indians. 
In the course of his remarks Mr. L. adverted to the two 
able reports made on the subject by Mr. Monroe and Mr. 
Calhoun, and said the subject had been discussed until it 
would seem that it ought to be familiar not only to every 
member of Congress, but to all the reading portion of 
the country. 

He said that the information presented at the present 
session of Congress, and the able speech of the honor- 
able Senator from Indiana (Mr. Tipton), so replete with 
information and detail, would be sufficient to gain the at- 
tention of any Senator to this subject. Mr. Lumpkin said 
he would not now attempt to enter into an argument in 
support of the bill, for he concurred with his friend from 
Indiana (Mr. Tipton) that this would be unnecessary, un- 


less some more plausible objection should be urged 
against it than had yet been advanced. 

Should it become necessary, he felt confident that the 
friends of the bill would be able to answer fully all ob- 
jections which might be made to it; and he. himself, 
would most cheerfully contribute his mite. 

Neosha Territory again. In vSenate, April 30th. 1838. 
■ The Senate resumed the consideration of the bill to 
provide for the security and protection of the emigrant 
and other India -^s West of the States of Missouri and Ar- 
kansas, the qu( -tion being on the amendment proposed 
by Mr. King, of Alabama, to set apart the territorv of the 
United States r rth of the Missouri and west of the Mis- 
sissippi, to which the Indian title has been extinguished 
for the Northern Indians. 

Mr. Lumpkin addressed the Senate as follows : 
Mr. President : When I consider the magnitude of 
the ouestion. in all its various bearings, and how deeply 
it concerns the honor and character of the Government 
of my country, I can but approach it with a due sense of 
the responsibility which devolves on me. I regret that 
the consideration and progress of this very important 
measure should be embarrassed by the proposed amend- 
ment of the honorable Senator from Alabama, an append- 
age calculated, in my judgment, if sustained, to defeat 
the original measure itself. This amendment, in connec- 
tion with the remarks made in its support, which have 
fallen from several honorable Senators, gives to the prop- 
osition a sectional character which cannot fail, if the 
amendment be incorporated in the bill, to defeat the en- 
tire measure. I represent a portion of the Southern peo- 
ple who have as deep an interest in the sectional question 
alluded to as any other portion of the Union — a people 
who well understand their political rights ; a people who 
will never demand more, or be satisfied with less, than 
their equal and just rights. My life, my interest, my every 
feeling, are strictly identified with the people whom I rep- 
resent. My obligations to watch over, protect and de- 
fend that portion of their interest confided to my care on 
this floor can never be forgotten or neglected by me for a 
single moment. No, sir ; my obligations to the people of 
Georgia are engraven on my heart, and are peculiarly 
strong. But still, sir, I am not to be alarmed, or fright- 
ened from the pathway of duty, by an illtimed cry of 
Southern rights, when there is no just ground for such an 
alarm, and when that sectional interest is unnecessar"ly 


introdnced in a way calculated to defeat a favorite national 
measure which 1 have for many years past labored to sustain 
and consummate to maturity. The bill on your table, for 
the org-anization of an Indian territorial government in 
the West, in its first section, defines the territory designed 
to become the scene of Indian reform and civilization. This 
territory embraces a country of about six hundred miles by 
two hundred, and may be stated to contain a surface of 
76,800,000 acres of land. The population settled, and intended 
to be settled, on this surface is estimated at 133,883, of which 
number about 76,000 are already located in the country. The 
territory embraced in the bill are directly west and northwest 
of the States of Arkansas and Missouri, and from north to 
south extends over eight or ten degrees of latitude, the 
highest northern point being 43 degrees. North. 

This, sir, is an accurate description of the geographical 
position of the country embraced in the bill, according to 
the map which I now hold in my hand, and which is thought 
to be a very near approach to accuracy. 

Thus, it will be seen, upon the evidence here presented, 
that more than two-thirds of the territory designated in this 
bill is north of latitude 36° 30', the compromise line agreed 
upon at the agitation and discussion V\^hich took place in 
Congress upon the qviestion of the admission of the State 
of Missouri into the Union. It is true that I never did, nor 
never shall, approve of that compromise ; but so it is, and 
it seems to be a settled compromise, and I will not now 
disturb its repose. I am averse at this time, and upon this 
question, to disturbing and agitating that question. 

The South has no just cause of complaint in regard to 
the location of these Indians from which she will be finally 
and forever relieved under the provisions of this bill. The 
Indians have emigrated and will emigrate from all the 
Southern States ; will be located something north of their 
former places of abode ; and, from the provisions of this bill, 
it is not proposed to locate a solitary tribe of the Indians 
from any one of the North and Northwestern States south 
of 36° ^o'. 

And what is the proposition of my honorable friend from 
Alabama (Mr. King)? Why, sir, he proposes to add to the 
territory designated in the bill all the Northwestern domain 
of the United States to which the Indian title has not here- 
tofore been extinguished and which is not embraced in any 
of the present States and Territories of the United States — 


a country undefined in extent, and thought by many well 
informed gentlemen on the subject to embrace a country 
containing a larger surface than one-half of the organized 
States of the Union. 

Sir, my high respect for the intelligence and entire 
confidence in the purity of the motives of the mover of this 
amendment (Mr. King) would leave me in surprise, but for 
the assurance which I feel that the error into which my 
friend had f?llen on this subject is chargeable alone to his 
not having duly examined and considered the measure now 
under consideration. 

Who can seriously expect to succeed in the organization 
of a Territorial Government for the emigrating and half- 
civilized Indians where the territory embraced in the 
proposed government spreads over a country so vast in 
extent, and the greater portion of it populated by savag- 
and wild men who have had little or no intercourse with 
civilized men? Moreover, sir, the Indians who inhabit the 
country proposed to be added by this amendment are wholly 
incapable and unprepared to avail themselves of the benefits 
extended to the more enlightened tribes by the provisions 
of this bill. It would be casting pearls before swine. The 
adoption of the proposed amendment cannot fail to destroy 
every reasonable prospect of accomplishing the beneficent 
and kind objects designed by its friends for the benefit of 
those tribes which have been removed from the several 
States and located in the West. It would, under the bill, 
be an inefficient and useless measure, and change the entire 
prospect of benefiting those upon whom it is designed to 

I regret to find the honorable Senator from South Caro- 
lina (Mr. Calhoun) withholding his support from this impor- 
tant measure, and advocating the proposed amendment 
offered by the Senator from Alabama. I feel assured if the 
Senator from South Carolina had brought his gigantic mind 
to bear upon this deeply interesting subject, he would feel 
prepared to give it his support. I am justified in this con- 
clusion from the fact that the very plan, in all its most 
important bearings, embraced in this bill, was, in the year 
1825, the favorite policy of that honorable Senator. He, at 
that time, as Secretary of War, made an able and lucid 
report on this subject, which may be seen in the volume of 
State Papers now before me, and which, substantially, to my 
mind, recommends any important feature contained in this 
bill, as reported by the Committee on Indian Affairs. The 


very tribes embraced in the bill, as well as the territory, 
together with an entire change of Indian policy approaching 
the provisions of this bill, are recommended in the report of 
the honorable Senator to which I refer. 

And vet, he now desires more time to reflect and make 
up his mind on this very important measure, and seems not 
to be familiar with the provisions of the bill, or the policy of 
the measure. 

A slight examination of this bill must at once remove 
most of the objections suggested by the Senator from South 

The bill forces nothing upon the Indian tribes who are 
intended to be benefited by its provisions. Each tribe will 
still be free to make its own laws and regulations for the 
government of its own people within its respective limits. 
The Confederacy proposed to the different tribes may be 
entered into, or not, at their own discretion. 

It is true that most of the tribes who have emigrated 
to the West have been consulted on the subject of this con- 
templated organization and form of government which is 
the subject of our present consideration, and have expressed 
their opinions in favor of the measure. It is also true that 
several of the most enlightened and largest tribes have not 
yet expressed a formal opinion on the subject, and it is 
known that many of their leading men have expressed an 
opinion adverse to the measure. It is, therefore, a subject 
still open for investigation and consideration, and I indulge 
the belief that full investigation will not fail to counteract 
the opinions of the few selfish leaders among the Indian 
tribes who have been disposed to create opposition to the 
poHcy of the Government in regard to this matter. 

I regret that this bill has not received a greater share of 
the attention of honorable Senators who have manifested 
opposition to the measure. In the opening discussion it 
was ably supported by the Senator from Indiana (Mr. 
Tipton), in a speech chiefly composed of facts and figures. 
In that speech, most of the material historical facts necessary 
to the support of this measure, together with a considerable 
collection of statistical information, was laid before the 
Senate in a condensed form, which placed within the reach 
of any Senator the means of correct information, without 
the toil and research which it must have cost the Senator 
who had the honor to submit it for the use and information 
of others. This bill advances one step towards the consum- 
mation of a most important object which has long engrossed 


the minds and exertions of some few individuals scattered 
through a long course of years, whose knowledge of the 
true character and condition of the aboriginal race awakened 
their sympathy to a sense of the necessity of some vigorous 
effort to arrest the extermination and total extinction of 
these sons of the forest. 

In a retrospect of the past, we may, with hearts over- 
flowing with gratitude to a kind and beneficent Providence, 
congratulate ourselves at the unparalleled advancement and 
prosperity of our beloved country, since the first settlement 
of our European fathers on this continent. Our onward 
progress as a people is truly amazing — it is justly the admira- 
tion of the whole civilized world ! Our good form of govern- 
ment, our arts, our science, our cities, our towns, our agri- 
culture, our commerce, our manufactures, our internal 
improvements, all, all these, have sprung up out of the 
wilderness in a few hundred years. In vain Ave search the 
annals of the world for progress like our own. And still 
our course is onward and onward — to the summit of our 

And, sir, we have wrested this delightful and magnificent 
land from the hands of its native lords ; and whether it 
has been effected by force, or fraud, the obligation which 
now devolves on us to rescue and save from oblivion the 
remnants of the aboriginal race is not changed or altered. 
We should make an honest, sincere effort. 

The allusion made by Senators to my long and untiring 
efforts in support of the policy which is now the subject of 
consideration, and attributing to me the parentage of this 
offspring — I should, if supported by the history of the past — 
I should consider a compliment worth all the toil of my 
humble life. But, sir, I have no pretensions to the honor of 
having originated this measure. Gen. Washington was the 
first public man from whom I recollect to have seen evidence 
to satisfy my mind that he looked forward to the plan which 
I now have so much solicitude to see consummated. Mr. 
Jefferson, Mr. Madison, Mr. Monroe, Mr. Calhoun, and Mr. 
Adams, with many other enlightened statesmen, had given 
official evidence of their approbation of the policy now under 
consideration, before I had the honor of a position which 
authorized me to move in this matter. 

But, sir, it is a subject of the highest gratification to 
me to have been the first member of either house of 
Congress -to make a distinct and systematic move in this 
matter, and that gratification is greatly increased by the 


share of success (although short of my desire) which has 
attended my persevering efforts. My first year's labor, in 
the other branch of Congress, in 1827, resulted in getting an 
appropriation of $15,000 to defray the expense of an explor- 
ing expedition to the West by competent agents of the 
Government, accompanied by delegations of several tribes 
of the Indians then residing in the States. That duty was 
performed to the satisfaction of the Government, and the 
report made by these exploring agents tended to remove 
the idle impression tliat a suitable country could not be 
obtained for the emigration of the Indians. They not only 
found a country, but a most delightful one — one among the 
garden spots of America, a country possessing all the natural 
advantages to make a people prosperous and happy. If is 
true, sir, I did not stop here ; that was only my first step, 
and my march has been onward ever since. 

I have been inclined, and have done all that I could, to 
produce a radical change in our Indian policy. I have long 
since been disgusted, and with shame and confusion of face 
looked at the policy pursued by this Government towards 
the Indians. Look at your large volume of Indian Treaties ! 
What do you there see ? One recorded farce after another, 
couched in language of high official and formal mockery ! 
One continued tissue of deception and deceit ! I rejoice, sir, 
that I never aided in negotiating, or writing, one Indian 
treaty, although I have been mainly instrumental in bringing 
about more than one treaty, because the Government would 
not work in any other harness ! And now, while I am here, 
urging the due execution of an Indian treaty, at this session 
of Congress, I only do so because this Government will not 
comply with its obligations to the State which I represent 
through any other channel. My opinion has been, for the 
last twelve years, that we should never make another of 
these farcical treaties with a poor, subjugated tribe of 

As a substitute for this pretense of making treaties with 
the poor remnant of these subjugated Indians, my plan is 
and has been for many years past, that the States and 
Federal Government should legislate directly for the Indians 
under their respective jurisdictions, in the same manner 
that we legislate for minors and orphans, and other persons 
who are incompetent to take charge of their own rights. 
And, as far as I have been concerned, I have acted upon 
the principle here laid down in my own State, and have 
more than once urged it upon this Government to pursue 


the same course. But, sir, in my leg-islation for a dependent 
and needy people — a people incapable of maintaining their 
own rights- — my liberality, my care for their true benefit, my 
magnanimity, shall be surpassed by no Senator in this hall. 
If in any of these instruments called treaties injustice may 
appear to have been done to any, let us speedily repair 
the wrong. I would gladly restore them fourfold for all 
the wrongs which have been brought upon them by civilized 

Although the policy of the Government toward the 
Indians is, in many respects, marked by too little regard for 
the interest of the Indians, yet a critical examination into 
the history and settlement, as well as policy, of all the 
American colonies, in many cases, may plead justification. 

In the first instance, a plea may be founded on the 
weakness of the colonies and the then strength of the natives 
which put into requisition that first law of Nature, self- 
preservation. This weakness on the part of the first 
European settlers introduced this treaty-making policy which 
I now so earnestly condemn. The conciliatory policy, in the 
absence of power, was resorted to by the colonies. 

Nor do I condemn, or regret, the success of our race 
on this continent. No, sir. I have none of that spirit of 
fanaticism, or sickly sympathy for these interesting people 
that induces me to regret that they have been supplanted 
by a superior race — by husbandmen for whom the God of 
Nature designed the more appropriate use of the earth. I 
cannot desire that this flourishing land of light and liberty — 

"The home of the free, and the land of the brave," 

with all of its variegated and beautiful improvements, should 
be retroceded to the control of uncivilized man, and again 
become a wild wilderness and dense forest, for the wild 
man to roam and hunt in, from place to place. 

Thus, sir, while I see much to regret and condemn in 
the past policy of Europeans toward the native race, I feel 
it my duty to say that it requires examination, reflection and 
much consideration, in order to form a correct judgment on 
the past. 

Up to the present period of our history as a people, 1 
think it must be admitted that our intercourse regulations 
over the Indians have been most prejudicial to their best 
interest. If they had been left to a state of nature, they 
would probably have been in a much better condition, as a 
whole, than they are at this time. 



It does appear to me that the policy of this Government 
has rather had a tendency to encourage than to restrain the 
barbarous habits of these people. At any rate, we have 
progressed in a policy that to my mind has become insup- 
portable. Until the emigrating and colonizing policy was 
commenced by the Government, no general efifort had been 
made to benefit the Indians of our country, and the disa- 
bilities under which they now labor are of a most perplexing 
character, under which they are perishing, and cannot long 
survive. Unless we speedily change our policy, the day is 
not far distant when there will not be a solitary one left to 
tell the sad story of his progenitors. But should success 
speedily crown the plan for which I have so long labored 
and toiled, in the face of a most powerful and talented oppo- 
sition, my hopes will then be revived for the salvation of a 
remnant of this peculiar race of people — a people for whose 
real and permanent welfare I feel all the solicitude of which 
I am capable of feeling for any portion of the human family. 

Most of those who, from religious motives, made efforts 
to benefit the Indians and better their condition, have become 
fully convinced that without colonization and civil govern- 
ment, without laws, most of these people will perish. These 
conclusions have been confirmed by two hundred years' 
experience in the Eastern States of this Union. 

The hopeful beginnings of Eliot, Brainerd and others, 
soon disappeared. Their converts, I hope, got to a better 
world than this ; but what was the condition of their congre- 
gations very soon after their decease? Why, most wretched, 
depraved and perishing. 

Missionaries have continued to labor for the New England 
and New York Indians ever since ; but, notwithstanding all 
these efforts, those tribes have been constantly sinking deeper 
and deeper in degeneracy and wretchedness, and perishing 
away into insignificance and nothing. I entertain no doubt 
but the efforts of these good missionaries have benefited a 
few individuals ; but, take them as a v/hole people, and their 
condition has constantly been becoming more and more 
deplorable. The better prospects and condition of the 
Southern tribes, and particularly the Cherokees, cannot be 
justly attributed to missionary operations or labor. No, 
sir ; the glory belongs to Him who overrules evil, and brings 
good out of the evil. 

During the Revolutionary War, and at its close, there 
were Tories who fled from the just indignation of their 
countrymen, to escape the punishment due to their crimes. 


and joined the Cherokee Indians and fought by their sides, 
amalgamated with them, took their daughters for wives, and 
took up their permanent residence amongst them. (One of 
these was a Scotchman, by the name of Daniel Ross, and 
the father of the celebrated John Ross.) Some of these men 
had property, education and intelligence, and soon acquired 
great influence amongst the Indians, and in many cases were 
careful to educate their children from their Indian wives. 
These men and their descendants taught the Southern 
Indians many of the arts of husbandry and inr^ustry, and 
imparted to them their first ideas of a system of government 
and laws which would secure individual rights and property. 
Thus they acquired a knowledge of the first principles of 
human prosperity ; and civil order and law being thus intro- 
duced, they, by slow degrees, continued to improve. The 
circumstances, too, of their having for a long time a very 
large territory unintruded upon by the whites was favorable 
to their imbibing lofty feelings of character and independence 
which is indispensable to the political advancement of any 
people. These improvements, thus made in the condition 
of the Southern Indians, greatly facilitated the operations 
of the missionaries who settled in their country at a subse- 
quent period. These missionaries were not placed among 
a people altogether savage, but always took their abodes in 
neighborhoods far advanced in civilization. 

Many of the Indians and Indian countrymen had good 
houses and farms and large herds of cattle, sheep and hogs, 
besides household furniture, implements of husbandry, 
besides a number of negro slaves. The missionaries, in 
settling among such a people as I have described, found a 
state of society not widely differing from that which, in 
former days, might often be found in countries now settled 
by civilized men. Some of the missionaries who settled 
among the Cherokees were good people, and were very 
useful to the natives ; but, at the same time, most of them 
advanced their own circumstances and comfort, and 
improved their own conditions from what they had been 
accustomed to full as much as they improved the churches. 

These missionary efforts in the Cherokee country have 
been greatly exaggerated, and gone forth to the world in 
religious magazines and various other forms, and will most 
likely be handed down to posterity, and pervert the truth 
on the historic page when the present generation shall have 
passed away. Be assured, sir, that the greatly improved 
condition of the Cherokee people cannot be primarily 


attributed to missionary labor, but to the establishment of 
law and civil order, produced by means to which I have 
already adverted. Had the Cherokee people been in a 
location where they could have remained undisturbed, they 
might, and no doubt would, have prospered and done well. 
But this v,as not the case. The Southern States, as their • 
white population increased — but following the example of 
the Eastern and Northern States, and by the exercise of 
their constitutional and inherent rights — found it expedient 
and proper to take such steps as should change their Indian 
population for that of the white, which they considered 
superior. Moreover, they deemed it expedient to exercise 
a right, common to all the States, and which the older States 
had done before them, to take entire control and government 
of their Indian population into their own hands. Such a 
course was in accordance with the common cause and policy 
of all the States of the Confederacy from the time of the 
first European settlement on this continent up to the present 
period. It was most unreasonable to expect that an excep- 
tion with a few of the Southern States should occur to that 
which had been the invariable practice everywhere else in 
America for upwards of three hundred years. For many 
years, I plainly foresaw that the Southern tribes, as they 
became crowded b}^ a white population, must, of necessity, 
change their residence, as most of the Northern tribes had 
done, or, like those who still remain, become subject to a 
state of things which would inevitably cause them to 
dwindle, perish and pass away from the face of the earth. 

In view of this state of things, I have been forced to the 
conclusion that the plan which I now advocate merits the 
support and approbation of the wise and the good from 
every section of our Union. It appears to me to be a 
measure so vastly important to a very peculiar and interest- 
ing portion of the human family — a people, too, to whom 
we are under the strongest of all human obligations— that 
every honorable Senator on this floor should for once forget 
all party names and distinctions, disregard sectional or party 
interest, and each one strive to do most to preserve and 
save these people who have so many strong claims on 
our friendship and favorable consideration. I have often 
been surprised at the unbelief of many intelligent and well 
informed persons in regard to the practicability of the civili- 
zation and improvement of the Indian race of this country. 
Give them the same opportunity, and they will improve 
just like other people. Let us henceforth consider them 


as human beings, of like passions and propensities with 
ourselves, and in thus considering them, I know, from my 
own knowledge and observation, we shall only do them 
I'ustice. Give them liberty and law, and at no distant day 
they will exhibit a community which will do honor to the 
' legislation which we now urge for their benefit and advance- 
ment in civilization. 

They are not only endowed with all the necessary 
facilities for mental cultivation and improvement, but when- 
ever the proper opportunity of proper training and instruc- 
tion has been extended to them they have as rarely failed 
to make good use of these opportunities as other people and 
other nations. I will not dwell upon the many cases which 
might be individually referred to, for the purpose of estab- 
lishing the fact of the natural capacity of this race of 
people being as well adapted to acquire all the blessings 
of a civilized state as that of the people of other nations, 
because the reflection and knowledge of my fellow Senator 
here must bear testimony to the correctness of my state- 
ments in this House. 

Let us give these people a fair trial, as provided for in 
the bill now under consideration. Let us take the first step 
towards elevating them as human beings. This bill violates 
no existing law or treaty ; but goes far to carry out and 
fulfill many of the obligations of this Government, as 
contained in its treaty stipulations with these poor, depend- 
ent, subdued remnants of the aboriginal race. 

This bill places these harassed people beyond the reach 
of State interference, and the right of soil should be as 
securely guaranteed to these people, to them and their 
posterity, forever, as it is to the people of any State in this 

The institutions of these people should, as far as prac- 
ticable, be assimilated to our own, in every respect. Let us 
bind them to our great confederacy of States by the ties 
of union and family fraternity. Let us ever look to the 
day when they may become a bright star in the American 
confederation of States. 

Let these people receive from our hands all the liberality 
and encouragement which will promote their true interest. 
Let us prudently aid them in the formation of suitable and 
good laws for their government. Let us watch over and 
guard them from indiscreet legislation in the first stages 
of their new government. The course suggested is the proper 
one to obliterate the remembrance of past injuries; and new 


pursuits, and new prospects, of a cheering and encouraging 
nature, will help to turn their minds from the painful recol- 
lections of the past, and cause them to look forward to the 
prize set before them with that hope which gives jo}' and 
peace. Increasing comfort, progressive improvement, pros- 
pective preferment and distinction, will nourish a laudable 
enterprise and ambition in this interesting race of long 
neglected people. 

Such a course as the one suggested would, I trust, 
extinguish every unkind feeling which any of them may 
have carried with them to their new Western homes. Let 
us endeavor to obliterate from their memories all past 
strifes and animosities. I was desirous myself that these 
people should have been allowed, at once, a delegate of their 
own choosing on the floor of Congress — one of their own 
people. I know that they have competent men for such 
high trust — native Indians, who could not fail to be respected 
on the floor of Congress for their intelligence and genteel 
deportment. From such a policy they could not fail to 
feel that their relations to us were not only amity and peace, 
but they would soon learn to feel a family and kindred 
interest in the welfare and prosperity of the nation and 
government of which they formed a part. Then, sir, we 
should no longer need a military force to preserve peace 
and good order amongst this portion of the American race, 
whose common origin from the same great Father with 
ourselves entitles them to our tender care and kind consider- 
ation. Wretched, indeed, will alvv^ays be the state and condi- 
tion of any people who must be kept in subordination by a 
military force. 

Instead of further delay and consideration on this subject, 
as has been recommended by the honorable Senator from 
South Carolina (Mr. Calhoun), to my mind now is the 
auspicious moment for the Government to move forward and 
make a vigorous effort and do something for the permanent 
interest and benefit of these people, by at least extending to 
them the advantages contemplated by this bill. Now is the 
accepted time for action. The Indians stand at your door 
and knock. Now is the most favorable time to make the 
best possible impression on the minds of these people. If 
we do not proceed now, a retrograde movement may be 
apprehended. Many intelligent men among these Indian 
tribes have long been looking forward to the state of things 
which this bill proposes. Let us not disappoint their long 
delayed hopes. Justice calls for this last effort to serve 


these people. Humanity requires it ; conscience demands it ; 
posterity will admire it, and Heaven will award its blessing 
to those who shall be instrumental in consummating this 
beneficent plan to redeem from ruin an interesting — but 
helpless, without our aid — portion of our fellow men. 

After some further remarks from Messrs. Calhoun, 
Lumpkin and White, of Indiana, the bill was ordered to be 
engrossed for a third reading. Yeas, 38 ; nays, 6. 



Mr. Davis, of Massachusetts, presented several memo- 
rials in relation to the Cherokee Treaty, praying for its 
revision and repeal. Laid on the table. 

Mr. McKean, of Pennsylvania, presented several memo- 
rials on the same subject, which were disposed of in the same 

When Mr. Lumpkin, of Georgia, arose and addressed the 
Senate as follows : 

Mr. President : I hold in my hand a letter addressed 
to me by Mr. John Ridge, a Cherokee man, of the country, 
West. This letter contains much interesting and detailed 
information in regard to the present state and condition of 
the Cherokee people, and afifords a fair view of the prospects 
which await these people, if they could be permitted to 
enter into the advantages secured to them by the Treaty 
of 1835. It is my wish, sir, to read this letter for the 
information of the Senate and of the country. I will add 
that I have numerous letters from other intelligent Chero- 
kees who have emigrated to the West, which go fully to 
sustain all the views and statements of Mr. Ridge. The 
propriety of introducing and reading this letter I trust \yill 
not be controverted, when we take into consideration the 
actual state of our Cherokee affairs at present. 

It is known that the Government of the United States, in 
December, 1835, entered into an arrangement, or treaty, 
with a numerous and intelligent delegation of the Cherokee 
people, under which arrangement it was stipulated and 
agreed that the whole people should emigrate from the East 
to the West, under the care and supervision of the Govern- 


ment of the United States, on or before the 23rd of the 
present month, May, 1838, and several thousand of them, 
including the most intelligent, have already emigrated and 
taken up their abodes in their new country, where they are 
quiet, happy and contented, and are anxious to see the 
balance of their tribe join them in the West, and participate 
in their rich inheritance. Among these emigrants are Mr. 
Ridge, the writer of the letter to which I have referred, who 
is a man of strong native mind, improved by education and 
cultivation. He is a man of great integrity of character, 
whose lofty spirit became restless under the conflicts and 
controversies of his people with the Government of the State 
of Georgia and other States, which terminated in the 
annihilation of the Cherokee Government. 

Under these circumstances, Mr. Ridge and his friends 
yielded to the force of circumstances, choosing to abandon 
their countr}^ rather than be deprived of their native rights, 
which they had long been accustomed to exercise — self- 
government. Therefore, Mr. Ridge became the open advo- 
cate of emigration as the best hope of securing to his people 
the boon of liberty and independent self-government. And 
now, with an intelligent and prudent forecast, he looks to 
a more honored and endeared relation to the Government 
of the United States as the only rational hope of perpetuating 
the existence of his native American race. But, sir, by the 
indulgence of the Senate I will read the letter of Mr. Ridge 
referred to, and to sustain the truths of which I have the 
most ample corroborating testimony in my possession. 
Leave being granted, Mr. Lumpkin read as follows : 

South Lee, Berkshire County, Mass., 

May 7th, 1838 
My Dear Friend : — 

While I was in New York, I received your kind letter of 
the 25th ult., in answer to mine, for which I am greatly 
indebted to you. It was my desire to have visited Wash- 
ington, in order to have had the pleasure of a personal 
interview with you, and also to have seen the result of the 
great Indian bill, now in a course of discussion in the Senate. 
But the period I have set apart to return to my country 
is the first of June, and I have but a short time to spend 
amongst my wife's relations. I did not write as fully as the 
interesting subject of Cherokee removal and the nature of 


the country demanded, as I then beHeved that I should see 

Now, you will allow me to relate my opinion of our 
country in the West, and the situation of our people. The 
Treaty is so liberal in its provisions for the comfortable 
removal of the Cherokees that I have heard no complaint 
on that head, but the highest satisfaction. Those who went 
by water, in steamboats, in the spring of the year, passed 
with so much dispatch that most of them planted corn and 
raised considerable crops. You know that good and exem- 
plary Christian, Mr. Charles Moore. He said that he 
planted in the month of June and raised a greater crop of 
beans, pumpkins and corn than he ever did in Georgia, 
under the most favorable circumstances. He said that the 
land in the West was so rich that he could compare it to 
nothing else but a fattened hog, which was so fat that he 
could not get up. I have traveled extensively in that country 
— once, from my residence, near the corner of Missouri and 
Arkansas, to Fort Smith, through Flint District, where I 
had the pleasure of beholding fine springs of water, excellent 
farms and comfortable houses, and mills, and mission schools, 
belonging to the Cherokees ; and every evidence of prosperity 
and happiness was to be seen among the Cherokees as a 
people. I saw a number who had previously arrived, and 
had arrived since I had, and I heard but one sentiment — that 
they were happy and contented in their new country. Indeed, 
the soil is exceedingly rich and well timbered, and the navi- 
gation of the Arkansas River afifords them superior com- 
mercial advantages to what they enjoyed in the East. I 
joked with the people, and asked them if they wished to 
return to Georgia, even if they could be re-established in 
their ancient rights and locations in that country. They 
invariably said, "No ; by no means. Nothing would induce 
them to return." But they sincerely wished that the eyes 
of their countrymen might be opened, and break from the 
delusions of John Ross and his political tools and escape to 
this good land. I think in this direction I traveled over 
eighty-eight miles, in a straight direction. After this, I 
visited the newly acquired land, called Neutral Ground, 
which was added to our country, west, by the Treaty of 
New Echota. I rode over it, about two days, and I there 
found Mr. Joseph Rogers, our Cherokee friend, from the 
Chattahoochee, pleasantly situated in the finest region of 
country, I ever beheld in any part of the United States, 

The streams here of all sizes, from the rivers to the 


brooks, run swiftly over clean stones and pebbles, and the 
water is clear as crystal, in which excellent fish abound in 
vast numbers. The soil is diversified from the best prairie 
lands to the best bottom lands, in vast tracts. Never did 
I see a better location for settlements and better springs in 
the world. God has thrown His favors here with a broad 
cast. In this region are numerous mills, and it is of itself 
capable of supporting a larger population than the whole 
Cherokee Nation, East. On my return, I traveled toward 
Fort Gibson, seventy-five miles in another direction, and I 
found the richness of the soil and natural advantages far 
superior to any country which I had seen in all my travel. 
In this trip I visited Park Hill Mission, where the Rev. Mr. 
Worcester and Mr. Boudinot are located, and are engaged 
in the translation and publication of useful religious books 
in the Cherokee language, and also Choctaw books, prepared 
by the Choctaw missionaries. 

But what pleased me more, and was a new thing here 
in this country, those gentlemen had published a Christian 
almanac, in Cherokee and English, calculated for the 
meridian of Fort Gibson. I found this extensively in circula- 
tion amongst the Cherokees, and, in fact, I was pleased to 
find that religious tracts, in the Indian language, were on 
the shelves of full-blooded Cherokees, and every one knew 
and seemed to love the messenger, as they call Mr. Worces- 
ter. I very often met with new emigrants from the Eastern 
Nation, either arriving or settling the country, or on their 
way to Fort Gibson, to draw the balance of their dues for 
their lands and improvements. These newcomers were 
formerly of opposite portion in the old nation. There was 
no disposition to quarrel, but every disposition manifested 
to cultivate friendship and rejoice together in the possession 
of this fine country. 

I had the pleasure of being introduced to Gen. Arbuckle, 
commanding at Fort Gibson, and I found him to be an 
excellent man, of fine personal appearance, and intelligent. 
He informed me that the country next to the Ossages, on 
the Verdigris, was the best in the country, and was yet 
unsettled ; so you perceive that I am greatly pleased with 
our new country. Most all the intelligent men of our nation, 
our Supreme Judges, and Sheriffs, and Marshals, our Legis- 
lators, and our National Treasurer, are, you are aware, 
already removed, and are engaged in building of houses, and 
the opening of farms. Many of the Cherokees have turned 
their attention to merchandising, and some have supplied 


themselves with goods from New Orleans and New York, 
besides other places more convenient to the nation. 

Many of the Christian Cherokees are engaged in the 
organization of schools and temperance societies, and there 
is no danger, as some supposed, that the Cherokees would 
retrograde and turn to the chase, instead of the pursuits of 
civilization. And I have the pleasure also of informing you 
that the utmost friendship and tranquillity prevails between 
the Indians and the citizens of the United States, not only 
those who live at the military stations, but those of your 
citizens who reside in Missouri and Arkansas, near the 
Cherokee Nation. 

In the best state of friendship they visit and trade 
together, on botli sides of the line, to their mutual advantage. 
In addition to tliis, we have excellent saline springs, where 
salt is made by the Cherokees. I was told that Judge 
Martin was about to commence work at one of these 
salines. In regard to the health of the country I find it 
good, on the small waters, and it is only on the larger water 
courses that the fever and ague prevails among new settlers. 
But it is somewhat singular that whenever a Cherokee arrives 
in the country, wherever that may be, he cannot be induced 
to change his location for a better. He will either say there 
is no better, or that it is as good as he wants it to be. 

If the people of the United States could onlv see our 
condition in the West, they would no longer assist John 
Ross to delude the poor, ignorant portion of our people to 
remain in the East, where he can speculate on their miseries. 

The Cherokee Government in the West is very much like 
it was in the old nation, before it was suppressed by the 

They have an Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, and 
trial by jury. 

I feel happy to ascertain that a majority of the Senate 
of the United States entertain such magnanimous views 
towards the well being of the Indians in future, removed as 
they are from the State jurisdiction and conflict. With the 
rich advantages of the Christian religion and cultivation, the 
Choctows, Cherokees, Chickasaws, Creeks and other nations 
are destined to become a great and mighty people in the 
great West. I am truly pleased to find that our neighbor, 
Senator Sevier, stands by your side in the great undertaking. 
That was a happy thought of his in calling the Indian Terri- 
tory ''Neosho.''' It means, in the Ossage language, the 
" Clear Waters:' 


I should be glad to receive the documents connected 
with that bill, and all the important speeches on the subject. 

While I was in New York, I found that the religious 
community were entirely bewildered by John Ross, and in 
the party slang of their papers. Instead of receiving the 
late Treaty as a blessing to the Cherokees, and as a measure 
of relief to them, they considered it the source of all their 
afflictions. I attempted to explain John Ross's position in 
the papers ; and many of them are now convinced that the 
Treaty and its friends are in the right ; but a great many are 
still bewildered. They believe that John Ross is the nation, 
and, could be succeed in breaking the Treaty, that the whole 
of the Southern States would retire from their jurisdictional 

I sometimes feel afraid that all is not right in these 
editors of newspapers. It would seem that they would be 
willing to have the Indians resist and shed blood, and 
produce a Florida scene, in order to render their Government 

They seem pleased to have money expended to suppress 
Indian hostilities, and then blame the Government for the 
expenses. They well know that the Indians cannot exist in 
the States ; and all they can possibly accomplish by their 
memorials is to assist John Ross to effect a Treaty, the 
character of which is buried in his breast. 

They all know that in the East the Cherokees have no 
government, and have had no elections for nine years past ; 
and yet John Ross is, in their estimation, a constitutional 
chief over all the Cherokees, and if the President refuses 
to recognize this preposterous claim, and determines to see 
that all the Cherokees shall share alike from the avails 
of their land, then they proclaim him a monster, and John 
Ross the Cherokee Christian. 

I shall remain here to the first of June, and I shall be 
obliged to you for another letter before I leave for the West. 

I am your friend, 

Gov. Wilson Lumpkin. 

Mr. Lumpkin then continued : Thus, Mr. President, you 
have the views of a man than whom none is better qualified 
to judge, or more entitled to full credit. Now, sir, what a 
contrast does this letter of facts present, when compared 
with the idle, silly, and false sympathy set forth in the 


memorials and petitions with which we are daily inundated 
— coming from a distant people who are obviously ignorant 
of the merits of the subject with which they are so 
impertinently intermeddling. Yes, sir, these memorialists are 
made to complain upon a subject upon which, from the 
nature of things, they care but very little. 

Sir, these good, religious memorialists are brought in as 
auxiliaries to a political cause, the obvious object of which 
is to bring odium and censure on the administration of 
your Government. I aspire not to the honor of those who 
are the organs of such petitioners. Sir, I am the friend 
of liberty and individual rights. To petition, speak, write, 
and publish is guaranteed to the American citizen by the 
Constitution of our country. I would not abridge one of 
those rights. But I am the avowed opponent of the imper- 
tinent intermeddling of the people of one section of our 
country with the local concerns of another and far distant 

And, sir, when, in the secret recesses of my closet I some- 
times tremble for the ultimate destiny of my beloved country. 
when I trace the progress and movements of these "busy- 

We are justly and properly considered a Christian nation 
of people. Our Federal and State Constitutions all recognize 
the Bible as a book of Divine origin and revelation, and 
none, I trust, has a higher regard for that standard of 
religion than myself. But in the formation of our Constitu- 
tions great care was taken not to blend Church and State ; 
a religious party in politics, such as these petitioners on 
Cherokee affairs, was never contemplated by the framers of 
our Constitution. But, wdth all our guarantees to secure 
liberty of conscience, what is the present state of facts in 
the present case? 

Look at the journals and proceedings of both houses 
of Congress during the present session of Congress ! 
All other business dwindles into mere items when com- 
pared with the mass of matter forced on the atten- 
tion of Congress by a concert of professed Christian 
spirits who are continuously encouraged and sustained by 
highly talented gentlemen who stand opposed to the present 
administration of the Federal Government. And these pious 
people take the liberty, "in season and out of season," in 
dealing out denunciations and condemnation to the govern- 
ment of this country. And yet, when conclusive evidence is 
introduced to expose their errors, the Senator from Massa- 


chiisetts (Mr. Davis) complains of the want of respect to 
these petitioners. The letter from Mr. Ridge, which I have 
just read, has nothing in it unkind or uncourteous to these 
people, unless the exposure of their errors and ignorance on 
the Indian subject may be so considered. Compare the 
severity and sentiments contained in these memorials levelled 
against the Government to help out a political party with 
the letter of Mr. Ridge, and I may confidently appeal to 
any enlightened tribunal for an award in favor of Mr. Ridge, 
when compared with this Northern Christian party in 

Mr. Ridge's letter not only gives him much the strongest 
claims to a Christian spirit of moderation, but demonstrates 
his thorough knowledge of the subject on which he writes. 

But the gentleman from Massachusetts undertakes to 
justify his complaining constituents and memorialists upon 
the ground that their complaints are confined to the question 
of the validity of the Treaty. Moreover, the Senator informs 
us that he has never considered the Treaty a valid one, 
and that it was made by a small number of unauthorized 
Indians, and that fifteen or sixteen thousand of the Chero- 
kees have remonstrated against the Treaty during the present 
session of Congress. Upon this subject, allow me to give 
the Senator and the Senate correct information. I wish the 
whole truth on this subject to be known to the country. The 
numerical majority of the whole Cherokee people has, for 
many years past, been under the influence of Mr. John 
Ross and his stipendiaries, and I, therefore, have no doubt 
that a majority of the Cherokees would have joined Ross 
in his dissent to the Treaty. 

But it is equally true that a large majority of the Chero- 
kees, who possessed suf^cient intelligence to comprehend 
the subject, were decidedly in favor of the Treaty, and are 
now happy and contented in the enjoyment of the benefits 
and advantages secured to them and their people under the 
provisions of the Treaty. 

My opinions in regard to Indian treaties are known to 
this Senate. 

But I would ask, when was the validity of an Indian 
treaty, before this, tested as to its validity, by being submitted 
to the whole mass of our Indian people — men, women and 
children? A new test is introduced to decide on the validity 
of this Indian Treaty. The gentleman's extraordinary love 
of Democracy and Demiocratic principles I suppose causes 


him to decide that this Treaty shall be tested upon the 
broadest basis of pure Democracy. 

It ought to be sufficient to satisfy the wise and the good 
anywhere that this Treaty was negotiated on behalf of the 
Cherokees by the most enlightened and patriotic Indian men 
who ever negotiated a treaty, and that it secures to the 
whole people more signal advantages than were ever before 
secured to an Indian people by treaty entered into with this 

This Treaty dispenses equal justice to the rich and 
the poor, without the slightest partiality to a single indi- 
vidual. One word, sir, upon the subject of the remonstrance 
of the fifteen thousand Cherokees against the execution of 
the Treaty. Including every Indian soul now in the Chero- 
kee Country. East, their number cannot amount to fifteen 
thousand. Including the whole (men, women, and children, 
with the infants at the breast), and they do not amount to 
so large a number. Here, then, Mr. President, we have a 
forcible illustration of the impositions practiced on honorable 
Senators who become the popular organs of the fashionable 
petitioners and memorialists of the present day. 

Sir, the facts which I state are susceptible to proof before 
any tribunal whatever. I, therefore, hope we shall hear no 
more about the fifteen thousand Cherokee complainants. 

But, sir, I could bear with patience and composure all 
this delusion and ignorance, and impertinent intermeddling, 
but for the apprehended mischiefs and evils which the 
opponents of the Government are likely to bring upon the 
poor Cherokees themselves, and for whom they profess to 
feel such strong sympathy. 

The opponents of the Government and their pious, 
petitioning, praying friends, will not let the Indians go. 
Every expedient has been resorted to for the purpose of 
keeping these people back from entering into their promised 
and goodly inheritance. I fear nothing will satisfy the tender 
mercies of those who are intermeddling with this subject 
but another Indian War. It requires an extraordinary share 
of philosophy to exercise composure under such repeated 
provocations as are directly addressed to the Southern 
people, from day to day, in this chamber, under the humble 
garb of petition. 

But, sir, I will not indulge in further remarks on this 
subject at present, for I cannot do so without feelings which 
I do not wish to cherish. 


IN SENATE, TUESDAY, MAY 22nd, 1838. 

A messag-e from the President of the United States, 
accompanied by various documents on the subject of the 
removal of the Cherokee Indians under the Treaty of 1835, 
and recommending a Hberal course in affecting the same, 
was read, and which produced considerable discussion. The 
following are the few remarks submitted by Mr. Lumpkin 
on the above day. His general remarks on the subject were 
on a subsequent day, and will be given hereafter : 

Mr. Lumpkin said he occupied rather peculiar ground 
on this subject to that of other Senators whose general views 
coincided with his own. From time to time, he had been 
consulted and conferred with on this subject by the President 
of the United States and Secretary of War. 

He had communicated with the present and late President 
of the United States on this subject at every stage of its 
progress. He had never entertained but one opinion on the 
point of the present discussion, and that was to execute the 
Treaty, with fidelity and promptness, and yet in a spirit of 
liberality and kindness to the Indians. Mr. Lumpkin said 
he was aware that many of the Indians (the Ross party) were 
opposed to the Treaty. The President was disposed to treat 
them with all possible kindness and humanity. The Executive 
wished something done to sooth their present excited feel- 
ings. Mr. Lumpkin had always said to the Indians, in a 
spirit of the greatest candor, " This Treaty viiist,be excaded.'^ 
He had always thought the imperative tone preferable to 
the persuasive in this matter. He understood the power 
with which we had to contend. 

It might be due to the Secretary of War, however, for 
Mr. Lumpkin to state that he (Mr. Lumpkin) had been 
consulted in the matter now before the Senate. This docu- 
ment contained the views of the Secretary, and, as construed 
and explained by him, was not absolutely objected to by Mr. 
Lumpkin. While the Treaty remained firm and unmutilated, 
he would go as far as any other Senator in additional liberal 
acts to the Cherokee people. He made various written 
communications to the Executive Department on this subject, 
which he presumed could be found there, and by which it 
will be seen that my ground has ever been, ''Be absolute in 
executing the Treaty, and then be as liberal and accommo- 
dating to the Cherokees as you please." 

Mr. Lumpkin said it was with reluctance, but duty 
compelled him to say that the countenance which Ross and 


his party had received from the heads of the Government 
here had been the sole cause of delay and excitement in 
the remnant of the Indians. As to any delay in the removal 
of the Cherokees, none can be tolerated. The decree has 
gone forth, and go they must. 

IN SENATE, JUNE 7th, 1838. 


On motion of Mr. Wright, the Senate proceeded to 
consider the House Bill, making appropriations for the 
prosecutions and suppression of Indian hostilities for 1838, 
and for the payment of arrearages in 1837. 

On ordering this bill to its third reading, Mr. Webster 
addressed the Senate, and was answered by Mr. Wright, 
when Mr. Preston spoke at length, reflecting generally on 
Indian wars and their causes, and attributed the fault of 
such wars to the administration. x\fter which, Mr. Lumpkin, 
of Georgia, addressed the Senate as follows : 

Mr. President : I had indulged the hope that the Senate 
would be permitted to act promptly on this appropriation 
bill, without bringing into its discussion the exciting topics 
of the Florida and Cherokee Treaties, as well as the Florida 

The service of the country and the character of the 
Government are at this time suffering for the want of the 
passage of this bill. Debts amounting to hundreds of 
thousands of dollars are at this moment pressed upon the 
Treasury of the country, and cannot be discharged till we 
pass this bill. Citizens of the country who have given full 
and fair consideration for ofificial and legal drafts on your 
Treasury, ought not to be delayed in receiving their just 

It is, therefore, with extreme reluctance that I feel myself 
called upon to take some notice of the remarks of the 
honorable Senator from South Carolina (Mr. Preston). I 
shall not, however, follow the gentleman in the wide range 
which he has taken of the Florida campaign, or the merit, 
or demerit, of the distinguished officers who have had 
command in Florida. For the present, I leave all these 
gentlemen's affairs, with ni}- kind regards, to the justice of 
that public opinion to whom we, as public men, all stand 


amenable. There is but one point touching the Florida War 
to which the gentleman has directed which I feel myself 
called upon to notice. 

The gentleman, with his usual flowing eloquence, has 
eulogized, in high strains of praise, that fiendish savage, 
Osceola. When I hear such eulogies pronounced in the 
Senate, upon such a subject, I can but recollect the treachery 
of this much indulged Indian Chief. He is apparently 
forgetful of the many deeds which led to the final catastrophe 
of this extraordinary man. When I hear Osceola eulogized 
on the floor of this Senate, I can but recollect the treachery 
of this much indulged man to his friend and benefactor. 
Gen. Wiley Thompson, of Georgia, with whom I was long- 
associated in public life, and who was long a highly respected 
member of the other branch of Congress. Yes, this blood- 
thirsty man, Osceola, not only murdered Gen. Thompson, 
but was and has been the principal organ of all the horrors 
of the Florida War, indiscriminately hurled against every 
age, sex and condition. Sir, if I fail to express my sympathy 
in strains of equal eloquence with the Senator from South 
Carolina for the suffering of the deserving portion of the 
native race, I will not yield to the gentleman's claims of 
feelings as refined, enlarged and sympathetic for suffering 
humanity, even when a savage is the victim of distress. I 
avow myself, upon all proper occasions, the advocate and 
defender of the just rights of the native race. But I am 
far, very far, from being the eulogist, or apologist, of 
Osceola. I can but hear his name with horror and disgust. 

But, sir, my anxiety for the speedy passage of this bill 
would have induced me to note in silence, after all the 
remarks of the gentlemen on the Florida part of his speech, 
if the gentleman had stopped at that point. But, sir, he 
has approached nearer to my home. He has invaded my 
own territory ; and I feel myself bound to defend my own 
premises. The gentleman has given a history of his support 
and defence of the Cherokee Treaty of 1835, and has 
manifested marked zeal in the defence and welfare of my 
own beloved State, Georgia, and a portion of its public 
functionaries. I thank the gentleman for all this voluntary 
service. It is a free-will offering which I feel assured will 
be duly appreciated by the friends of the Treaty, and 
especially by the public functionaries for whom his compli- 
ments are intended. 

But, sir, we find mingled with all this zeal and support 
a spirit and bearing in the remarks of the gentleman which. 


to my mind, is calculated to do great injustice to the 
administration which made and sustained this Treaty, as 
well as the friends of the administration who have borne the 
heat and burthen of the day in bringing our Indian relations 
to their present favorable attitude. 

The gentleman reminds me of what I have often seen 
before in the course of a life which is nozv not a short one. 
That is to see persons vociferous in a cause, after the victory 
had been achieved by others — and persons, too, who stood 
aloof from all danger, while the battle raged. 

Sir, I will never permit the Senator from South Carolina, 
uncontested, to step in at this late day and carry off whatever 
meed of praise may be due to those who have struggled 
so long and so faithfully to relieve my own beloved State 
from the incumbrance of an Indian population. Upon this 
subject, sir, I am perfectly at home. I truly thank the 
Senator for all his kind feelings and services to my State 
and her citizens, whether they be private or public men. 
But all this fresh zeal for my State and her citizens in high 
places shall not induce me silently to acquiesce in direct 
or indirect censure, when improperly cast on me or the 
administration of the Federal Government which I support. 
My position in relation to this matter shall not be misrepre- 
sented, or misunderstood, without receiving merited correc- 
tion. I am fully apprised of the fact that the late communi- 
cation of the President of the United States to Cono^ress, 
upon the subject of Cherokee affairs, together with the 
letter of the Secretary of War to John Ross, is, at this 
time, a most fruitful subject for excitement and misrepre- 
sentation. I, therefore, deem it my duty to go into a brief 
history of this transaction, and put the matter right before 
the public, by a brief statement of the facts connected with 
the case. These facts cannot be controverted, and will do 
justice to myself and the administration which I support. 

The Cherokee Treaty of 1835, after all that has been 
said to disparage the Government and Indians who nego- 
tiated it, I repeat, as I have often done before, here and 
elsewhere, is a monument of the magnanimity of the Govern- 
ment, on one side, and a standing record of the capacity, 
honesty and pure patriotism of the Cherokees who negotiated 
it, on the other side. 

I was invited, at an early day after the ratification of 
this Treaty, to aid, as one of the Commissioners, in the 
due execution of this Treaty, and have been familiar with 
every important transaction connected with the subject ever 
since, up to the present day. The authorities of the Executive 


Government have uniformly, and at all times, expressed an 
unwavering determination to execute and carry into full 
effect all the provisions of the Treaty. The public authorities 
have as uniformly expressed a strong desire to discharge 
this duty in a spirit of the utmost kindness and liberality to 
the Cherokee people. 

In all this I have concurred and co-operated with the 
views of the Government. 

But it is nevertheless true that from the time I entered 
upon the duties of Commissioner until I took my seat in 
this Senate — yes, sir, and since, up to the present day — some 
difference of opinion between the Federal authorities here 
and myself have existed upon some important points as to 
the best mode of accomplishing the object which we all 
had equally in view. I united in the views of the Govern- 
ment as to using every effort within my official range to 
reconcile the opposing part of the Cherokees to the Treaty, 
and have, to a considerable extent, succeeded. 

But I have uniformly dissented, as all my official corre- 
spondence will show while acting as Commissioner, to that 
part of the policy of the Government which has permitted 
Ross and his followers, while constantly protesting against 
the validity of the Treaty, receiving so much countenance 
and courtesy from the officers of the Government. I have 
always entertained the opinion that the best and safest way 
to have executed the Treaty would have been kindly, but 
firmlv, to have used imperative language to Ross and his 
adherents. To have said, " The argument is exhausted' in 
regard to this Treaty. It must, and shall be, execjtted" ! I 
believe that no propositions should ever have been enter- 
tained for a moment, from Ross to the Government, Avithout 
being accompanied by a pledge to cease from all opposition 
to the removal of the Cherokees in terms of the Treaty. But 
I believe this difference of opinion originated more from 
differences of position from whence we made our respective 
observations than from any difference in object. There was 
perfect unity of desire to carry out and execute the Treaty 
with the least possible injury to all the parties in interest. 
From my intimate knowledge of the character and tempera- 
ment of Ross I had not the least confidence that he would 
be conciliated by making concessions to him. Grant one 
demand, and it would only pave the way for another, still 
more objectionable. 

The strong desire of the Government, however, to 
conciliate Ross and his party has been constantly increasing, 


from the communications received from many of the ofificers 
and agents of the Government, as well as from the opinions 
of many highly respectable citizens of several of the States, 
communicated to the Government here, that the Treaty could 
never be executed peaceably, without the assent and aid of 
the opposing party of the Cherokees ; therefore, to avoid 
the evils of an Indian war, which must terminate in the 
destruction of the Cherokees, as well as some loss of the 
white inhabitants, the Government has, with a patience 
unparalleled, kept an open ear to the untiring perseverance 
of this man Ross. 

, On taking my seat in this Senate, I found Ross and his 
delegation all here, memorializing Congress and making 
propositions to the Executive branch of the Government. 
My mode and manner, in meeting this state of things, is 
known to the Senate and to the country, by my frequent 
efforts on this floor to put a stop to the assumacy of this 
man Ross. 

In the month of March, I discovered, from information 
derived from various sources, that the President of the 
United States was still urged from various sources, and by 
gentlemen in high official stations, to the policy of concil- 
iating Ross, by increased liberality in money. Amongst 
the communications of this character I will read an extract 
from a letter from Gov. Gilmer, of Georgia, to the Secretary 
of War. This letter is dated March 5th, 1838. The Governor 
says : "The best informed persons residing among the 
Cherokees express the opinion that Ross can, if he will, 
remove his people at once to avoid the great expense to 
the Government, and to preserve the lives and property of 
our citizens and the Indians which may be sacrificed if the 
Treaty is executed by force. The Government can well afford 
to pay a very liberal price for the voluntary and immediate 
removal of the Indians. To enable Ross and the Chiefs to 
effect this object, I believe it to be necessary for them first 
to return home, see their people, and let them be satisfied 
that their efforts to change the Treaty have been honest, 
though unavailing. The Cherokees are so suspicious of 
their Chiefs that even Ross, as entirely as he has their confi- 
dence, might lose all power to serve them, if he attempted 
to make a contract for their emigration before they were 
consulted and their approval of the measure obtained. 

"If the Government should ascertain upon Ross's return 
home that he had the power, and was willing to undertake 
the removal of the people, the terms of contract could be 



agreed upon without difficulty or delay. If the pertinacity 
of Ross should create any difficulty, it might be obviated in 
his contract by making no reference to the Treaty." 

Very many other letters from persons of high respecta- 
bility and official standing, to the same purport of that of 
Gov. Gilmer's, may be found on the files of the War Depart- 
ment. Indeed, I have long since anticipated mischief grow- 
ing out of the execution of this Treaty, unless the influence 
of Ross was neutralized by force, or purchase. Under this 
aspect of the subject, and after both branches of Congress 
had given sufficient evidence of a determination to execute 
the Treaty, regardless of the remonstrances of Ross and 
the silly petitions of persons wholly ignorant upon the subject 
upon which they were petitioning, I came to the conclusion 
that Ross might possibly be in a situation to yield to the 
true interest of his people, and let them emigrate to the 
West in peace. 

And hence my reluctant assent was given to the views 
of Gov. Gilmer, as expressed in the extract from his letter 
just read. And while I have uniformly protested against any 
arrangement calculated to retard the removal of the Chero- 
kees in the slightest degree, I have, nevertheless, as 
uniformly expressed the opinion that the momnt when Ross 
and his party ceased all opposition to the fulfilment of the 
Treaty, and a disposition clearly manifested to emigrate with 
all reasonable dispatch, from that moment the Indians would 
be secured from unreasonable pressure on the part of the 
people of Georgia. 

I repudiate the idea that my constituents would, under 
such circumstances, act with inhumanity towards the suiifer- 
ing Indians, or refuse to grant every indulgence which the 
true interest of the Indians and humanity may require. No 
Senator on this floor has a more intimate knowledge and 
acquaintance with his constituents than I have with mine. 
They are generous, just and liberal. This magnanimity can 
never be appealed to in vain. 

But, sir, they can never be forced into base and slavish 
submission, or withdraw from a doubtful controversy. 

But, Mr. President, I now come to the important object 
which I had in view in desiring to address the Senate at this 
time. I am fully apprised of the great excitement which has 
been produced in my own State, and elsewhere, arising out 
of the propositions of the Secretary of War to John Ross, 
lately submitted to Congress. I am not only apprised of 
the excitement, but of the misapprehension which seems to 


exist on this subject. I perceive, from the newspapers of 
Georgia and other States, as well as from the letters which 
I receive from my constituents, that an impression has been 
made on the public mind that the Government was desirous, 
and had unreasonably proposed, to delay the emigration of 
the Cherokees for two years to come. Every one here 
knows this to be a mere fabrication — it is not a misappre- 
hension arising from ignorance. 

The extension of time proposed to the States interested 
in the removal of the Indians, and that in the most delicate 
and respectful manner, was never intended to embrace a 
longer period than that which might be required by a due 
regard to the common dictates of humanity — it being 
expressly stated that the Indians should be removed as 
speedily as was consistent with health and comfort. More- 
over, Gen. Scott is instructed to continue the prosecution 
of the measures which he has adopted for the speedy 
removal of the Indians ; and, Avhether their removal is to 
be effected by compulsion or voluntary emigration under 
their own agents, so to conduct his operations as to place 
the proprietors of the lands in the possession of their 
property, with as little delay as possible. These instructions 
do not warrant even a supposition that the Government 
consents that Ross and his friends shall remain two years 
longer in the country. 

On the contrary, the orders of the Government are most 
positive that the Indians are to be removed first from 
Georgia, and from the others as speedily as practicable. This 
is the plain meaning of the letter of the Secretary of War 
to John Ross, as intended, understood, and interpreted by 
the author himself. 

I admit that the propositions made by the Secretary of 
War to John Ross might have been expressed in a form 
less liable to misapprehension. But I am utterly at a loss 
to account for the widespread misapprehension on this 
subject, unless it be accounted for in the fact that it took 
its rise in both branches of Congress, and through that 
channel was quickly spread to the four quarters of the 
Union. For what purpose this great mistake occurred 
among men in high places this is not the time nor 
place to explain. '"But that which is done in secret shall yet 
be made manifest on the housetop." 

I know positively that the exposition given by the Secre- 
tary of War of his letter to Ross is perfectly consistent with 
the views which he expressed to me before making his 


proposition to Ross. The Secretary had ample reasons to 
beheve that Congress entertained the most liberal feelings 
to the Cherokees, and wotdd willingly soothe them, as far 
as could be reasonably done, by additional appropriations of 
money, to be applied to their comfort in the journey of 
their removal to the West. He had just cause to believe, 
and did believe, that the high-minded, generous States of 
Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, and North Carolina, would 
act with becoming forbearance and indulgence towards the 
poor, deluded Cherokees ; and that the people of those 
States wn'll not fail to do the present administration justice 
on this subject, when the excitement and misapprehension 
of the present hour shall have passed away, cannot be appre- 
hended by any reasonable man. 

The position of the Federal Government in relation to 
Indian affairs had for many years past been most peculiar 
and embarrassing. The administration had not only to 
encounter the united opposition of political party opponents, 
known as open and avowed opponents, but many of the 
less informed friends of the administration have always been 
used as opponents of the Indian policy of the administration, 
even in the States most deeply interested in the late Indian 
policy of the Federal Government in the removal of the 
Indians from the East to the West. And we have often 
seen the strong feelings of self interest waived for the 
moment to accommodate party feelings and party interest. 
For many years past, I have found the measures and policy 
of Gen. Jackson and myself, in our respective ofificial spheres 
on this Indian subject, discountenanced and sometimes 
thwarted, by our political opponents, as far as public opinion 
would tolerate opposition to measures clearly calculated to 
promote the common interest of the country. The news- 
papers of the day, in Georgia and elsewhere, will show that 
I was for many years traduced, abused and censured for the 
straight-forward course which I pursued in paving the way 
for a speedy removal of the Indians from Georgia. Yes, sir, 
I and my friends have borne the heat and burthen of the 
day in this Indian controversy. And now, in the moment 
of success, on the day of glorious triumph and victory, when 
the smoke of the battle has passed away, what is the exhibi- 
tion which we witness even in this hall ? Why, sir, we see the 
honorable Senator from South Carolina, with his character- 
istic zeal and eloquence, rise up (not to call us blessed) in his 
place, and address this Senate, in a mode and manner calcu- 
lated to produce the impression abroad (not here) that the 


executive officers of the Government, with the aid and 
assistance of your humble servant, had suddenly, all at once, 
without rhyme of reason, abandoned our long cherished 
policy, and gone over to the enemy ; and that, too, after we 
had fairly and fully achieved the victory of a hard and well- 
fought battle. 

Sir, can the Senator believe, by his wordy eloquence, that 
he can thus far mislead the public mind? Sir, he is an 
utter stranger to my constituents, if he believes that any 
man living can make them believe that I have proved 
recreant to their interest on this Indian subject. They too 
well know my toils and my labors, my perseverance, my 
constancy, upon this most important subject connected with 
my public life. No, sir ; no ! The Senator cannot make 
Georgians believe that I have abandoned their rights and 
interest ! They have tried me for forty years — and "^'mene 
tekel" has not yet appeared on the wall ! 

In Georgia, at this time, we have but one party on this 
subject. The whole people anxiously desire the speedy 
removal of the Indians, in terms of the late Treaty. 

And, sir, the opponents of the administration are greatly 
deceived, if they put so low an estimate upon the intelligence 
of the people of Georgia as to suppose they will find special 
favor with them for their loud cries of victory at the close 
of the Indian fight, when they have only entered the field 
of battle at the eleventh hour. I am willing that these new- 
comers should receive their penny, but I cannot consent to 
the withholding a fair and just reward for those faithful 
servants who have borne the heat and burthen of the day. 

Sir, I again thank the gentleman for the zeal which he 
now exhibits in behalf of the interest of the people of 
Georgia, and for the high compliment which he has paid 
to the present Governor of Georgia. 

I concede to the Governor of Georgia good intentions 
in his efiforts to conciliate John Ross, and have yielded some- 
thing of my own opinions to his commanding position, in 
order to co-operate with the views of the Governor of my 
own State, as well as those of the executive officers of the 
Federal Government. 

I shall always do the Chief Magistrate of my State ample 
justice, whatever political difiference of opinion may exist 
between us. I do most solemnl}^, however, protest against 
the effort of the Senator from South Carolina to cast 
censure and blame upon the President of the United States 
and Secretary of War, as well as myself, for yielding some- 


thing of onr opinions to the plainly expressed opinions and 
wishes of Gov. Gilmer and his political friends, especially 
his Northern Whig friends. 

If there be any sin in yielding a trifle in this matter, it 
all lies at the door of the opponents of the administration ; 
and yet the Senator from South Carolina (Mr. Preston), as 
the organ of the Southern wing of the opposition, upbraids 
the administration and its friends with the throwing heavy 
obstacles in the way of the Governor of Georgia, by pursuing 
the very course which the Governor advised. 

Sir, I would inquire what are the heavy responsibilities 
thrown upon the Governors of the four States where some 
of the Cherokees still remain? 

Even under the misapprehension which has been indulged 
that these States had been applied to for two years more 
time for the emigration of the Cherokees, why, sir, the duty 
of the Governor would be easy and plain, freed from all 
responsibility, is to give an answer in accordance with the 
wishes of the whole people of these States. Where is the 
Governor who need be bothered with such responsibility as 

Morover, the Senator from South Carolina contends and 
urges that the proposition from the Secretary of War to 
John Ross amounts to a new treaty, and to an infringement 
of the Treaty of 1835. I am not able myself to put any 
such construction upon the proposals of the Secretary. I 
know that such was not his intention. The President of 
the United States and Secretary of War have uniformly 
and firmly assured John Ross and his friends that the 
Treaty of New Echota would be faithfully executed without 
infringement or change in its provisions. 

The Secretary, in his proposals to Ross, in the very first 
sentence, disclaims all right on the part of the Federal Gov- 
ernment to enter into any treaty stipulations which might 
aflfect the rights of the States. And we have a reiteration 
of the same sentiments and sacred regard to the rights of 
the States throughout the document under consideration. I 
consider myself an unwavering, well-settled States' Rights 
man ; but I see not the slightest ground to complain of this 
document on that score. 

The present administration of the Federal Government 
belongs to the good old Republican school of 1798 and 1799, 
and. therefore, cannot be disposed to infringe on the rights 
of the States. 

That temporary mischief here grows out of the misap- 

220 re;moval of ihe cherokee 

prehensions spread over the country in relation to this sub- 
ject, I am fully aware. But, from the nature of things, this 
excitement must very soon abate. The constant and daily 
movements and operations of the Government will certainly 
correct, and without delay, the mistaken impressions made 
upon the public mind through the false communications 
fabricated here and circulated far and wide. 

The Government is regularly moving forward in the 
discharge of its duty. Gen. Scott's instructions remain 
unchanged. His character is a sufficient guarantee that his 
duty will be discharged with ability and fidelity. From the 
various accounts which I receive from the scene of action, 
the preparation ar:d movements connected with the emigra- 
tion of the Cherokees is going on quietly and harmoniously, 
and with as mucli promptitude as the nature of the service 
will permit. 

In conclusion, I would beg leave to request the Senator 
from South Carolina (Mr. Preston) to be assured hereafter 
of my fidelity to my constituents, especially upon this Indian 
subject. I can assure the honorable Senator that he is 
wholly mistaken if he supposes that the bearing of his own 
remarks will ever induce the Southern wing of his own party 
to believe that I have no more self love than to give a 
victory up to my opponents which has been achieved by my 
friends and myself, in the face of their aid and comfort 
extended to the enemy. No, sir ; the Senator wholly misap- 
prehends my relation to this whole subject, as much as he 
does the communication of the Secretary of War to John 
Ross ; or he never would have permitted himself to get in 
the lead of my friends and myself, in zeal and earnestness, 
for the speedy and faithful execution of the Cherokee Treatv 
of 1835. 

Mr. Lumpkin was followed in the discussion by Messrs. 
Clay, of Alabama ; Strange, of North Carolina ; Southard, of 
New Jersey ; and White, of Indiana, when the bill was ordered 
to be engrossed, by a unanimouse vote. 


Athens, Ga., Oct. 8th, 1853. 

Deeply impressed with a sense of duty to sustain the 
truths of history, and without the sHghtest spirit of rendering 
evil for evil in recording, for the information of those who 
survive me, the foregoing speech, made in the Senate of the 
United States, in reply to Mr. Preston, it is due to those 
for whom I write for me to make the following further 
explanation : 

My political opponents had opposed and censured me, 
in every possible form, during the four years that I was 
Governor of Georgia, for that cause of the legislation of 
Georgia which tended to force the Cherokee Indians to 
emigrate from the State to that excellent country which 
had been procured for them in the West, principally through 
my exertions and instrumentality, while I was a member 
of the House of Representatives in Congress. 

The legislation referred to was certainly the prime cause 
of bringing into existence the Cherokee Treaty of 1835. 
The Cherokees were fairly legislated out of a desire to 
remain longer under the laws of civilization. This was more 
especially the case with the most enlightened portion of the 
Cherokee people. 

And in the shaping and formation of that Treaty I used 
all my influence (which was not inconsiderable at that time) 
to make it a treaty fraught with lasting advantages and 
benefits to the Cherokees. It was my ruling desire to frame 
the Treaty so as to confer the most marked benefits on 
every individual Indian, the poor and the rich, and, further, 
to make it the most magnanimous treaty ever framed with 
an Indian tribe. It was so shaped as to be most liberal 
to all, without bestowing any special favor on a single 

In order to secure the application of these benefits and 
advantages to every Indian, in accordance with the provisions 
of the Treaty, it was provided that two Commissioners should 
be appointed by the President of the United States, by and 


with the advice and consent of the Senate, to see that the 
Treaty, in its various provisions, was faithfully carried out. 

Being, as is already known to the reader, one of the 
Commissioners thus appointed, and that I remained in that 
of^ce until all the most important duties of the office were 
fulfilled and discharged, and most of the intelligent Indians 
had been emigrated to the West, in accordance with the 
provisions of the Treaty, nothing now remained to be done 
to consummate the objects of the Treaty except the removal 
of Ross's ignorant portion of the Indians, being that portion 
who yielded implicit confidence in their principal Chief, Ross. 
And I entertained not the least apprehension but that these 
ignorant people, if taken firmly by the hand, and told that 
they must go and join their people in the West, and at 
the same time assure them that Ross was a deposed ruler, 
bv the laws of Georgia, and that he was powerless, they 
could have been taken away peaceably and quietly, without 
hazard, or loss, either to the Indians or white population of 
the country. 

Moreover, I was deeply adverse to the policy and vievv^s 
of the Government at Washington, as well as to those of 
the then Governor of Georgia, as hereinbefore given to the 
reader. Their plan was to conciliate Ross by money, flattery, 
and restoring to him, by such conduct, the importance of his 
former chiefship. I then thought, and I still think, that was 
the auspicious moment to have divested Ross forever from 
having further power for mischief, and consummating the 
ultimate ruin of the Cherokee people. He ought to have 
been put in strings and banished from the country. Although 
a large slave holder. Ross was well qualified to have filled 
a prominent place amongst the New England Abolitionists, 
or in the Republic of Hayti — and to one of these places I 
wished to see him emigrate. I deplored the idea of seeing 
so great a curse planted in the West. 

If my policy in regard to Ross had been adhered to 
and carried out, the Ridges and Boudinot, with others — 
the very best blood of the Cherokee people — would never 
have come to the tragical deaths which they did, of being 
massacred in their own houses, in the dead and dark hour 
of night, by the vagabond savages of John Ross, to satiate 
the deep hate and revenge of Ross ; and that, too, after the 
Indians had all emigrated and were peaceably and pros- 
perously settled in their new homes in the West. 

And let me give the reader a few facts connected with 
the murder of the Ridges and Boudinot, lest it may be 


thought that I have no just cause for indignation towards 
this man Ross and his stipendiaries who ever stood ready 
to execute his dirty work and decrees, while he wore all 
the calmness in appearance of a summer's morning. And, 
first, as I have often said, the Cherokee Treaty of 1835 was 
negotiated by a delegation of the most enlightened and 
patriotic men that ever negotiated an Indian treaty. The 
Treaty was ratified in due form by the Government of the 
United States, and sustained and supported by an over- 
whelming portion of the intelligence of the Cherokee people. 
Nevertheless, John Ross and his followers appealed to the 
passions of the ignorant masses of the Indians, in opposition 
to the execution of the Treaty. But, after much labor and 
effort on the part of the Government, all obstacles were so 
far removed and overcome as to remove the whole tribe, 
including Ross and all his family and friends, under the 
provisions of the Treaty, without the use of actual applied 
force on the part of the Government, or the shedding of 
one drop of human blood. 

On the arrival of the whole tribe in the West they were 
welcomed to their new homes by their brethren, the old 
settlers. The emigrants of the treaty-making party con- 
sidered themselves private citizens, amenable to the laws and 
regulations which they found in operation in the country, 
and deported themselves accordingly ; and were well satisfied 
with the existing government of the country, and sought no 
change, except such as might be introduced by a regular 
course of legislation, emanating from the whole people, now 
united as one people, in their Western homes. 

But Ross and his associates, who had been principal 
rulers and chiefs while they remained in the East, on their 
arrival in the West insisted that they were still the legitimate 
and rightful rulers and chiefs of the Cherokee people, wher- 
ever they might be found ; and that the Cherokee code of 
laws and form of government, as it existed in the East, 
should, in all its parts, be the supreme law of the land over 
the whole Cherokee people, now united in the West as one 

A general Council w?.s called, and the subject freely dis- 
cussed. The Council broke up in some confusion, and, with- 
out hope of adjusting the matter satisfactorily, each party 
firmly maintaining their ground, the treaty-making party 
taking a decided stand in favor of the old settlers. 

Shortly after this Council adjourned Ross called together 
a mock convention, composed exclusively of his own parti- 


sans, which meeting, in a formal manner, proceeded to adopt 
the laws which existed among the Cherokees in the East 
previous to their removal to the West, and declared these 
laws to be the form of government which should be enforced 
in the West over the whole tribe as now united, and that 
said laws were from that date in full force and virtue, and 
should be executed accordingly. And, further, they rein- 
stated all their former Chiefs, with John Ross at their head ; 
and at one stroke nullified the whole government of the 
Western Cherokees, which had been in peaceable and suc- 
cessful operation for upwards of thirty years, except such 
amendments as their progress had introduced from time to 

Moreover, it was by this same meeting decreed, in a 
special and separate form, that a very ancient law, remaining 
on their Eastern statute book, should be revived, declaring 
that every Chief or other Indian of the Cherokee tribe who 
should assent to the sale of their country (East) or any 
part thereof should suffer death, without the benefit of clergy, 
&c. And, further, that this law should now be executed on 
the signers of the New Echota Treaty of 1835. And accord- 
ingly a number of persons were forthwith selected and 
appointed to go forth and execute said decree ; and accord- 
ingly they did execute it — so fjir as to butcher and murder 
old Maj. Ridge and his son, John Ridge, and his nephew, 
Elias Boudinot, in the most cruel, shocking, and savage 
manner; after which Ross and his associates still continued 
together, maintaining a warlike attitude, with arms in their 
hands, until they took up the subject of the murderers 
of the Ridges and Boudinot, and, by a shameful act of 
pretended legislation, passed a general act of amnesty and 
pardon, extending to all past crimes, murders, thefts, &c., 
up to the day on which they acted, and thus legalizing the 
murders of the Ridges and Boudinot ; to which act follows 
a proviso that the surviving signers of the Treaty of 1835 
shall be pardoned, on one occasion only, to wit : that they 
shall appear before that council in fifteen days and take 
and subscribe an oath of allegiance to the assumed power 
of Ross and his associates. And three of the individuals 
who signed the Treaty were in Washington when I made 
the memorandums from whicli I now write, and these indi- 
viduals made a solemn appeal to the Federal Government 
for protection and redress, as the circumstances of the case 
so greatly demanded. But this relief, although promised 
again and again, to the shame of the Government, and 


especially to the administration of Mr. Van Buren, was never 
applied or extended. The Government did pretend, through 
its officers and agents, to make a demand of the murderers 
of the Ridges and Boudinot, but they were never given up 
or punished, and here ended this horrid and gloomy tragedy. 
And to the lasting disgrace of the Federal Government, in 
sorrow I record these melancholy facts. 

I remonstrated again and again, and received promises 
that these murderers should be punished, but it was never 
done. I am forced to look to God for retribution. 

But to return from this long digression from the subject 
that I was more particularly dwelling on — that is, the closing 
scenes in the Senate of the United States, in connection 
with Cherokee emigration. As before stated, I yielded to 
the poHcy of Ross as the agent to emigrate his followers to 
the West and his receiving a fortune for the performance 
of the duties of that agency, with great reluctance, and 
under protest made to the President of the United States, 
the Secretary of War, and before the Senate of the United 
States. But the circumstances at the time left me no oppor- 
tunity to choose. It was the policy of the powers who then 
ruled, both Federal and in my own State. And further 
resistance on my part would only produce ruptures which 
might end in the shedding of human blood in that part of 
the country where Ross's Indians still remained. 

My great success, for twelve successive years, in carrying 
forward my sternly determined policy never to cease my 
efforts while an Indian remained in Georgia, being now 
fully consummated beyond the shadow of a doubt, why 
controvert any longer the comparatively unimportant ques- 
tion as to the method of raising the capstone to its proper 
place? In the progress of these arrangements, much as I 
had seen of the depravity of poor human nature, I was 
perfectly astonished at the magnitude and ingratitude of 
human depravity. It burst forth in great, but secret, violence 
on my own devoted head, from men of my own political 
party (some of them mainly elevated from obscurity to a 
seat in the councils of the nation through my friendship 
and influence) in combination with my Whig opponents. 
They wrote letters contaming gro-s falsehoods, to detract 
from my merit and fidelity to the interest of my constituents. 
They endeavored to produce the belief that I had abandoned 
and set at naught all the past labors of my life — had changed 
sides and taken Ross by the hand, &c. And all this was 
based upn the single fact that I had assented to the favorite 


plan of the Federal Government and Gov. Gilmer, to let 
Ross emigrate his own Indians, when it was well known 
that even this assent was given under my protest of disap- 
proval. The newspapers of Georgia were filled with these 
gross and malicious fabrications. 

It all originated from envy — the basest passion of the 
human heart — of my prominence, from first to last, in 
ridding the State of Georgia from the incumbrance of her 
Indian population, while so many in equal position to have 
aided in this important work had stood idle all the day 
long, predicting that my efforts would end in evil ; or, if 
they used any effort, it had been to defeat the success of 
my efforts, so that they felt the horrors of self-condemnation. 

But all these attempts to rob me of the hardest and 
dearest-bought earnings of my public life passed awav like 
the morning dew or summer shower. But "Truth is mighty, 
and will prevail." When "Crushed to earth, it rises again." 

A short time, and the smell of their fire was not left on 
my garments. The people of Georgia have done me justice 
on this Indian subject. 

They kept me in the House of Representatives, in Con- 
gress, six years, when elected by a general ticket of the 
whole State. Having done all that could be done there 
preparatory to the removal of the Indians, before my last 
term of service had expired their voice urged me, reluct- 
antly, to abandon my seat in Congress and enter upon the 
duties of Chief Magistrate of the State, where they continued 
me four years up to the moment of the formation of the 
Cherokee Treaty of 1835. I then entered upon and dis- 
charged all the most important dutes of Commissioner, in 
the execution of the Treaty, when, by the voice of the 
people, through the Legislature, I was transferred to the 
Senate of the United States, for the express purpose, mainly, 
to meet John Ross and see that he and his Indians should 
speedily take up their march for the West, all of which 
has been done to the entire satisfaction of the people of 
my own generation. I only ask of posterity to read, examine 
and understand this subject. 

Being requested by Mr. Poinsett and Gen. Scott, on 
the 7th of April, 1838, before any arrangement had been 
made with Ross for him to emigrate his Indians, and just 
at the moment when Gen. Scott was about to leave Washing- 
ton for the Cherokee country, with a sufficient command to 
collect and remove the remaining Indians from the States 
to the West, to submit to them my views in regard to the 


best plan of operations on the part of Gen. Scott, in the 
discharge of duties which were devolved on him, together 
with such information in regard to the people and country 
as I might consider important to be known by Gen. Scott, 
I very hastily put together the following notes, a connected 
copy of which, after a full and free conversation I handed 
to Gen. Scott, in the Senate Chamber of the United States, 
and I now place them here, with all their imperfections, 
because they are confirmatory of much that has hereinbefore 
been given to the reader : 

Senate Chamber, 
Washington, April 7th, 1838. 

First. The basis of every other movement connected 
with the removal of the Indians and the execution of the 
late Treaty should be an inflexible adherence to all the 
provisions of the Treaty, especially as to the time for their 
removal as stipulated in the Treaty. Whatever relaxation 
may become necessary on this subject should be extended 
as gratuitous favor, and founded on no new stipulation on 
the part of the Government. 

Second. It will be altogether inexpedient to listen to 
any proposition from Ross which may conflict with the 
course I have indicated. But if Ross would pledge himself, 
in an unequivocal written form, to use his best exertions to 
emigrate his Indians peaceably, and in conformity with the 
provisions of the Treaty, in my opinion that would justify the 
Government in hearing any propositions which Ross may 
choose to submit. 

All propositions coming from Ross should be received and 
treated as the propositions of a private individual of the 
Cherokee people, and not as the propositions of a Principal 
Chief of the Cherokee people. And any arrangement which 
may be entered into by the Government with Ross ought 
obviously to be conditional and not binding on the Govern- 
ment of the United States, or the Cherokee people, until 
the subject has been fairly and fully discussed by the existing 
authorities of the Cherokee people, West, and approved of 
by them. Otherwise, you will reinstate Ross to his chiefship 
and assumptions to govern and control the Cherokee people 
in the West, after his arrival there, and you may rest assured 
such assumptions will be resisted by the old settlers and 
treaty-making party now in the West. 

Third. I consider it indispensable to the best success of 
Gen. Scott that it should be understood here, before his 


departure for the Cherokee country, that the Executive 
Government here v\ill entertain no proposition from Ross 
which shall, in the slightest degree, impede the discharge of 
his duties, as he now stands instructed, in carrying out the 
Treaty by the removal of the Indians according to the stipu- 
lations of the Treaty. Indeed, I should deem it most appro- 
priate that any propositions which Ross may hereafter think 
proper to make to the Government should be made alone 
through Gen. Scott. Aly object in this last suggestion is to 
prevent Gen. Scott from being embarrassed by false reports 
which may reach him in the country of what Mr. Ross is 
doing here and which may to some extent impede the speedy 
removal of the Indians. 

Fourth. Although I do not apprehend any serious danger 
in the removal of the Indians, I would advise an imposing 
military force to be placed at the disposal of Gen. Scott. 
And, if such an arrangement would be admissible, I would 
advise the use of military ofificers not heretofore employed 
in the Cherokee country — such should be preferred to those 
who have heretofore committed themselves by taking sides 
with Ross in opposition to the Treaty. The commanding 
General, Scott, will, on his arrival in the Cherokee country, 
find a great want of unity of feeling and concert of action 
amongst the civil and military officers now employed in that 
country. He will find them divided as Ross and anti-Ross 
men. And the General may do well to be guarded against 
the prejudices of those who have indiscreetly committed 
themselves to a cause incompatible with the duties of the 
service in which they have been employed. 

Fifth. If the contemplated military force of six or seven 
thousand men is placed under the command of Gen. Scott, 
it may be so stationed as to afiford the most perfect security 
and protection to the people of every exposed section of the 
country, and, at the same time, prevent any general gather- 
ing or concentration of the Cherokees for hostile purposes, 
if, indeed, it should be possible to engender such a spirit. 

Sixth. If the Indians should continue to resist emigration, 
and it becomes necessary to collect and gather them at such 
points as may be thought most advisable, and the military 
used for that purpose, I should consider it best for that 
operation to commence on the southern border of the 
country and progress North, taking the whole of the scatter- 
ing Indians in abreast before the army. 

This plan would not only remove, first, the Indians who 
are m.ost liable to interruption and difficulty, but it will be 


found the most advisable plan to secure the necessary sup- 
plies for the army, as well as the Indians — that is, from 
the Tennessee River — and will also tend to collect the 
Indians at the point on the Tennessee River from which 
they must take their final departure for the West. 

I submit this idea for consideration : In the event of 
being under the necessity of taking the Indians forcibly from 
the country, would it not be expedient to precede that 
movement by disarming all the Cherokees? Most of the 
men have guns and plenty of ammunition ; and if their arms 
were taken from them, and deposited at the intended point, 
or points, of their departure for the West, ready to be 
taken with them and delivered to them again at the proper 
time and place, would it afford any just cause for complaint 
against the Government? The object of such a measure 
would be solely to prevent mischief and evil results from a 
state of things forced upon the Government by the obstinacy 
of Ross and his Indians. 

Again, I would suggest the propriety of collecting the 
Indian women and children, and treating them with special 
care and kindness, where the men may happen to be out 
of place, either by design or accident — and a doubt can 
scarcely be entertained that the absent men will soon follow 
their women and children. 

No man in the Cherokee country is better acquainted 
with the Indian character and country than Gen. Charles H. 
Nelson. He is a gentleman of honor and probity of char- 
acter, a soldier and an officer. 

Col. C. D. Terhune is well qualified to give correct 
information both in regard to the Indians and the country 
w'here they still remain, and is entitled to confidence. His 
residence is in Cass County, Georgia. 

Unfortunately, many of these Indians have acquired all 
the vices and but few of the virtues of the white ma7i. But 
few of them, very few indeed, will be found entitled to your 
confidence under existing circumstances. They will consider 
it justifiable in them to practice the most gross deception on 
any white man. 

Ross is the soul and spirit of his whole party, and they 
v/ill act in accordance with his views. In regard to Ross 
himself, he is a sagacious, subtle man. Under the guise 
of an unassuming deportment, his arrogance is unsurpassed. 
He always takes high ground, and maintains his assumptions 
with the utmost pertinacity and obstinacy. When he deems 
it necessary, he maintains the most dignified reserve, and 

230 RE;M0VAL of the CHEROKEE 

never communicates freely and without reserve even with 
his best friends. He has the art of acquiring credit for 
talents and wisdom which he never possessed. 

He writes well, but has had the credit of being the 
author of many able productions which were written by 
others, and not himself. Some of the first writers of the 
age, such as Sergeant, of Philadelphia, Wirt, of Virginia, 
&c., &c., have long been his feed counsel, and have suffered 
their pens to be brought into requisition in aid of this man 
Ross. Amongst the treaty-making party their ablest and 
best men have all emigrated to the West, under the pro- 
visions of the Treaty, and are now peacefully enjoying the 
blessings of their promised inheritance. 

The extent to which the Treaty is already executed may 
be readily seen by reference to the books of the Commis- 
sioners at the Cherokee Agency, Calhoun, Tennessee; and, 
upon examination, it will be found that but little of great 
importance remains to be done in executing the Treaty,^ 
except the removal of Ross and his Indians to the West. 

Respectfullv submitted, 


I am fully apprised that I have already submitted so 
much of what I have said and written upon the subject of 
Indian affairs, embraced in my official correspondence in 
various offices which I have occupied, and my speeches in 
Congress, that but few, very few readers will ever have 
the patience to read and consider all that I have said and 
done in connection with this very important and interesting 
subject, and will scarcely give credence to the fact which I 
now state, to wit : That I have given but a limited portion 
of the whole of my labor of this sort connected with the 

It is true, however, that it has been my constant aim 
to select that which I deemed to be most important and 
best calculated to keep up the chain of my connection with 
the subject. 

I feel, however, that I am now near the close of what I 
had intended to present at the commencement of this work 
of compilation. 

I will give one more of my speeches on the subject of 
Indian affairs, made in the Senate of the United States, and 
then it is my intention at present to turn my attention to 
other subjects with which I stand officially connected in the 
history of the past. 



of Mr. Lumpkin, of Georgia. 

In Senate, March 19th, 1840, in Executive Session, on 
the Treaty With the New York Indians. 

Mr. Sevier (Chairman of the Committee on Indian 
Affairs) having made a report and speech against the ratifi- 
cation of the Treaty, 

Mr. Lumpkin rose and said : 

Mr. President : In rising to advocate this Treaty, and 
desiring, as I do, to reverse the report of the Committee 
on Indian affairs, I am duly sensible of the magnitude and 
responsibility of my undertaking. 

The admitted ability and great ingenuity with which the 
Chairman of the Committee (Senator Sevier) has sustained 
his report, in opposition to the Treaty, and the indications 
of approbation manifested b}^ Senators in every part of this 
hall to the speech and views, is well calculated to make me 
feel the full force of my position. Yes, sir, my position 
appears to be that of leading on a forlorn hope. But, sir, a 
sense of duty urges me on to this unequal contest, and 
nothing less than my taking the lead will satisfy my friends 
in the Senate who concur with me on this subject. 

As a member of the Committee on Indian Affairs, at the 
last session of Congress (heavy as the task was) I had 
examined this subject in all its parts and bearings, so far, 
at least, as I was capable of investigating a subject so 
difficult and complex to be comprehended. At the present 
session I had not supposed it necessary to enter upon an 
entire re-investigation of the subject, not deeming it neces- 
sary to go further back in the investigation than to the action 
of the Senate at its last session. The Senate then expressed 
its sanction of this Treaty, with the single proviso that the 
President of the United States should first be satisfied that 
the assent of the Seneca tribe of Indians had been given to 
the Treaty according to its true intent and meaning. And if 
we now sustain the views of the Senate, as expressed at its 
last session, our duty is narrowed down to the single ques- 
tion : Has the assent of the Seneca Chiefs been thus obtained, 
or not? This, sir, is now the the true issue before the 
Senate, and the friends of the Treaty should not suffer them- 
selves to be diverted from that issue. 

But, sir, the Chairman of the Committee (Mr. S.) having 
occupied the whole ground connected with this Treaty from 


the beginning, and especially every historical part and 
circumstance connected with the subject calculated to invali- 
date and bring it into disrepute, it, therefore, becomes the 
imperative duty of those who support the Treaty to travel 
over all the ground occupied by the Senator. 

The Senator from New York (Mr. Wright) having 
yesterday replied to that part of the Chairman's speech in 
reference to matters antecedent to the Treaty of June the 
nth, 1838, I do not deem it strictly necessary for me to 
go further back than the President of the United States has 
done in communicating the Treaty to the Senate. It may, 
however, be proper to state very briefly how we have such 
a variety of parties in interest connected with this Treaty. 
Well, sir, as stated by the Chairman of the Committee, the 
States of Masaschusetts and New York, in the year 1786, in 
adjustment of their conflicting territorial claims, finally 
agreed that while New York should have the jurisdiction 
and government of a certain district of country, being the 
country in part embraced in this Treaty, Massachusetts 
should have the right to the soil, subject, however, to the 
occupant rights of the Indians then inhabiting the same. The 
pre-emptive rights to these lands were sold by Massachusetts 
to Robert Morris, of Philadelphia, on the nth of May, 1791, 
and are now represented by Ogden and Company, of New 
York. This, sir, accounts for the agency of Massachusetts 
in connection with this Treaty, and will cause me to be 
understood hereafter, when I speak of Gen. Dearborn as the 
agent of Massachusetts superintending the negotiation of 
this Treaty, in connection with Mr. Gillett, who acted as 
Commissioner of the United States in making this Treaty. 

And now, sir, in the language of the President of the 
United States, in communicating the Treaty to the Senate, 
let me express my decided conviction that the Treaty will 
be ahke beneficial to all the parties concerned ; to the 
Indians, to tlie State in which the land is situated, and to 
the more general interest of the United States, in consum- 
mating her policy in relation to Indian affairs. 

Now, sir, if I can demonstrate that this Treaty is bene- 
ficial and a blessing to all the parties in interest, shall we 
still refuse to sanction it? If I prove that its rejection will 
be highly detrimental to the best interest of the Indians, to 
the State of New York, and the United States, shall we still 
refuse to ratify it? Sir, when I consider the moral degra- 
dation of these Indians and reflect that they cannot escape 
from the attendant destruction which awaits them in their 


present abodes, I cannot estimate the value of immortal 
beings by dollars and cents. I cannot be altogether as strict 
in my inquiry in regard to the propriety of the United 
States incurring some expenditure in an object so essential 
to the preservation of the remnant of a once powerful race. 

The President of the United States informs you in his 
message that this Treaty presents the only prospect for the 
preservation of these people. He says, "Surrounded as 
they are by all the influences which work their destruction, 
by temptation they cannot resist, and artifices they cannot 
counteract, they are rapidly declining;" and, "That where 
they are, they must soon become extinct." And, sir, these 
statements of the President of the United States are fully 
sustained by both the honorable Senators from the State 
of Nev/ York, as well as by Gen. Dearborn and Mr. Gillett, 
and by every other gentleman with whom I have conversed 
Avho is acquainted with the present and true condition of 
these people. And yet, sir, we find persons professing all 
that is Christian and benevolent, pious and good, unwilling 
to let these poor, suffering Indians go to a land of hope. This 
Treaty is truly recommended by its liberality to the Indians. 
It gives them- 1,824,000 acres of land in the Indian Territory, 
West, and the sum of $400,000 for their removal, and sub- 
sistence, for educational and agricultural purposes, the erec- 
tion of mills, and other necessary buildings, and the promo- 
tion of the mechanic arts, besides some other minor, but 
adv?ntageous, provisions. From the enumeration of the 
specific objects to which this money is to be applied, it is 
proper for me to remark here that I take it for granted that 
while these provisions of the Treaty are munificent and 
bountiful to the Indians the expenditure must be gradual 
and, therefore, will not be burthensome to the Treasury. 

It is believed that ten thousand dollars Avill not be 
required from the Treasury for the next twelve months to 
carry out the provisions of this Treaty. A small sum will 
be required at first, and probably will gradually increase as 
the migration progresses. 

In exchange, the Government obtains 435,000 acres of 
the best lands near Green Bay, lying on Fox River, and 
near the best port in Wisconsin. This land is said to be 
now in demand, and disconnects the white settlements which 
are already made in that country. The public interest would 
be greatly promoted by the early settlement of this 435,000 
acres of land with a white population, and if it could be 
'brought into market no doubt is entertained of its being 


readily sold, and speedily settled by an industrious and 
enterprising population. At the Government price, (and it 
is believed that most of it would sell for more), it would 
not only reimburse the Treasury for the necessary appropri- 
ations to carry out the Treaty, but it would exceed it by 
one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Indeed, it is believed 
the demand upon the Treasury to carry out this Treaty 
might be supplied from these lands. It has been suggested 
by those opposed to the Treaty that the land might be 
declared forfeited to the Government ; but the supplement 
to the Menomonee Treaty of 1831 gives no definite time 
for its occupation, and the President has prescribed none. 
Moreover, the New York Indians paid a large consideration 
for these lands by their Treaties with the Menomonees in 
1821 and 1822, which Treaties were approved of by the 
President of the United States. But their purchase from 
the Menomonees, amounting to about 1,500,000 acres, in 
regard to its justice and policy being called in question, in 
the }ear 1831, Treaties were made for the purpose of 
reconciling all the conflicting claims by which the United 
States acquired the territory in dispute, giving the New 
York Indians, however, 500,000 acres of the disputed lands ; 
and the Menomonees 20,000 for their acquiescence — all of 
which may be seen by references to the Treaty with the 
Menomonees of 1831. Under these circumstances, the titles 
of these Indians cannot be justly disturbed till another home 
is provided for them. And, sir, the tract of country set 
apart for the New York Indians by this Treaty is not so 
serious a consideration to the Federal Government as gen- 
tlemen seem to suppose. A territory west of the Mississippi 
has been procured and sacredly set apart by the Government, 
amply sufficient for the location of all the remnant tribes 
of Indians which are still remaining in all the States and 
Territories of the Union east of the Mississippi. It is the 
settled policy and wish of the Government thus to locate 
these Indians. 

And, sir, if these poor, perishing people were entirely 
destitute of all the necessary means to contribute to their 
own comfort and settlement, even in the slightest degree, 
the duty in that case would become more imperative on this 
Government to provide for and take kind and parental care 
of them. 

I understand the Government to have assumed the 
parental and guardian care of these remnants of the 
aboriginal race ; and its duty and honor require that it 


shorld, at all times, stand ready and prepared to render a 
satisfactory account of its stewardship to a civilized and 
Christian world. The wise and enlightened policy of collect- 
ing, removing and settling these remnant tribes in permanent 
homes in the West, and thereby relieve the States altogether 
from the perplexing incumbrance of an Indian population, 
and, at the same time, make a last and honest effort to 
save from extinction a remnant of the native race, has always 
had my -warmest support and approbation. 

I have no claims to the honor of having originated this 
scheme, or plan. No, sir, this was done before I entered 
my present field of public labor. 

The plan was first brought to my notice by observing 
the recommendation of Mr. Jefferson, and has since been 
sustained more or less by most of his successors. 

Mr. Monroe most earnestly recommended to Congress 
efificient action to carry out this plan for emigrating Indians 
from the States and settling them permanently out of the 
limits of all the then States and Territories of the Union. 

The then Secretar}^ of War, Mr. Calhoun, sustained the 
views of the President in a very able report on the subject 
of Indian affairs. Not being a member of Congress at that 
time (1825, I believe), I was surprised that no member of 
Congress made a direct effort at legislation on the subject; 
and in 1827, when a member of the other branch of Congress, 
I did not fail to bring the subject, in a direct manner, to 
the consideration of Congress. And, sir, it will continue to 
be a source of gratification to me that I was the first member 
of either branch of the American Congress to urge this 
beneficent plan of salvation to the Indians, as well as relief 
to the States, upon the consideration of Congress. 

Mr. President, you will remember the violent opposition 
my first effort met with from various quarters ; but that 
effort has been perseveringly followed up, and in its progress 
constantly gained friends and increased support. 

The history of its progress and success is familiar to 
this Senate, and to the whole country. And, sir, I consider 
it now, as I have done from the beginning, one of the 
most important measures connected with the history and 
character of the Government of our beloved country. 

Shall we then dally and falter in the consmnmation of a 
policy which now, from experience, has forced itself upon 
the approbation of the wise and the good not only of our 
own country, but upon all who appreciate the blessings of 
civilization in everv land ? 


Sir, we are Senators, representing sovereign States of 
this Union — not only our own States, in a special manner, 
but all the States. And the people of New York, very 
naturally and properly, feel a deep interest in this matter. 
And the Federal Government, by its policy and action, has 
become so connected with this subject that we cannot 
honorably, if so disposed, abandon the connection which the 
Government has, by its own acts, assumed in relation to this 
matter. The views of the Government in regard to these 
Indians has been too fully developed, in various official acts, 
and also in the legislation of Congress, for us at this late 
day to stand justified in assuming the ground that this affair 
all belongs to the State of New York, and that this Govern- 
ment has no cone; rn in the issue now liefore us. 

Shortly after the close of the Revolutionary War, the 
six nations of Indians of New York became convinced that 
the increase of the white settlements around them would 
make it necessary for them to seek a new home in the West ; 
and, in council held by these people as early as 1810, 
they resolved, and did send a memorial to the President 
of the United States, inquiring whether the govern- 
ment would consent to their leaving their habitations and 
their removing into the neighborhood of their Western 
brethren ; and, if they could procure a home there, by gift, 
or purchase, whether the Government would acknowledge 
their title to the lands so obtained, in the same manner it 
had acknowledged it in those from whom they might receive 
it; and, further, whether the existing Treaties would, in 
such a case, remain in full force, and their annuities be 
paid, as heretofore. The President answered by saying their 
request should be granted. 

And under this appropriation the Treaty of 183 1, between 
the New York and Menomonee Indians, to which I have 
heretofore adverted, was made and concluded. Under all 
these circumstances, is it matter of surprise that any person 
who pretends to be acquainted with the history of these 
transactions should rise up and say that the Federal Govern- 
ment has nothing to do with these matters ; that it all 
belongs to New York and Massachusetts? 

Sir, it has clearly and obviously become our duty to act 
in this matter ; and, for one, I shall neither waive my right 
nor shrink from my responsibility. Does not the interest of 
New York require that we should act in this matter? The 
answer is found in the following language of the President 
of the United States in his message on this subject: 


"The removal of the New York Indians is not only 
important to the tribes themselves, but to an interesting por- 
tion of Western New York, and especially to the growing 
city of Buffalo, which is surrounded by lands occupied by 
the Senecas ; and to this portion of our country the extra- 
ordinary spectacle is presented of densely populated and 
highly improved settlements, inhabited by industrious, moral 
and respectable citizens, divided by a wilderness, on one 
side of whom is a city of more than 20,000 souls, whose 
advantageous position in every other respect, and great com- 
mercial prospects, would cause its rapid increase in popu- 
lation and wealth, if not retarded by the circumstances of 
a naturally fertile district remaining a barren waste, in its 
immediate vicinity." 

And, sir, what does the President say in regard to 
those persons who are entitled to the reversionary right of 
these lands? His language is: "Neither does it appear 
ju-t to those who aie entitled to ihe fee-simple ot the 
land, and who have paid a part of the purchase money, that 
they should, from the waste which is constantly committed 
on their reversionary rights and the deterioration conse- 
quent upon such depredations, without any corresponding 
advantage to the occupant Indian." 

In and out of the Senate I have found persons strangely 
opposed to this Treaty, because they seem to think it 
confers special favors upon the persons known as the pre- 
emptioners ; these individuals seemed to be viewed in the- 
light of speculators, who are endeavoring to defraud the 
Indians out of their lands. Now, sir, nothing, so far as 
I can discover, can be more unjust to these deeply injured 
individuals. The quotation which I have given from the 
President's message, as well as the reports from Gen. Dear- 
born and Mr. Gillett, United States Commissioner, together 
with all the mass of documentary evidence which we all have 
seen on our tables, in a printed form, on this subject — yes, 
sir, all this mass of testimony goes to establish and confirm 
the merit and good character, liberal conduct and fair dealing 
of these pre-emptioners, and especially their agents, Messrs. 
Ogden, Fellows and Wordsworth. Gen. Dearborn says the 
gentlemen just named "have afforded me every facility for 
an agreeable and thorough discharge of my duties." 

That those pre-emption owners of the lands should be 
desirous to hasten the time of going into the possession of 
their just rights is altogether natural, right and proper. They 
neither claim nor desire any advantage which has not been; 


fairly derived from the State of Massachusetts, and their good 
conduct and fair deahng have obviously secured to them 
the respectful consideration of many of our most dis- 
tinguished public men and citizens, as may be seen by a 
careful examination of the documents which accompany this 
Treaty. It is true that I duly consider the interest of these 
individuals, but, at the same time, view it as a minor object 
in the provisions of this Treaty — yet it is an interest entitled 
to some consideration. 

To remove, however, unjust and improper prejudice, 
growing out of a want of correct information against these 
pre-emptive claimants, and consequently against the Treaty, 
I will, contrary to what I had intended to say on this branch 
of the subject, enter more fully on an explanation on the 
nature and history of the merits of these pre-emptive claims. 
It will be found, sir, by examining the history of the proceed- 
ings of the Federal Government, that the Convention held 
in 1786, between New York and Massachusetts, which 
resulted, as heretofore stated, in a cession to the last named 
State of the territory since called the Genesee Country. Tiie 
right and sovereignty of jurisdiction being reserved to New 
York, was held under the sanction of Congress ; and, by 
the deed of cession, Massachusetts is authorized to hold 
treaties with the native Indians for the extinguishment of 
their title, and for this purpose to employ such armed force 
as should be necessary; also, to grant the right of pre- 
emption to others, with the like powers, but under a pro- 
vision that purchasers from the Indians by the grantees oi 
Massachusetts should be made in the presence of a superin- 
tendent, and subject to the approval of that State. 

And the lands embraced in the Treaty now under con- 
sideration were conveyed by Massachusetts to Robert 
Morris, and by him to what was called the Holland Land 
Company. Under these cessions and conveyances, Morris 
extinguished the Indian claim to the greater part of the 
territory which he had purchased. In 1810, the Holland 
Land Company sold and conveyed all the lands now occupied 
by the Seneca and Tuscarora tribes to David A. Ogden, who 
afterwards sold them to the present pre-emptive owners. In 
1826, these owners extinguished the Seneca claim to part of 
•these lands, and to the residue they still hold a legal estate, 
in fee-simple, subject only to the possessory right of the 
native Indians. 

For many years past these claimants, or, rather, rightful 
.owners of these lands, have been looking to this Government 


to carry out its policy in the removal of all the remnant 
tribes still remaining in the States to the permanent home 
provided for them in the West. And when, in the year 
1837, a Commissioner was appointed by the United States 
to hold a treaty with the New York Indians, these pre- 
emptive claimants procured the attendance, and, at their own 
expense, of an agent, on the part of Massachusetts, to 
superintend any sale growing out of a treaty which the 
Indians might be inclined to make. And this Commissioner 
on the part of Massachusetts was Gen. Dearborn, whose 
report has been, and will be again, adverted to, in support 
of the ratification of this Treaty. 

Mr. President, if I have succeeded in demonstrating the 
advantages of this Treaty to all the parties in interest, and 
that I have I think will scarcely be denied, why should 1 
then dwell longer on this branch of the subject? For, sir, 
it is obvious to every one that if the execution of this 
Treaty be beneficial to all the parties concerned, its rejection 
will consequently be prejudicial to all. Let me, then, turn 
to another consideration connected with this Treaty, by 
asking the question, Do these Indians wish to remove? 
This question is answered in the most satisfactory manner 
by an attentive examination and consideration of the 
actings and doings of these Indians for the last thirty 
years. Their various efforts, with but little aid and encour- 
agement from any Government influence, either State or 
Federal, sustains the belief that they are unhappy, and very 
dissatisfied with their present abodes, and are truly anxious 
to emigrate to the West. The inclination of the Indians in 
all the States, for many years past, when left free to the 
exercise of their own volition, has been a constant, earnest 
looking to the West for new homes, where they might be 
relieved from that thraldom of State legislation which 
deprived them of their unrestricted liberty so essential to the 
nature of the child of the forest. 

Yes, Mr. President, they have long desired a country 
where the white man might cease from troubling, and where 
the poor, weary Indian might be at rest. 

Mr. Gillett and Gen. Dearborn both declared themselves 
to be perfectly satisfied that were it not for the unmerited 
and dangerous exertions of a certain number of interested 
white men, who are actuated by their private interests to 
induce the Chiefs not to assent to the Treaty, it would imme- 
diately be approved by an immense majority — an opinion 
which we find repeatedly reiterated by these gentlemen. The 


President of the United States expresses the opinion that 
the same influence which was exerted in opposition to the 
Treaty, if exercised with equal zeal on the other side, would 
show a large majority of these Indians in favor of emigra- 
tion. But, sir, we will endeavor to arrive at a correct con- 
clusion in regard to the wishes of the Senecas on the subject 
of removal, by examining and scrutinizing the conduct and 
action of their Chiefs on the subject of the ratification of 
the Treaty. Well, sir, the Commissioner for holding the 
Treaty was appointed in the year 1837, and, attended by 
the Superintendent on the part of Massachusetts, met the 
Indians in council ; and from the first commencement of 
the negotiation, we discover the interference of white men, 
assuming the character of friends to these Indians, strenu- 
ously opposing this negotiation, and greatly retarding its 

Indeed, it appears that every art was employed to defeat 
the objects of the Government in effecting a Treaty. 

The country beyond the Mississippi was declared to be 
unproductive, and the climate unhealthy. The prospects held 
out by the Government to the Indians was declared to be 
delusive and deceptive, and, in case of removal, they were told 
they might look forward to want, privations and suffering. 

These officious advisers were composed of white men 
pretending to have influence with the Indians, and seeking 
to force themselves into the service of the pre-emptive 
owners, at extravagant rates of compensation, but most of 
them deriving immediate advantage from a traffic carried on 
with these Seneca Indians; some in the sale of rum, tobacco, 
and blankets ; others from the occupation of their lands at low 
rents ; from the employment of saw mills on their lands ; _pr 
from extensive contracts fromi the purchase of timber to 
be rafted and sent to market. 

In addition to these, there were others who, possibly, were 
actuated by better motives — persons who had, for many 
years, been professedly engaged in endeavors to improve 
the condition of the Indians by religious and other instruc- 
tion, and who, unwilling and reluctant to believe in the 
inefficiency of their labors, were loath to abandon the enter- 
prise in which they had so long been engaged without any 
adequate success. Consequently, this combined opposition 
to the Treaty addressed every argument they could to the 
passions and cupidity of this ignorant people, to incline them 
still to be content in the continuance and indulgence of their 


accustomed habits ; and such efforts, under such circum- 
stances, could not fail to produce great effect. 

Even the more sober and sensible part of the Indians, 
who had long desired a change of residence, with a view 
of relieving themselves from the evils inseparable from their 
present condition, were, many of them, no doubt brought 
to hesitate, while those opposed to emigration became more 
determined in their opposition, and more strenuous to defeat 
the Treaty, regardless of the liberality of its provisions. 

However, after a tedious and protracted negotiation, 
characterized by extraordinary violence and opposition on 
the part of the opposing Chiefs and their auxiliaries, finally 
a treaty was concluded on, and signed by the Commissioner 
of the United States, Mr. Gillett, and all the tribes of the 
New York Indians. 

In June, 1838, the ratification of the Treaty, although 
strenuously opposed by the dissatisfied parts of the Senecas, 
aided by a powerful combination of white men, was advised 
and assented to by the Senate, with certain amendments, 
designed, as was, and is still, understood by me, to render 
its provisions more conformable to the policy and legislation 
of the United States ; and this Treaty, as proposed to be 
amended by the Senate, was sent back to all the tribes who 
negotiated the same, for their assent, which assent was duly 
and satisfactorily obtained, as will fully appear by the 
message of the President of the United States to the Senate, 
of the 21 St of January, 1839. 

The President says : "I transmit a Treaty negotiated with 
the New York Indians, which was submitted to your body 
in June last, and amended." He adds : "The amendments 
have, in pursuance of the requirements of the Senate, been 
submitted to each of the tribes assembled in council, for 
their free and voluntary assent, or dissent, thereto. In 
respect to all the tribes except the Senecas, the result of this 
application has been entirely satisfactory. It will be seen 
by the accompanying papers that of this tribe, the most 
important of those concerned, the assent of only forty-two 
out of eighty-two Chiefs has beeii obtained. I deem it 
advisable, under these circumstances, to submit the Treaty, 
in its modified form, to the Senate, for its advice in regard 
to the sufficiency of the assent of the Senecas to the amend- 
ments proposed." 

Mr. President, do you not perceive, is it not clear and 
obvious, that the only question presented to the Senate in 
the message of the President, upon submitting this amended 


Treaty, was to ascertain the opinion of the Senate, and to 
obtain its advice upon the single point of sufHciency of the 
assent of the Senecas to the amended Treaty? 

Sir, the President raises no question in this message as 
to whether a majority of the Chiefs had signed the Treaty, 
or not. He could not do this, when communicating to 
intelligent men, who understood simple numbers ; for he 
tells you that forty-two Chiefs, out of the whole number 
of eighty-one, had assented to the Treaty, and, therefore, no 
one could doubt the assent of a majority of the Seneca Chiefs 
to the Treaty. That majority being small, the object of the 
President was, the advice of the Senate whether so small a 
majority should be considered sufficient. The Senate accord- 
ingly took into consideration the message of the President 
of the United States, and, on the 2nd of March, 1839, agreed 
to the following resolution : 

"Resolved, That whenever the President of the United 
States shall be satisfied that the assent of the Seneca tribe 
of Indians has been given to the amended Treaty of June 
iith, 1838, with the New York Indians, according to the 
true intent and resolution of the Senate of June nth, 1838, 
the Senate recommend that the President make proclamation 
of said Treaty, and carry the same into efTect." 

Now, sir, I have always thought, and still think, this 
resolution of the Senate (no doubt well intended), was inex- 
pedient and injudicious, and that it unnecessarily laid the 
foundation for all the difficulties which we find ourselves this 
day involved in. 

If the Senate had, at its last session, taken upon itself 
the reasonable responsibility of responding, yea or nay, to 
the proper and respectful request of the President, in regard 
to the sufficiency of the assent of the Seneca Indians, we 
should not now have found ourselves embarrassed with these 
difficulties of our own creation. 

And, sir, I commend the President for not permitting the 
Senate to excel him in modesty and diffidence, in deciding 
alone a question, the decision of which jointly devolves on 
him and the Senate. 

I admit, sir, that we have no additional evidence that 
we had not at the last session of Congress to authorize the 
Senate to say now what it declined saying at the last session, 
to wit : that the assent of the Seneca Indians is sufficieyiily 
evinced in favor of the Treaty. 

But I believed then, and am still more confirmed in the 
opinion now, that a majority of the Chiefs of the Seneca 


tribe have freely and voluntarily given their assent and sig- 
natures to this Treaty. 

And whether they did so in general council, at a town- 
house, or whether it was done in part, as is alleged, at other 
times and places, after the several councils had been held, 
and the Treaty fully and fairly explained, in the face of 
day, to the whole tribe, as is fully and satisfactorily proven 
to us by the evidence now before us, I do not consider a 
matter of any great importance. 

I can readily believe that those who signed, after the 
adjournment of the council, are as justly entitled to our 
respect and consideration as meritorious Chiefs and faithful 
representatives of the Indians as those who signed more 
hastily — they took "the sober second thought." Indeed, sir, 
persons who are deliberate and slow in making up their 
opinions on important questions are generally more to be 
relied on than those who act more hastily. 

Mr. President, I deem it important for the satisfaction 
as one governed in the formation of their opinions in regard 
to the validity of this Treaty by the official dignity of the 
several respective signers, to state a few facts which I derive 
from an official communication from Gen. Dearborn to Gov. 
Everett of Massachusetts. Well, sir, I find this Seneca tribe 
has eight great Sachems who are also Chiefs. This title of 
Sachem is the highest rank known to the tribe, and the 
office is hereditary, besides partakes of all the dignity of 
royal blood, and ancient family aristocracy. Gen. Dearborn 
gives the names of the eight Sachems of the tribe at the 
time of the signing of the Treaty, and then adds: ".S"/;i out 
of eight of these Sachems signed the Treaty." And that 
half of them are Christians, and the others Fago7is. That 
an actual majority of the Seneca Chiefs have assented to 
the amended Treaty seems no longer to admit of a doubt. 
The official and personal standing of Mr. Gillett and Gen. 
Dearborn, who have certified to the fact, settles that ques- 
tion. I consider this question heretofore settled by the 
action of the Senate. 

In respect to the mode of the assent of the Chiefs, I 
consider that altogether immaterial. The fact of assent is 
wholly a matter of evidence, and, in the present case, that 
evidence is, to my mind, entirely satisfactory. That the 
Chiefs who have subscribed to this Treaty did so voluntarily 
and understandingly is attested by Gen. Dearborn and Mr. 
Gillett, whose testimony is unimpeached, and, as I under- 
stand and believe, unimpeachable. 


I doubt, sir, whether the whole history of our country 
will afford more than one instance of an Indian treaty 
which will bear the test of comparison with this much- 
abused Treaty for fairness, liberality, honest negotiation, and 
requirements approaching to similar transactions when con- 
ducted by equals of civilized nations. (My exception, of 
course, is the Cherokee Treaty of 1835.) 

But, sir, I would emphaticallly ask, what has been the 
history of our Indian treaties generally from the first dis- 
covery of this country up to the present day? When and 
where have we required that more than a majority of the 
Indian Chiefs should sign a treaty in open council, to give 
it validity? When and where have we required higher evi- 
dence than that of Gen. Dearborn and Mr. Gillett, in respect 
to the number, character and authority of Indian chiefship 
to form a treaty? 

The history and origin of Indian treaty-making on this 
continent, down to the present time, I consider one of the 
most unpleasant, if not painful, recollections of the high- 
minded, honorable American citizen. In the early settlement 
of the country, our ancestors effected by artifice in the form 
of Indian treaties what they were unable then to effect by 
force. This treaty-making system, originating in physical 
weakness, pretended to do nothing in acquiring the Indian 
lands except by obtaining the voluntary assent of the Indians. 
Yes, sir ; even under the government of that good man, 
William Penn, we find in the same statute which made it a 
crime for any citizen to furnish an Indian with intoxicating 
drink of any kind, nevertheless, that statute allowed the 
Commissioner of the Government to administer a prudent 
portion of intoxicating drink to Indians, when assembled to 
form a treaty for lands. 

But, sir, I will forbear from entering further upon the 
history of our Indian treaties. I cannot allow myself to 
pursue a subject so little calculated to elevate the character 
of my country. But this much I will say : If any gentleman 
will bestow the time and labor which I have done in inves- 
tigating this subject, he will rise from the task fully satisfied 
that this Treaty is one amongst the most fair and honor- 
able transactions of the kind which is to be found in our 
recorded history as a people. I assert, sir, that many Indian 
treaties have been obtained, ratified, and carried into effect 
that were never signed by a majority of the Chiefs in open 

Indeed, sir, with all mv dislike to Indian treaties — because- 


they carry on their face forms which are not justified by 
the facts — yet I am not disposed at this ripe stage of our 
progress in negotiating such treaties with the Indians to 
insist upon unreasonable requirements which are new and 
extraordinary, for the express purpose of defeating the 
objects of this particular Treaty, admitted to be exceedingly 
advantageous to all the parties in interest, and especially so 
to the Indian people themselves, whose benefit we wish to 
promote by this Treaty. 

Sir, I have never been the direct agent to negotiate an 
Indian treaty. I have more than once had the offer of being 
honored with such commissions, but have always declined 
it. The ofBcial stations which I have from time to time 
occupied, for many years past, have frequently made it to 
be my duty to have much to do with carrying out and 
executing these treaties. This connection has caused me 
to reflect much upon the subject of these Indian treaties 
in all their various bearings. And the result upon 
my mind is a settled conviction that the several State 
Governments, as well as the Federal, have greatly erred 
in so long countenancing the policy introduced by our 
colonial ancestors from necessity. Now that the remnant 
Indian tribes in our respective limits and jurisdiction have 
become a conquered and subdued people, wholly dependent 
upon the will and power of those who have supplanted them, 
we have not, sir, even the poor plea of the tyrant — 7iccessity 
— for adhering to the farcical forms of diplomacy, originat- 
ing in causes, and under circumstances which no longer 

We should long since have supplied the place of Indian 
treaties by wise, liberal and judicious legislation. 

Whenever the Indians, in point of fact, become subject 
to the control, legislation, and jurisdiction, of the Federal, 
or any one of the State Governments, it becomes the duty 
of such Government to exercise its right of governing all 
the population under its jurisdiction by direct, ordinary 
legislation, regardless of origin or complexion. 

We should legislate for these unfortunate remnants of 
Indians in the same spirit of kindness and liberality that 
we would for the helpless and destitute minor and orphan 
whose only friend is the Government — and I trust that all 
the Governments of our country, both State and Federal, 
will ever be the refuge of the helpless and destitute. 

These, sir, are my views of policy and duty in relation 


to these remnant tribes, and upon these views I have acted 
for several years past, as far as circumstances would allow. 

I would now ask, Mr. President, how can any Senator 
expect to put the negotiations of Indian treaties upon the 
principle and footing of similar transactions with civilized, 
foreign, enlightened nations? 

Are not these Indians in a state of dependence and 
pupilage? Are we not in the place of parents and guardians 
to them ? Shall we, then, overlook all the facts connected 
with the subject under consideration? Shall we imagine a 
state of things which we know has no existence? Has not 
the difificulty in regard to this Treaty been produced by 
interested white men? Is not every charge of fraud urged 
against this Treaty refuted by the fact of the liberal and 
beneficent terms of this instrument? A charge of fraud can 
scarcely be sustained against a transaction which confers 
great benefits on many and injury upon none. 

But, sir, we have no complaints that this Treaty will 
injure the Indians, or any one else. Indeed, it is impossible 
that the Indians can sustain injury from this Treaty, because 
if they do not choose to emigrate under its provisions, they 
have the right secured to them of remaining where they 
are during life ; and yet the ingenuity of designing white 
men has produced the impression upon the minds of many 
for whom I entertain the highest respect, in and out of this 
Senate, that there is something very alarming in the pro- 
visions of this Treaty. The whole alarm and danger appre- 
hended by those who oppose this Treaty seems to be based 
upon the doubt whether it has fairly received the assent of a 
majority of the Chiefs of the Seneca tribe, and the great 
importance which thev se^m to attach to these Chiefs' making 
their cross-marks to the Treaty in what is called open coinicil. 
These are the questions which preplex the judicial minds of 
statesmen and American Senators. 

Under the existing circumstances of these poor, perishing 
Indians, and with a view to the history of Indian treaties, 
which I have heretofore adverted to, I am entirely relieved 
from all these vexatious and trying perplexities. Moreover, 
Mr. President, I have no doubt in regard to the assent of 
a majority of the Seneca Chiefs having been fairly obtained 
to this Treaty ; and the Senate of the United States settled 
the question on the nth of June, 1838, when they ratified 
the Treaty. It was the action of the Senate upon the Treaty, 
as a treaty, and as the act of the Seneca Nation of Indians. 
The Senate must have viewed the instrument, as executed 


by a majority of the nation, or else have considered a 
majority not necessary for the purpose of making a valid 
Treaty. Is it to be believed that the President of the 
United States. Gov. Everett, Gen. Dearborn, Mr. Gillett, 
and various other public functionaries, who have had an 
agency in bringing this instrument before the Senate for 
confirmation, would have said and done all that we find in 
these documents before us, and which we have in our hands, 
if they entertained opinions adverse to the fairness and 
validity of this Treaty? 

No, sir, this Treaty would never have reached this 
Senate if these public functionaries had considered it Hable 
to the formidable objections which we have heard advanced 
on this floor. Mr. President, much as I have said on this 
subject, I have greatly abridged what I would have said but 
for the confidence which I feel in both the ability and dispo- 
sition of both the Senators from New York to supply all 
my omissions on this subject. 

Allow me, sir, once more, in the conclusion of my 
remarks, to advert to the bearing of this question pending 
before the Senate, on the destiny and lasting interest of this 
remnant of the aboriginal race. 

To me, sir, these people are a peculiar, interesting portion 
of the human family. I consider them human beings ; I wish 
to treat them as such. 

I cannot, in my conscience, assign them a place half way 
between man and beast. I wish to save them from destruction. 
Hence, I urge their speedy removal from the degrading and 
demoralizing situation in which we now find them. Their 
unrestrained intercourse with the licentious portion of the 
populous cities and villages by which they are surrounded 
is prejudicial alike to the Indian and white population. 
Deprived as these people are of the right to acquire and 
hold property in severalty, they are destitute of those incen- 
tives to industry and frugality which animate and reward 
every white man in our happy country. 

Being debarred all political rights, they naturally consider 
themselves a proscribed and debased race ; and the individual 
exceptions of worth and intelligence amongst them, while it 
seems to evince their capacitv for improvement under more 
favorable circumstances, and to become a civilized people, 
will not, however, shield them from becoming a nation of 
vagabonds and paupers in their present abodes. 

During forty years, they have made no perceptible 
advance in the arts of civilized life, so that it is impossible 


longer to resist the conviction that their preservation from 
increasing misery and ultimate extinction can alone be 
found in their separation from the white population, and by 
conferring on them those rights and privileges which in all 
countries they are enjoyed, have been gradually found 
to lead to civilization, and to prepare the way for the intro- 
duction of Christianity, with all its happy influences. It is a 
striking and most important fact, which I have observed 
amongst various Indian tribes since I have advocated the 
emigration of the Indians to the West, that the best educated, 
the most moral and intelligent who are inclined to embrace 
and have embraced Christianity, the most sober, industrious 
and thriving, are generally the friends and advocates of emi- 
gration ; and it is as uniformly resisted by the ambitious and 
selfish leaders who carry in their train the most ignorant 
and degraded, and those who are least capable of appre- 
ciating the advantages of civilization. 

In connection with the best interest of these Indians, Mr. 
President, let us also bear in mind the important interest 
which the State of New York has in this question. True, 
New York is already great and prosperous ; the Empire 
State of the Confederacy; but, sir, may we not all rejoice 
at her increasing strength and prosperity? Are we not all 
Americans? Do we not all belong to the same confederacy 
of sovereign States ? Are we not members of the same 
great family? Shall we, then, in being co-workers together, 
endeavor to promote the interest of each and all the States? 
And, still further, sir, shall we forget that the great interest 
of all the States requires that the country now occupied by 
these unfortunate Indians should be densely populated by 
good white citizens? 

The geographical situation of the country or territory 
now in question requires its settlement in aid of the defense 
and strength of our common country. 

But, sir, I will not detain the Senate longer upon the 
subject of this Treaty. I think that what I have said will 
induce those who have not already done so to examine and 
investigate this subject carefully. And, sir, overwhelming 
as the opposition to this Treaty has appeared to be, yet 
if it can have a full and fair investigation, by this enlightened 
Senate, I still indulge the hope that impressions not well 
based may give way to the force of evidence and reflection, 
and that this Treaty may yet receive the expression of the 
Senators' approbation. 


I have the satisfaction to state that my labor was not 
in vain, upon the subject of the Senate's sanction to this 
New York Treaty. When the final vote was taken in the 
Senate, by yeas and nays, there was a tie, an equal division 
of the Senate. 

Whereupon Col. Richard M. Johnson, then presiding as 
Vice President of the United States, gave his vote in favor 
of reversing the report of the Committee on Indian Affairs, 
and in favor of confirming the Treaty. Accordingly, the 
Treaty was agreed to, and sustained, and, with it, my views 
on the subject, as presented in the foregoing speech. 


Before taking my final leave of this Indian subject, I must 
seek the indulgence of the reader to bear with me patiently 
while I add one more adde-iidnm in the nature of an apology 
for having said so much on this subject. 

I admit that I have already been guilty of seeming tau- 
tology, and very frequent repetitions of the same ideas and 
arguments; but the nature of the subject, from its long con- 
tinued controversy and my connection with it in so many 
different and important ofificial stations, produces this seem- 
ing redundancy in what I have wTitten. 

My correspondence and speeches which I have given 
plainly show that I met with, and had to encounter, attacks 
from various quarters when in different official positions, and 
consequently my policy and measures all tending to support 
the same principles ; my reasoning and arguments wear 
something of the appearance of sameness. 

In a long protracted war, over many fields of battle, in 
reporting the incidents of each encounter, we are necessarily 
compelled, in the details, to maintain the verbiage suited to 
the subject in every report. 

My views and plans in connection with Indian afifairs 
were first developed when a member of Congress, in the year 
1827, and, for four years in that body, those views were 
constantly urged and pressed, and, I may add, with great 

During this time provision was made for emigrating and 
colonizing the whole of the remnant tribes of the Indians 
then remaining in the States to the west of the Mississippi. 
But notwithstanding the liberal provision made by Congress 
for the removal and comfortable settlement of the Indians 
in the West, the Cherokees of Georgia, influenced by John 
Ross and bad white men, were generally opposed to emigra- 
tion, when, in 183 1, I was called to the Chief Magistracy of 
Georgia, by the unsolicited voice of the people of the State, 
with a special view to the then existing Indian relations of 
the State, and I remained in that ofifice (by a second election) 
for four years. And during that time my views and policy 
in relation to the Indian afifairs of the State were, in the 


25 i 

main, sustained by a majority of both branches of the Legis- 

And while I solemnly aver, before God and man, that 
my whole policy in connection with these Indian afifairs 
originated and was prosecuted with a view to the promotion 
of the best interest and permanent welfare of the Cherokee 
people, as well as the white population, I admit that I 
assumed ground and pressed forward in my plans of opposi- 
tion imperative in their nature towards the Tn'^iians. And 
although violently opposed, at home and abroad, not a month 
passed which did not carry with it evidence of ultimate suc- 
cess in all my measures. 

I admit that it was the policy of my measures to legislate 
the Cherokees into a peaceful willingness to leave the 
States, and avoid that gradual destruction which was daily 
consuming them and their substance, while they remained 
in the States of Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and North 
Carolina. And finally they yielded to my views, most 
of them with great cheerfulness, and strong hopes of an 
improved condition. And all this was effected without war 
or bloodshed, but not without much controversy, toil, and 
labor on my part. 

After my executive labors had resulted in the New 
Echota Treaty of 1835, ^^ Commissioner of the United 
States in executing that Treaty, I had to encounter the 
opposition of Ross and his followers and stipendiaries. After 
which, I was transferred, by the public voice of Georgia from 
my Commissionership to the Senate of the United Stat.s, to 
meet the efforts of Ross and party politicians who were at 
Washington, striving to prevent the emigration of the 
remaining Cherokees under the beneficent and liberal pro- 
visions of the New Echota Treaty. 

The careful and patient reader will find in what I have 
recorded for his information and that of posterity, that the 
foregoing references to the official stations which I occupied 
for twelve successive years necessarily forced me in different 
positions to occupy again and again the very same ground, 
with such variations only as the dififerf^nt positions required. 

I first fought the great Indian battle on emigration in 
the House of Representatives, in Concre-^s, in the years 
1827, 1828, 1829 and 1830-31 ; then in the Executive Office 
of Georgia, in the years 1831, 1832, 1833. 1834-35; then 
as United States Commissioner, in 1836 and part of 1837; 
and then in the Senate of the United States, commencing 
in 1837, and ending in 1841. I was, throughout these years. 


constantly defending the policy of collecting the small rem- 
nants of the Indians then remaining in the States, and set- 
tling them in an excellent country provided for them to 
the west of the Mississippi, and outside of the limits of all 
the States and Territories of the Union ; and to secure to 
these remnants, thus removed, a permanent, fee-simple title 
to the country of their adoption, and, if possible, to elevate 
them by all the arts of civilization and the religion of the 
Bible ; and, finally, when prepared for such education, to 
admit them to a full participation in all the advantages of 
our great confederacy of States. And, to further this policy, 
and educate the character of our intercourse with these 
people, I, throi;ghout the years referred to, in every station 
which I occupied, denounced the policy which had been so 
long adhered to by the Government of the United States 
of pretending and appearing to do nothing, except through 
negotiation, and the assent of these poor subdued remnant 

I as constantly urged and advocated the honest, manly 
and benevolent policy of considering and acting towards 
these subdued remnants as children, orphans, the minors of 
our charge and care, and as justly entitled to all that parental 
regard and consideration of both the Federal and State 
Governments where these people still remained as if they 
were indeed, and in truth, bone of our bone and flesh of 
our flesh. And though my views were never avowedly and 
fully sustained by these Governments, in many instances, 
and to a great extent, they have prevailed, and have been 
acted upon ; and greatly to the benefit and advantage of 
the aboriginal race. 

In magnanimity and liberalty towards the Indians, no 
man has surpassed me. And to the records of the country 
I appeal for testimony for the verification of this my asser- 

The policy of my political opponents in Georgia widely 
differed from mine throughout the struggles of the twelve 
years hereinbefore alluded to. 

First, they considered me in haste and premature in 
introducing my emigration policy in Congress in 1827. 
Moreover, they said it was a subject of too great importance 
and magnitude for a man of my talents. They said it was 
atttempting more than the great Troup had accomplished in 
relieving Georgia from the Creek Indians. And my oppo- 
nants in Georgia came to my relief only as they saw success 
attend my efforts. 


When I became Governor of Georgia, and recommended 
the immediate survey and occupancy of the whole of the 
Cherokee lands, reserving to the Indians their improvements, 
with a sufficiency of land to sustain them, my opponents in 
politics agreed with my immediate predecessor, Gov. Gilmer, 
that it was altogether wrong to proceed to the survey and 
occupancy of the country until the consent of Mr. Ross and 
his follovvcrs should be obtained by a good, old-fashioned 
treaty (which everybody had reason to believe could never 
be done), and then survey and settle the country. Moreover, 
they declared that I was pursuing a policy which would 
produce an Indian war and disgrace the State. 

And after the country was surveyed and settled by a 
white freehold population, and the Indians left in the occu- 
pancy of their improved lands through a combination of 
feed lawyers, sustained by pliant judges and political parti- 
sans, the laws of Georgia in relation to these Cherokee 
affairs were declared to be unconstitutional, and, by every 
art and devise of pettifogging, the execution of the laws 
of the State was often impeded, and great exertions made 
to n\Ulify them, producing much strife and confusion, and 
enrcuraging the poor Indians to many acts of indiscretion. 
I, therefore, found it necessary, in my annual message to 
the Legislature in 1834 to strike fearlessly and boldly at 
this combination of selfish men, whether official or unofficial. 
This produced the desired effect. The Legislature and the 
people sustained my recommendations, and this combination 
was legislated into silence and insignificance. And then, 
and not till then, the Cherokees entered into the Treaty of 
New Echota of 1835. 

While all these important matters were transpiring and 
in progress, I was the prominent and unceasing subject of 
misrepresentation and abuse by a powerful and talented 
political party, at home and abroad. And it was not only 
the newspapers of the day that were levelled against me, but 
I was often assailed and misrepresented in religious news- 
papers, in magazines, pamphlets, and books written especially 
on this Indian subject. These efforts, together with the 
tens of thousands of petitions and memorials, sent to both 
branches of Congress, made a false impression on a large 
portion of the public mind throughout the country in regard 
to my every ofFxial net in connection with this subject, as, 
well as against all those who supported and sustained me. 

And believing as I do that this immense mass of pub- 
lished matter, disseminated throughout the country, has, to 


:some extent, left a false impression on the public mind, as 
I have often seen evinced by articles in various forms, of 
a more recent date, 1 have, therefore, and for these reasons, 
taken upon myself the heavy and arduous labor, in my old 
age, of compiling this immense mass of official matter, mostly 
in consecutive order, as all the means within the reach of 
posterity to correct the errors which have been widely 
propagated on this subject, as well as to check the errors 
which may hereafter go forth to the world on this subject. 

I am unwilling to go down to the grave with the impres- 
sion resting on any portion of the public mind that my life 
and labors have been prejudicial to any portion of the 
human family, of whatever complexion or origin thev may 
happen to be. It has been my desire, from early youth up 
to this day, that at the close of my earthly pilgrimage it 
might be said of me, in truth : ' 'He served his generation 
zvith fidelity." 

A recent occurrence has greatly stimulated me to press 
forward in this massive compilation of my official connection 
with these Indian affairs. 

It is known to the public of Georgia, at least, that the 
Rev. George White, of this state, a few years ago compiled 
and published a book, entitled, "White's Statistics of Geor- 

My acquaintance with this reverend author commenced 
when he was engaged in collecting material for his statistical 
work. Considering his effort laudable, I commended and 
encouraged it. And the book, although not free from inaccu- 
racies and errors, has received a large share of public appro- 
bation and patronage, and has been useful to the public. 

The author, encouraged by this first eiTort of the kind, 
determined to publish a second volume, in the nature, I 
believe, (though I may be mistaken), of an improved edition 
of his first work. 

Something over twelve months past, Mr. White requested 
me to prepare an article for his book on the subject of the 
Georgia controversy with the Cherokee Indians. I promptly 
■declined the service proposed: First, because justice could 
not be done to such a subject in so limited an article as the 
one proposed, and, secondly, to have prepared an article 
in the nature of a review of that controversy, if giiided by 
historical facts and official documents, I should necessarily 
be led to speak of myself and others in a manner that would 
not suit the object of Mr. White's book — that is, to make 
liis book agreeable to everybody and offensive to none — in 


doing which it would become necessary to avoid unpleasant 
truths, no matter how important to the subject. 

However, it afforded me pleasure to furnish him with 
various public printed documents, intimately connected with 
the subject of his proposed article, with the understanding 
that he desired to submit his article, before publication, to 
my examination and correction in regard to facts. I heard 
nothing further on the subject of his Indian article, until 
some time in the month of July last, when I received a 
kind and flattering note from the gentleman, accompanied 
by his Indian article, in manuscript, containing thirty-three 
pages, with a request that I would examine his article, and 
make such corrections and modifications as I might deem 
proper and requisite to perfecting the article. I very deliber- 
ately read, and re-read, the article which he had prepared, 
and was forced to the conclusion at once that the article 
was an entire faihi'e, inappropriate and improper for such 
a work. And, without loss of time, I communicated to Mr. 
White, in kindness but with frankness and candor, my views 
in regard to his article (a copy of which letter I will give 
to the reader at the close of this article). In a perfectly kind 
spirit, Mr. White thanked me for my candor, and appointed 
a time to visit me, and remain in my office until he could 
remodel his article so as to meet my approbation. I imme- 
diately invited him to make my house his headquarters, and 
to be assured that it would afford me pleasure to render any 
service in my power. However, he entirely failed to make 
the promised visit, and proceeded to New York, to superin- 
tend the publication of his book, and from there requested 
me, by letter, to take full liberty in modifying his article, and 
then send it on to him, at New York. I entirely declined 
attempting any improvement or modification of his article, 
but immediately forwarded him his manuscripts as I had 
received them (accompanied by a letter which I will give 
the reader at the close of this article). Whereupon he wrote 
me again, and again returned the manuscripts, with sundry 
mutilations which he had made and still urging me to lend a 
helping hand in modifying his article. 

I immediately returned him his papers, by the first mail 
— without any further -communication from me. 

It will be readily conceded by any sensible person that 
it is impracticable to remodel an article which is entirely 
destitute of the most material matter connected with the 
subject under consideration. 

In his last letter which I have received, he intimates 


some intention of declining the publication of his Indian 
article, and here the matter rests for the present. I suppose 
by this time (middle of October, 1853) his book is out of 
the press. Whether his Indian article is embraced in his 
book or not I am not prepared to say. And whether it 
be, or not, is a matter of no concern to me. 

It is true such articles will mislead many uninformed, 
honest people ; but persons of research and general intelli- 
gence will from time to time rise up in our progressive 
country, and bring to light the important truths of history, 
especially where the official records of the country are open 
and free for the examination of the competent historian. 

I should by no means have deemed it necessary, in this 
place, to have taken such an extensive notice of the literary 
career of the Rev. Mr. White but for the fact that I am 
fully aware that with all his good intentions, his credulity is 
such that he is liable to be greatly mislead by selfish and 
designing men. 

Sketches of biography is a favorite class of reading to 
people who read but little ; and Mr. White's works abound 
with sketches of men more or less distinguished — hence the 
temptation to individuals and their special admirers to show 
off and shine in such works as Mr. White's. 

The man who feels that his biographical fame will end 
with the pufifs received in ephemeral works is always more 
anxious to receive those posthumous notices than men 
whose biographies are already written on the official records 
of the country. To place the reader on his o;uard, I will 
only add that' Mr. White's "Statistics of Georgia" affords 
sufificient evidence of the undue influence of living individuals 
to take to themselves those things which belong to Ccesar. 

Her'j follow the two letters which I liave proirased to 
lay before the reader, written by me to the Rev. George 
White on the subject of an article written by him, and 
intended to be inserted in his new book of 1853. His article 
was submitted to me for correction, but, after examining it, I 
deemed it so inappropriate and calculated to mislead and 
pervert, rather than to enlighten, that I declined having any 
connection with the article, under the impression that he 
wholly misconceived himself the merits and importance of 
the subject upon which he undertook to compile and write. 


Athens, July 25th, 1853. 
To the Rev. George White, 

Marietta, Ga. 

Dear Sir : — I thank you for the opportunity which you 
have afforded me for the perusal of your article on Cherokee 
affairs, intended for publication, in a permanent form, in 
your forthcoming book. 

While I duly appreciate your laudable efforts to collect 
and publish facts in the enlightenment of the people, and 
the perpetuation of historical truth, friendship, frankness and 
regard for my own character, force me to say that I consider 
your present effort, in this article, a decided faihire. I will 
modify this sentence, however, by adding that no man can 
do justice to such a subject in so brief an article as you have 
prepare, especially when arranged on your plan of compiling 
extracts from voluminous documents. 

Your article entirely fails to keep up the consecutive chain 
of events connected with the true history of the subject, as 
may be readily seen from the official records of the country. 

Your selections from documents are very unimportant, 
in most cases, when compared with the more important 
events connected with your subject. Upon the whole, I 
consider your extracts so arranged as to be well calculated 
to mislead, instead of instructing, your readers. Your article, 
to my mind, increases the cloud and fog which already hangs 
over the history of Georgia, in connection with her Indian 
affairs — a cloud which only requires the whole truth, plainly 
set forth, to banish forever the prejudices which now exist 
against the fair fame of the history of Georgia, in connection 
with her Indian affairs. 

However, you will be governed by your own judgment, 
and the advice of more competent friends than myself, in 
regard to the merits and publication of your article. 

I must, however, claim the favor of you to exclude my 
name entirely from your Cherokee article ; for, if in the land 
of the living, I could never see such an article, go to the 
public and remain silent. Tens of thousands are yet num- 
bered with the living who would rise up and call for the 
records of the country to refute the impressions made by 
your article. 

In 1827, 1828, 1829 and 1830-31, I was a member of the 
House of Representatives, in Congress, from Georgia, and in 
1830 I was again elected a member of the next succeeding 
Congress ; but before I entered upon the duties of the last 


named election, public opinion in Georgia forced me, reluct- 
antly on my part, to resign my seat in Congress, and enter 
upon the duties of the Chief Magistracy of the State ; and 
by re-election a second time I continued in that office four 
years, and very shortly after the close of my last executive 
administration the Treaty of 1835 was concluded with the 
Cherokee Indians. The then state and condition of the Cher- 
okees called for many provisions in that Treaty which 
required much skill and a familiar knowledge of all their 
complicated affairs to carry that Treaty fully into efifect. in 
securing the individual rights of the Indians. Therefore, the 
Treaty provided for the appointment of two Commissioners 
by the President of the United States, by and with the advice 
and consent of the Senate, to attend to the settlement of 
all the affairs of the Cherokee people, and see that the Treaty 
was faithfully executed. 

Gov. Carroll, of Tennessee, and myself received the 
appointment of Commissioners, as aforesaid, in the fore part 
of the year 1836. 

The appointment on my part was unexpected, and 
unsought ; but Gen. Jackson, in a private letter to me accom- 
panying my commission and instructions, was pleased to 
say that his only apology for urging me to this arduous 
and exposing labor was that he knew of none so well 
qualified for the duty as myself, because of my intimate 
knowledge of all the matters in charge, and my long and 
persevering struggles in bringing about this long sought 
consummation. I spent about eighteen months in this 
service, as Commissioner, in the midst of the Cherokee 
people, and in settling and adjusting all their affairs, in 
terms of the Treaty, preparatory to their removal to the 
West. Indeed thousands of them had already gone before 
I left this service. 

During these eighteen months I had visited almost every 
town and village in the whole Cherokee country, and had, 
perhaps, formed a more general personal acquaintance with 
the Cherokee people than any white man had ever done 
before. My object in this intercourse was to prepare their 
minds, and reconcile the opposing party to their speedy 
removal to the West, which I knew must soon follow, in 
fulfilment of the provisions of the Treaty. 

All the most hazardous and difficult parts of this business 
having been completed, and John Ross and some of his 
principal followers, assisted by their white friends in and 
out of Georgia, having repaired to Washington, for the 



purpose of memorializing Congress, and attempting some 
new treaty arrangement, by which some delay in the removal 
of the Indians might be obtained, and, as I believe, mainly 
for the purpose of obtaining an additional sum of money 
for the special use of Ross and his particular friends and 
associates ; under this state of things, the Legislature of 
Georgia, in November, 1837, elected me to the Senate of 
the United States ; and thus it became my duty to resign 
my Commissionership and repair to Washington without 

The President of the United States and Secretary of 
War consulted me daily on all matters relating to the then 
posture of Cherokee affairs. 

I communicated with them without reserve, and found 
that the same spirit pervaded the councils of the Cabinet 
at Washington v.hich had manifested itself from the com- 
mencement of Mr. Van Buren's administration, to wit : They 
were resolved to carry into full effect the Cherokee Treaty 
of 1835, but, at the same time, if possible, to conciliate Ross 
and his party by placing within the control of Ross, as 
emigrating agent of his Indians, a very large amount of 
the public funds, and thus enable Ross and his friends to 
enrich themselves from the public chest. 

From the beginning, as my official correspondence will 
fully demonstrate, I believed it to be wrong in principle and 
policy for the Government to make any further attempt, 
after the Treaty of 1835, to conciliate Ross and his party. 
I believed that the cup of conciliation was exhausted, as 
to Ross, and that the time had fully arrived when it was 
the duty of the Government to assume the imperative tone 
with Ross, and say to him : "The Treaty is unbounded in 
its magnanimity and liberality to the Cherokee people, and 
that it rmist and shall be executed, in all its parts, and that 
you (Ross) are no longer entitled to any public considera- 
tion by the Government." 

I still believe that, if my advice had been adhered to, it 
would have been the greatest of all blessings to the Cherokee 
people, and would have prevented the subsequent murders 
of the best men of the country — the Ridges, Boudinot and 

But, finally, with a view of hastening the departure of 
the Cherokees from Georgia, and to prevent further strife 
and apprehension of danger, I reluctantly assented to the 
Government arrangement with Ross. That was for him 
to emigrate his own party of Indians, and to receive a 


compensation for that service so liberal as to enable him 
to make an independent fortune for himself out of this 
Government contract. Gen. Scott was already in the field, 
with an adequate force to maintain the peace, and guard all 
the parties in interest ; and thus, soon after, the Treaty was 
consummated by the removal of the Indians, and the strifes 
and heart-burnings of Georgia in regard to Indians put to 
final rest. 

Now, my dear sir, you may perceive from this hasty and 
brief narrative, every word of which is fully sustained by 
the records of the country, that for twelve years, commencing 
with the close of our Creek dil^culties, in 1827, I was placed 
in the lead upon every important measure connected with 
our Cherokee dif^culties. I was the first in Congress to 
introduce, urge, and sustain the emigration policy by appro- 
priate legislation to the final consummation of that branch 
of the subject. From Congress, I was transferred, by the 
voice of the people of Georgia, to the Chief Magistracy 
of the State, where, after four years' unceasing labor, in 
the face of a most powerful and talented party opposition, 
I left that oiiice with the work so far completed, and 
the opposition silenced, that the Treaty with the Cherokees 
was immediately concluded. I was then, by President Jack- 
son, invited to the arduous work of executing ajid carrying 
out the provisions of the Treaty. The important parts of 
that work being completed, I was called to the Senate of 
the United States to aid in putting the capstone on the 
work of many years' toil. 

Now, sir, the twelve years to which I have hereinbefore 
alluded will be found to embrace most of the severe trials of 
Georgia in relation to Cherokee affairs. And, sir, you must 
perceive the increasing confidence of the people of Georgia 
in your very humble servant, and that it went to an extent 
that it was constantly transferring me from one place to 
another, wherever the heat of battle raged, and the point of 
danger was apprehended. 

The opposing newspapers of that day said all that was 
possible to be said by a violent party press to detract from 
my merit as a public man, and to pervert my every act. 
But I was fully sustained by public opinion, at home and 
abroad, and retired from the Senate of the United States 
with the approbation and greetings of my countrymen gener- 
ally. These twelve years to which I have alluded was the 
great crisis in the political history of Georgia which settled 
her last Indian and territorial conflicts, and the record of 


my official acts, including my official correspondence, is 
spread over thousands of pages. 

It is my duty to myself and to my country to see that 
these pages are lianded down to posterity, without mutilation. 

I have to request, once more, my dear sir, that you will 
leave my humble name out of your Cherokee article ; and if 
you really wish the country to know m}' connection with 
that subject, please to let official records speak for them- 
selves, by inserting after your Indian article, my speech in 
Congress in January, 1830, on this Indian subject, and my 
first message to the Legislature of Georgia, on the same 
subject, in 1837, and my speech in the Senate of the United 
States, in reply to Senator Preston, in 1838. I recollect to 
have furnished you with all these documents, in printed and 
pamphlet form. 

In great haste, I remain, respectfully yrs., 


Athens, Ga., August 25th, 1853. 
To the Rev. George White, / 

New York. 

Dear Sir : — I am in receipt of your letter of the 17th 
inst., which apprises me of the change which has taken place 
in your arrangements (as communicated to me in your letter 
of the 28th of July last), in regard to visiting and conferring 
with me on the subject of your Cherokee article. I had 
taken much pains to prepare as far as possible to lay before 
you every important item of information connected with the 
subject of your article ; but, while it would have afforded 
me pleasure to have been useful to you in this matter, my 
services were not tendered unsought, and I am, therefore, 
not disposed to complain, when they are declined. Upon this 
whole subject you and myself occupy entirely different posi- 
tions ; and, therefore, we find it impracticable to harmonize, 
when writing for the public, on the subject. 

You say, in your letter to me of the 17th inst., that you 
do not wish your readers to know your opinions on the 
points at issue, in the controversy between Georgia and the 
Cherokee Indians. 

Now, sir, my opinions on all subjects of conflict and 
controversy through which Georgia has passed for the last 
thirtv vears in connection with her Indian relations have 


long since been officially known, and widely spread on the 
records of the country. 

I have spent the prime of my life in vindicating the 
Indian policy of Georgia. I have often said, and now most 
conscientiously believe, that no State in our widely extended 
confederacy has acted with equal magnanimity and liberality 
to her Indian population as Georgia has. And if Georgia 
has at any time appeared to act with rigor and harshness 
towards the Indians, having the appearance of a want of 
humanity, it will, in every instance, upon due examination, 
be found that those acts were forced upon her by the 
improper conduct and bad faith of the Federal Government, 
or by the wicked and insolent impertinent intimidating of 
strangers and foreigners. Her Indian population (although 
now removed from her borders) are at this day more numer- 
ous, more prosperous, further advanced in civilization, and 
in a far better condition in every respect than the luviians 
of any or the whole of the rest of the States of the Union. 
Moreover, this prosperity commenced, and its broad founda- 
tions were laid, and its structure greatly advanced, while 
these Indians remained in Georgia. 

Notwithstanding all this, volume upon volume (if all was 
put in volume form) has been written and published to 
degrade and cast odium upon the character of Georgia, for 
the injustice and cruelty of her Indian policy. 

Under these circumstances, I desire the publication of 
the as yet unpublished portion (in the form of books) of 
Georgia's official actings and doings in connection with her 
past Indian affairs. This would be her triumphant vindica- 
tion against the old State slanders which have appeared 
from time to time in Northern publications. 

And in your Indian article we find several extracts from 
these Northern publications, which you dignify with the 
title of facts, to wit : Your long extract from the bill of 
injunction so plausibly drawn up by Messrs. Sergeant and 
Wirt, to restrain the State of Georgia from exercising her 
constitutional jurisdiction over the Cherokee Indians within 
her jurisdictional limits. The ignorant and uninformed 
reader of your book will be greatly misled and biased against 
Georgia by reading the plausible contents of such legal per- 
version of plain truth. The extracts which you give in 
connection with this part of your subject is nothing more 
nor less than the ablest legal arguments which could be 
fabricated with a view to the condemnation of Georgia. 

My first message to the Legislature of Georgia on this 


subject, given in full, and to which you but briefly refer, 
would be a sufficient refutation to the baneful influence of 
your extracts herein referred to. And let me ask you,, 
should not the antidote accompany the poisonous draught? 

In regard to the missionary cases, the whole history may 
be correctly given, in very few words, sustained by the 
executive records of the State, without the aid of Northern 
publications, or perversions of truth. 

Under the laws of Georgia, these missionaries were 
convicted and sentenced to confinement in the penitentiary 
for refusing to yield obedience to the laws of the State. 
The Governors of Georgia regretted the wilful obstinacy 
of these men, and always openly declared their readiness to 
pardon and set these men at liberty, v/henever they would 
yield a compliance to the laws of the State, and respectfully 
ask for executive clemency ; and this determination was 
strictly adhered to in every instance. 

Sir, I do not call every party newspaper statement \a fad; 
nor do I care to examine the minutes of the Missionary 
Boards, in connection with this Indian subject; nor do I 
consider extracts taken from the proceedings of Indian 
Councils and talks of Commissioners appointed to negotiate 
Indian treaties suitable material to compose the prominent 
part of a select article in a Georgia book, designed to 
enlighten the people in regard to the past history of the 
State on Indian affairs. It is true it gives a compiler but 
little trouble upon this Cherokee subject to make extracts 
from Northern compilations condemnatory of Georgia in 
regard to her Indian policy ; but the compilation and proper 
arrangement of the abundant material which exists, and 
which would exonerate Georgia above the slander and 
censure which had been unjustly heaped upon her in regard 
to her Indian policy is a work which is yet to be performed. 

The position in which you have placed me forces me to 
say that I consider your article, as it now stands arranged, 
and composed as it is chiefly of extracts from the pens of 
writers deeply prejudiced against and adverse to the true 
interest of Georgia, tends to do injustice and injury to the 
welfare and character of our State. 

I view your article rather in the nature of a supplement 
to the Northern publications on this Indian subject which 
have heretofore been placed in the hands of our people. My 
pamphlet speech, made in the House of Representatives in 
January, 1830 (and with a copy of which I furnished you) 
contains more of the truths of history on this Indian subject 


than can be found in any volume yet published on the subject. 

You will please to not misunderstand me. I make no 
pretensions to literary or oratorial distinction, but I do claim 
to have given facts, and to have arranged them so as 
to be easily understood — this is all I claim for the speech 
referred to. 

It is true, as stated in your Cherokee article, that the 
farce of pretending to impeach Judge Hooper ended at the 
point which you have suggested, /'/ nothing. Yet it is a 
very important fact, and one which you have omitted, that 
the conduct of Judge Hooper, as presented by the Governor 
and commented on in his message to which you have 
referred, caused the Legislature to pass a law which clearly 
evinced their condemnation of the conduct of the Judge, 
and their approval and support of the views of the Governor. 
The law alluded to most effectually paralyzed the efforts of 
the combination of lawyers who had been engaged in thwart- 
ing and overturning the laws of the State, and contributed 
mainly in bringing about the subsequent Treaty with the 
Cherokee Indians, their lawyers and judges having been 
legislated into insignificance and silence. I refer you to the 
legislation of that session, 1834. As you state in your 
article, I introduced the subject of Indian emigration to the 
attention of Congress in the year 1827, but, in regard to 
the progress on that subject, you labor under some confusion 
of ideas and misapprehension. 

I will give you a very brief statement of the progress in 
that matter : 

My resolution was referred to the Committee on Indian 
Affairs, of which I was a member, as you state. The bill 
reported to the House at that session by the Indian 
Committee (not by me individually, but through my agency 
and influence) provided for the appointment of Com- 
missioners by the President of the United States to 
search out and find a suitable country to the west of the 
Mississippi, for the emigration of all the remnant tribes of 
Indians then residing in any of the States and Territories of 
the United States, and to make their report to the President 
to be laid before the next session of Congress. The bill 
also appropriated $15,000 for the purposes above named. 
This bill received violent opposition, but was passed at 
the same session that I introduced the subject. In con- 
formity with the provisions of said act. Commissioners were 
appointed, discharged their duty and reported very favorably 
in regard to the country, &c. 


In 1829 provision having been made for the emigration 
of the remnant tribes generally, by the procurement of a 
suitable country, the Committee on Indian Affairs made a 
lengthy and detailed report upon Indian affairs and policy, 
generally, in which they strongly recommended the emigra- 
tion plan, together Avith a bill appropriating $500,000, to 
defray the expense of any and all Indians on the east side 
of the Mississippi to that of the west. And, after a violent 
and powerful opposition, this bill finally passed in 1830; and 
it was under the provisions of this bill that the Government 
of Georgia, aided by the Federal Government, used every 
exertion to induce the Cherokee Indians to emigrate to the 
West. The success, however, was but very partial. 

Nevertheless, these efforts convinced the Ridges and 
Boudinot and a large majority of the most intelligent men 
of the Cherokees that their only hope of prosperity and 
salvation was to be found in emigration to the West, and 
this induced them to enter into the Treaty of 1835, i^ 
opposition to Ross and his ignorant followers. 

It was while these efforts were making to induce the 
Cherokees to emigrate that the literary pursuits of the cele- 
brated John Howard Payne led him to visit the Cherokee 
people and country and he was known to be strongly opposed 
to the views of the Government in regard to Indian emigra- 
tion, and this led to his arrest, by Col. Bishop, the State's 
agent. The arrest was both premature and illegal, but the 
impertinent intermeddling of Payne was very unbecoming a 
stranger, a gentleman, or an author professedly collecting 
facts for history. He was the partisan, if not the agent, 
of Northern fanatics, whose avocation is to repent for the 
sins of everybody except themselves. 

What would you think of a man who should attempt to 
compile history and biography from the partisan political 
newspapers of the present day? 

Should all his extracts be strictly correct that are copied 
word for word from his author, yet his author grossly incor- 
rect — would the compiler and publisher be free from error? 
Is a historian justifiable to select and publish portions of 
truth which will make a very different impression upon the 
minds of his readers to that which would be made if the 
whole of the truth which was pertinent to the subject should 
be published? 

In conclusion, I again repeat, I wish it to be known 
everywhere that in regard to this Indian subject I am by 
no means neutral I am on the side of Georgia. I have 


prominently advocated the leading measures of her Indian 
policy. I believed at the time, and I believe yet, that her 
policy for which she has been most censurerl was wise, 
humane and philanthropic towards the Indians. 

To the vigorous policy of Georgia in hastening the 
removal of the Cherokees, and which was violently opposed 
at every step, do that people owe their present tranquil enjoy- 
ments and future prospects of advancement and success. 

If the policy of their leader, Ross, and his Northern fanat- 
ical friends could have prevailed, before this day they would 
chiefly have perished from the face of the earth. 

But it is useless for me to dwell further on this subject. 
I feel that I have discharged my duty to you, as well as 
the country, touching this matter. 

Respectfully, yr. obt. servt., 


of Georgia. 

Note. — It is proper to state that the two foregoing letters 
have been copied from my original drafts to Mr. White, and, 
therefore, may not be exact copies ; but I am confident there 
is no material difference. 


*October i8th, 1853. 

♦White's "Historical Collections of Georgia" was published in 1854, In it there 
is a long chapter on "Difficulties with the Chi rokees," in which Gov. Lumpkin's 
name is freely used, but whether his consent was finally obtained is not known. 




During my public employment as a member of Congress, 
as Governor of Georgia, Commissioner of the United States 
to execute the Cherokee Treaty of 1835, and as United 
States Senator in Congress, my positions necessarily afforded 
me the most favorable opportunities to become well- 
acquainted witli the operations and vv^orking of botii the 
Federal and State Governments ; and these opportunities 
were improved to the greatest possible advantage that my 
ability afforded. During the whole period that I was passing 
through the various duties appertaining to these several 
positions, I was a watchful, vigilant working man — a close 
and laborious student. My time and mind were almost 
exclusively engrossed with the public affairs of the country, 
to the great neglect of my family and private interest. 

And elaborately as I have already dwelt upon subjects 
connected with these several public positions, with a view 
of exhibiting in a true and unquestionable light the mode 
and manner in which I discharged my individual duties in 
these several official stations, yet I have by no means 
exhausted my resources upon any one of the subjects upon 
which I have dwelt; because I have from time to time 
preserved a great deal of the most important material 
connected with the political history of Georgia, as well as 
of the United States, or Federal Government, for the last 
fifty years. And should I be spared and blessed with my 
present good health a few years longer, it is my present 
intention to continue my sketches of the past, in a manner 
that will afford to the future historian an unerring index 
to many important truths which now lie obscured from 
public view. 

Many things connected with the Federal Government 
during the administration of Mr. Van Buren, which my 
situation as Senator in Congress made me familiar with, 


seems to be already forgotten, which I think ought to be 
brought to the Hght of day, and impressed upon the public 
mind ; more especially on the minds of the people of the 
Southern States, especially the course and conduct of the 
two great political parties of the country at that period. 

But, for the present, I will let what I have already written 
sufiice, touching these matters, by simph- statin;:^- that my 
Senatorial term expired with the close of Mr. Van Buren's 
administration, on the 4th of March, 1841 ; and I repaired to 
my beloved home and quietude (Athens, Georgia), now fully 
resolved to spcid the balance of the days which might be 
allowed me frc : from the turmoils and strifes of political 
life and ofifice. I felt that I had finished my public course, 
and that nothirgbut an imperious sense of duty should again 
draw me from my retirement. 

And with but slight exceptions, I have adhered to 
and maintained my resolutions. Patriotism imperiously 
demanded whatever departures from the plan laid down for 
myself may hereafter be noted. 

Near the close of the year 1841 was a time of general 
embarrassment throughout the whole country — greater, per- 
haps, than ever has been witnessed before, or since, in the 
United States, in regard to financial matters. From 1837 
up to this time (1841) the total suspension of specie pay- 
ments by most of the banks of the Union ; the immense 
amount of debt contracted by many of the States, to carry 
forward their various schemes of internal improvements, as 
well as the indebtedness of private rail companies, and 
various other corporations, together with the individual 
debts of the country, seemed at this period to threaten 
universal bankruptcy and distress. 

Georgia's great railroad project had then been in progress 
of construction, from the year 1837, upon a most liberal 
and magnificent scale of expenditure. At that date, the 
State had already expended about two and a half million 
dollars, and not a single mile of the road was finished and 
ready for use ; indeed, not a mile of the superstructure of 
the road had been laid. 

This vast amount of money had been expended, more 
or less, on the whole line of road, of T40 miles, and the 
policy of working upon the whole line at the same time, 
without finishing any part thereof, necessarily greatlv 
increased and added to the expense of the work which had 
been accomplished ; first, because this policy required a 
vastly increased corps of engineers, officers and agents, of 


various kinds and grades, to superintend and carry on the 
work ; and, secondly, the whole line of road, being located in 
a country not only far removed from the sea coast, and 
large navigable rivers, but in a rugged, new country, desti- 
tute almost of passable wagon roads. Hence the great 
expense and increased difhculty of transportation, and, of 
course, of building a road economically, under such circum- 

In the locating of this road, great difhculties were neces- 
sarily encountered on account of the topography of the 
country, being a country of ridges and valleys, and some 
of the ridges rising to elevated mountain height. And the 
very recent settlement of the country by a civilized popula- 
tion caused the peculiar localities of the country to be but 
very little known and understood. Except to a very few 
persons, indeed, the topography of the country was a sealed 

Taking all these circumstances into view. Col. Long, the 
Chief Engineer who located the road, certainly displayed 
much scientific skill and good judgment, mingled with a far- 
seeing forecast, highly creditable to his professional standing 
as an engineer. But truth requires me to say that from 
the beginning to the end of his official connection with this 
road I have not been able to discover a single trace of 
economical or financial skill. The value of money seems 
to have had but little influence on the mind or consideration 
of this highly respected gentleman. Under all the circum- 
stances which I have suggested, when the Legislature of 
Georgia met, in the latter part of the year 1841, the State 
two and a half millions in debt ; her credit below par, and' 
constantly sinking; her Central, or State, Bank, ate out 
and exhausted to supply funds to carry on the road, until: 
her bills were greatly depreciated, and no funds to redeem 
them ; the prospective advantages and utility of the road to 
the people still far distant from realization, it was indeed 
a gloomy prospect to the friends of the State Road, and 
to railroads in general. Many of the good people of Georgia 
were really about this time disgusted with all railroad 
projects. They had seen much of the evil things attendant 
on building railroads, while they had scarcely tasted of the 
good things to be derived from them. 

Many anxiously and honestly desired that the Legisla- 
ture should sell out the State Road altogether, and wmd 
up Its affairs to the best attainable advantage. 

But wiser and better counsels prevailed. The Legislature 


determined to provide for th'- liquidation and settlement of 
the affairs of the State Road, and, as far as practicable, to 
ascertain the true standing of its affairs, and to curtail the 
expenditures on the road, and to put, if the means could 
be procured, fifty-two miles of the road into active opera- 
tion ; and, for that purpose, provided by law that the Gov- 
ernor should appoint a competent agent to attend to all 
and singular the affairs connected with the road, which had 
heretofore devolved on three Commissioners ; and, further, 
that all existing contracts for work to be done on the road 
should be rescinded, if the consent of the contractors could 
be obtained, by payments being made for that portion of 
the work which was done on the several contracts, and 
authorized the dismission from the public service of all 
supernumeraries, engineers, officers and agents then in the 
■employ of the road, &c. 

The foregoing provisions having been made by the Legis- 
lature, some time in the month of Decemljer. 1841, I v?r\ 
unexpectedly received a communication from Gov. McDon- 
ald, tendering to me the appointment of the agency provided 
for in the foregoing enactment of the Legislature. My 
impression was that it was a mere agency for disbursing 
public funds, and making settlements of all unsettled affairs 
appertaining to the road, &c., and that it only required a 
man of good business qualifications, and of integrity and 
probity of character, and capable of paying some general 
attention to all the various interests of the State connected 
with the road. I, therefore, without hesitancy, wrote Gov. 
McDonald a few lines, thanking him for the confidence 
reposed in me, but in absolute terms declining the office ten- 
dered, upon the ground that I had no desire for public 
employment, and that he could find many other citizens 
equally well qualified for the office, who would be pleased 
to receive it. I wrote this reply under the full impression 
that I should hear nothing further from the Governor on 
the subject. However, but a few days elapsed before I 
received a second and more extended communication from 
him, in which he informed mc, more in detail, of the impor- 
tance and responsibility of the office to which he had invited 
me, and of the great interest and honor of the State which 
was involved in the faithful discharge of the duties of that 
office. He magnified the importance of the proposed trust 
to an extent which caused me seriously to doubt whether 
I could justify myself in declining the appointment; for, 
strange as it may seem to others, I can say in truth that 


from early boyhood I had a strong disposition to encounter 
great difficulties, if the work was laudable in itself, and a 
probability that extraordinary exertions might secure suc- 
cess. The Governor said in his second letter that although 
the office, by the terms in legislation used, did not seem to 
indicate anything more than a common agency, the perform- 
ance of its duties required rare and superior qualifications, 
and was pleased to add that his best apology for wishing 
to press me into this service was that he knew of no one 
so well qualified to discharge its highly responsible and 
complicated duties. 

Not having given myself the trouble to make myself 
fully acquainted with the affairs of the State Road for several 
years past, with any degree of precision, and not having the 
slightest expectation of ever again being officially connected 
with it, I confess this second letter of Gov. McDonald opened 
my eyes to the then critical condition of the affairs of the 
State in connection with the road, as well as the credit of 
the State, then rapidly sinking. Moreover, I perceived that 
it was the object of the Legislature to correct and reform 
existing errors and abuses, and maintain the character and 
credit of the State, and, if possible, sustain our great work 
of internal improvement. 

Under these impressions, I answered Gov. McDonald's 
second letter by saying : "Christmas is at hand, and while 
my people are enjoying their holidays, I will visit you at 
the seat of Government, when I hope to have the opportunity 
of conferring with you, freely and fully, on the subject of 
the State Road, and the important affairs of our State 

Accordingly, I repaired to Milledgeville at the appointed 
time, and held a satisfactory conference with the Governor. 
I said to him : "Sir, the reformations authorized and contem- 
plated by the Legislature, for their success, must depend 
more upon the executive than all other officers and agents 
connected with the road, and the financial affairs of the State. 
The efficiency of the agency to which you invite me is 
wholly dependent on your aid." He replied : "I know that ; 
but if you will accept the appointment, in all matters con- 
nected with your duties your opinions and judgment shall 
have a controlling influence with me. Engineers and officers 
are to be dismissed, and many changes made. The rescind- 
ing of contracts, and many other important matters con- 
nected with our financial affairs, will throw great responsi- 
bility on those who direct and manage the affairs of the 


road during the next year. The salvation of the road itself 
depends upon it. If I had the aid of your services where 
you could personally look after, and attend to, and direct 
all these matters, I have great confidence that all would be 
well ; and you may rest assured that your judgment, in all 
these matters, will be duly respected by me," &c. 

Under the foregoing circumstances, as I have presented 
them, I accepted the agency of the management of the affairs 
of the State Road, called by the law disbursing agent, but 
in reality and practically clothed with a controlling power 
never before exercised by any officer, or oilficers, except that 
of Col. Long, in the first years of the progress of the road. 
Gov. McDonald, to be sure, manifested preat confidence 
and respect in confiding to me so much power and control 
touching these matters, and leaving so much implicitly to 
my judgment and discretion. And I must admit that nothing 
short of this respect and confidence could have induced me 
to accept an appointment which I plainly foresaw was embar- 
rassed by many of the most unpleasant duties, and which 
must be rigidly performed to secure the interest of the State. 

I knew at the time that I accepted the appointment I 
was taking upon myself extraordinary responsibility. And, 
furthermore, I knew, and so did Gov. McDonald, that my 
acceptance of the ofifice relieved him of responsibility in the 
same proportion that I assumed it. Neither of us was 
ignorant of the fact that I had suf^cient character before 
the country to bear the entire responsibility of all my own 
acts at least ; and that the Governor would rarely be censured 
for my acts in dismissing unworthy ofBcers, and of exacting 
from persons the full and faithful discharge of every proper 

The details of the various duties which devolved on me 
in this oflfice, and a presentation of the manner in which 
they were severally discharged, are of a character and 
nature, in many cases, that cannot be made interesting to 
the reader at this distance of time. And if I were prepared 
to give the details of every transaction minutely, as it actually 
occurred, it would only serve to develop a large share of 
the depravity of poor human nature. And it is not proper 
for me to give the names and defalcations of those who 
were dismissed from public trust and confidence, and of some 
who had been guilty of peculations in defrauding the State 
— which could be of no public utility, now that these trans- 
actions have passed from the minds of most persons. I, 
therefore, pass over all such unpleasant details. 


Suffice it to say that a vast amount of public money was 
squandered on this State Road, for purposes worse than 
useless ; and that the books and records of the railroad office, 
in regard to many of its financial affairs, have been kept in 
a manner, during its early stages of progress, that will 
forever render them unintelligible to the present or future 

I never, after examining the affairs of the road, would 
have accepted any agency in connection with its affairs but 
for the purpose of correcting existing abuses, and intro- 
ducing salutary reforms, and thereby prevent the abandon- 
ment of the road and a sale of the same, before it was com- 
pleted. Although I have always entertained doubts in regard 
to the expediency of States, or Governments, conducting and 
managing railroads and similar works, to the ultimate 
interest of the State and people, yet I was amongst the 
first in Georgia to suggest and urge the propriety of the 
State constructing a great State Road, from the Atlantic 
coast of Georgia to the Tennessee River, running diagonally 
through the entire State. And I was never for a moment 
disposed to leave so essential a work to the great interest 
of the State to the uncertainty of individual enterprise. That 
fine portion of the State west of the Chattahoochee, gener- 
ally called Cherokee, in a very special manner imperiously 
demanded this great highway. The whole plan of this rail- 
road was well matured in my mind in the year 1826, while 
taking a general reconnoissance of the State, with a view to 
entering on works of internal improvement, in company with 
Mr. Fulton, our first State Engineer, and before I com- 
menced my systematic plan for the removal of the Cherokee 
Indians from Georgia, in the year 1827, in the House of 
Representatives, in the Congress of the United States. If I 
were censured and blamed for any of my official acts while 
conducting the affairs of the State Road, in 1842, because 
they were adverse to the public interest, it is unknown to 
me. As far as I do know, it was universally admitted that 
I discharged every duty which devolved on me with entire 
fidelity to the interest of the State. But I had never before 
occupied a public position which so often brought me into 
conflict with individual interest. 

Upon my judgment, engineers were dismissed from the 
public service, and others brought into service to supply their 
places. It was often my duty to detect and reject fraudulent 
claims against the State. Just and fair settlements were 
exacted from all officers, agents, and contractors. And, on 


account of the miserable state of the currency, I encountered 
much embarrassment and perplexity from shavers, brokers 
and money-changers of various descriptions. I was forced 
to suppress the interference of ofificers and agents of the 
road, and, in selecting stations and depots, I could not satisfy 
the cupidity of the selfish and interested competitors. And 
in the discharge of my duty I was forced virtually to condemn 
many of the acts of my predecessors. 

Upon the whole, I incline to the opinion that the stern 
discharge of my duty while in the management of the affairs 
of this road made me more enemies than friends. Indeed, 
my best reward in this of^ce, from beginning to end, was 
my consciousness of having rendered much useful service 
to my State ; for the compensation which I received was 
wholly inadequate to the services and responsibility of the 

For the present, however, I will close this article, and 
proceed to give to the reader perhaps my first quarterly 
report to the Governor, and final report to the Legislature, 
at the close of my administration of the affairs of the road, 
and, possibly, a few other documents connected with the 
subject. These papers will put the reader more fully in 
possession of the knowledge of the duties performed by 
me than any thing which I could now write on the subject; 
and, being official documents, long since laid before the 
country, are, consequently, more reliable than my present 
recollection of these transactions. The law under which I 
acted as agent of the Western and Atlantic Railroad required 
of me to make quarterly reports to the Governor ; and the 
following is a copy of my first quarterly report to the 
Governor after I entered upon the duties of my agency, 
and will serve to give the reader a more satisfactory idea 
of the duties of the office than anything which I have hereto- 
fore said on the subject : 

Marietta, April 13th, 1842. 
W. & A. R. R. Office. 
Hon. Charles J. McDonald, 

Governor of Georgia. 

Sir : — In discharge of the duty which devolves on me 
under the provisions of the act of the General Assembly 
of December last, and previous acts of the Legislature, to 
which I look for my guidance in the discharge of my present 
agency, I respectfully submit to you the following report, 


■eiiibraciiig the information required of me by law since I 
enttred upon the discharge of the duties of this ofifice in 
January last. 

On the 19th of January, I received from Messrs. Liddell 
& Irvin. two of the late Commissioners, a transfer of the 
books, papers and assets embraced in the schedule which 
I have heretofore transmitted to the Executive Department, 
in terms of the late act of the Legislature, together with 
such vouchers and papers as I could find in the ofifice, and 
which I deemed to be necessary accompaniments to the 
reports previously made by the Commissioners. Before 
entering upon a statement of the disbursements, the amount 
of work finished, and the condition and progress of the 
road since the commencement of my agency, I consider it 
necessary to a clear view of this branch of the public interest 
that a few brief remarks should be submitted in elucidation 
of the expenditures of the present year. These expenses 
are by law restricted to the necessary disbursements for the 
payment of existing contracts in December last, and the 
putting into complete operation fifty-two miles of the eastern 
portion of the Western and Atlantic Railroad. These con- 
tracts, however, are found to be dispersed on nearly the 
whole line of the road, about one hundred and fiftv miles 
in extent, and to embrace contracts for works of great 
magnitude and very heavy expenditure, consisting of 
masonry, bridges, grading, superstructure, &c. By reference 
to the estimates of the Chief Engineer, made in October 
last, it will be seen that to fulfil the then existing contracts, 
for masonry, bridges, grading, and superstructure, not includ- 
ing iron rails, chains, and spikes, it would require the sum 
of $408,764.11. 

From the same estimate, it will be seen that the further 
sum of $254,640 would be required for the purchase and 
laying iron rails, chains, and spikes, for the road south of 
the Etowah River, being about fifty miles ; and from the 
best estimate which I have the means of making at this 
time it will require the further sum of $80,000, for the 
masonry, locomotive engines, passenger and freight cars, 
water stations, store houses, machinery and work shops, to 
put in operation that part of the road designed to be com- 
pleted by the late act of the Legislature. A further item 
of $35,660, being the usual estimate of 5 per cent, for pay 
of engineers, superintendents and contingencies, being added 
to the foregoing items, presents the sum of $779,064 as 
the amount of expenditure required to carry into efifect the 


work authorized to be executed by the late act of the 
Legislature. But this large amount of expenditure may 
be greatly diminished : First, by rescinding many of the 
existing contracts which existed at the time of making the 
estimates herein referred to ; secondly, by using iron rails 
of less weight — nothing but necessity, however, justifies this 
change ; and, thirdly, by greatly diminishing the number of 
the engineer corps and other agencies connected with this 
service, as well as contingent expenses. This can only be 
done effectually after the entire amount of abandoned work 
shall be ascertained, and the cost of iron and other articles 
shall have been settled by actual purchase. Therefore, it is 
not practicable at this time to approximate with accuracy 
to the precise amount of diminution of the present year's 
expenditures. All that can be saved by rigid economy and 
strict adherence to the public interest will be constantly kept 
in view. 

The work, however, which is still in progress, being 
spread over a line of great extent, renders it necessary to 
continue in the public service a much larger number of 
engineers than would be required to superintend the same 
amount of work on a short, or limited, line. The expense, 
too, on the superstructure, will be greatly increased by the 
adoption of the plan of carrying the timbers through Doctor 
Earl's mineralizing process. This plan, however, had pro- 
gressed beyond my control before my connection with the 
road, or I should certainly have arrested it. It was not 
only determined on, but its execution provided for, in several 
of its most expensive parts. The timbers which I found 
already provided for the superstructure, having been sawed 
from the common sap pine of the up country, cannot last 
long, unless they are greatly improved by the process to 
which they are intended to pass through. 

Therefore, we are under the necessity of carrying out 
this plan, and I trust the success of the experiment may 
greatly exceed my most sanguine expectations ; for candor 
compels me to say I consider the whole theory and plan an 
entire htim bug. 

I am required by law to make quarterly returns to the 
Governor of the disbursements of the current quarter ; but, 
under all the circumstances, I consider it my duty, in this 
my first report, to go still further and embrace not only 
the current quarter, but to inchuU^ my entire financial trans- 
actions in connection with this office, which will exhibit, at 
one view, not only my official acts, but the present and 


prospective means of accomplishing the duties assigned me, 
as heretofore communicated to you. I received from the 
late Commissioners, Messrs. Liddell and Irvin : 

In State bonds $ 65,500 00 

Cash funds 5,ooo oo 

Central Bank notes 500 00 

Whole amount $ 71,000 00 

Received from the Governor subsequently 100,000 00 

Scrip issued and put in circulation by me 71,260 00 

Checks on the Central Bank 177659 2-^ 

Aggregate amount $259,919 23 

Whole amount of disbursements made by me, on 
all accounts, including the redemption of out- 
standing scrip is 155,428 80 

Which leaves a balance of assets now in the 

vault *$ioi,490 43 

But it is proper for me here to remark that the liabilities 
of this office at the time that I received it was for out- 
standing scrip $113,530, which exceeded the whole of the 
assets which came into my hands $42,530, and, of the above 
stated amount of outstanding scrip I have already redeemed, 
with State bonds. $16,000, which still leaves a balance of 
old scrip outstanding of $97,530, and of scrip which has 
been issued by me and put in circulation $56,010. These 
two amounts added, make the present amount of outstanding 
scrip $153,540, and exhibits the present liabilities of this 
ofifice, over and above its assets, to be $52,049.57. 

In explanation of this report, and the vouchers which 
will accompany it, allow me to remark that the plan of book- 
keeping which I have adopted will necessarily leave every 
thing plain, and easy to be understood by my successors — 
to wit : I charge to cash account all the assets of every 
description which come into my hands for disbursement, 
although the different kinds of funds are designated, whether 
they consist of cash. State bonds, scrip, or checks upon the 
Central Bank, they all stand charged against this office, in 
the order of dates that thev are received. And not one 

*By actual calculation, this should be 1104,490.43, but the figures are 
gfiven as they appear in the manuscript. 


cent is disbursed, or paid out, except upon a legal voucher, 
and duplicate receipts are taken, in every case, and the 
vouchers placed on regular files. Yet a considerable portion 
of the vouchers on which payments have been made cannot 
be taken from this office, with propriety, and sent to the 
Executive Department with my quarterly reports. I have 
reference to such as the estimates of the Engineer Depart- 
ment, which are my pay rolls, and cannot be dispensed with 
at this office until final settlements are made with each con- 
tractor, as I often find it necessary to refer to these docu- 
ments. However, they shall all be presented at the Executive 
Department in due time. Again, I have no voucher for the 

scrip redeemed by me, except the scrip itself. 

The whole of my disbursements, however, you will find 
accompanied by the proper receipts, and numbered from 
I to 216, and from i to 23, inclusive. For the aggregate 
of the work done on the Western and Atlantic Railroad 
during the first quarter of the present year, I beg leave 
to refer you to the report of the Chief Engineer. The 
contractors on that part of the road designated for comple- 
tion are respectable, efficient and responsible men. and I 
still indulge the confident belief that we can have the cars 
running on the fifty-two miles suggested before the close of 
the present year ; provided we can obtain the iron and other 
necessary appendages to enable us to progress with the 
work without further delay. But you will perceive that the 
present liabilities of this office exceed its assets $52,049.57, 
and I shall not feel myself authorized to increase the circu- 
lation of scrip until I am furnished with the means to redeem 
it. Indeed, I do not feel myself authorized to issue one 
dollar more in scrip than I have bonds in hand to redeem 
it with. Our State paper should not be further degraded by 
depreciation. And an effort will be made thus to degrade 
it, if a failure to redeem the scrip issued at this office, 
promptly, in bonds, should again occur. I can but consider 
it a great misfortune that the credit of such a State as 
Georgia should ever have been disparaged by an injudicious 
use of her credit. Credit, however good, will never supply 
the place of a sound currency for any length of time without 
depreciation. It is a hazardous condition for either indi- 
viduals or governments to place the value of their credit 
in the safe-keeping of shavers, brokers, and speculators. And 
it is with the deepest mortification and reluctance that I 
am compelled to witness the estimation in which the credit 
of our beloved State is held at this time by these speculating 


gentry. They are here every pay-day for the express purpose 
of depressing our State securities. 

This state of things must not be permitted to continue. 
It is artificial, and has grown out of financial indiscretion 
and derangement. Why should not the credit of Georgia 
be equal to that of any other government on earth which 
depends on human agency? Upon a financial adjustment 
of all the unsettled aflfairs of the State, our State debt if, 
indeed, we would have any, would be so small as to make 
its total extinguishment a matter of no inconvenience at all. 

When I reflect upon the great natural resources and 
advantages of our great State, of our soil, climate, mineral 
wealth and geographical position, together with our good 
and rapidly increasing population, I am ready to say : // 
is enoiigh! Time and wise management alone is all that 
is necessary to relieve our people from every present embar- 
rassment. It is but a few days of distress, and a glorious 
future awaits us. Let the peop'c have good laws, wise 
rulers, and they will prosper. The sober sense of the great 
body of the people wants nothing but equal laws and equal 
rights in such a land as ours. 

As you know, sir. it was with reluctance that I entered 
upon this railroad service, not that I was insensible to the 
honor you did me in the invitation to co-operate with you 
in sustaining our great State enterprise in connection with 
the State Road, but from the apprehension that, under all 
the existing circumstances, I should not be able to render 
much efificient service to the public. And candor compels 
me to say I still feel that I am struggling in a field where 
the glory of victory hangs upon an uncertain tenure. But 
without enumerating the causes which cast a thick cloud 
over our great State enterprise at present, allow me to say 
my present position has caused me to reflect much upon the 
whole subject of our road enterprise, and that success is 
completely within our grasp. If you and myself fail of 
victory, yet victory will come ! This enterprise will succeed ! 

The day, sir, is not far distant when a railroad, from 
the navigable waters of the Mississippi, through our line 
of State Road to the Atlantic Ocean, will be in complete 
and successful operation. 

I speak not in the spirit of prediction — my views are 
based on reason and the spirit of the age. And when I 
take into consideration the vast importance of a railroad 
communication between our Southern and Western States. 
in a commercial, political and social point of view, I feel 


assured that nothing can occur which will long impede the 
completion of our great State work, if we continue to be 
under the guidance of that wisdom which has already made 
us a distinguished people. If the law will authorize you to 
afiford us the means to complete the fifty-two miles of road, 
the superstructure of which is now in rapid progress of 
completion, my best exertions will be used to have it in 
successful operation before the close of the present year. 
And this being accomplished, will, ere long, bring up the 
Monroe and Georgia Railroads to our eastern terminus, 
which will give to the country railroad communication from 
our Southern Atlantic cities to the fertile valleys of North- 
western Georgia. And from thence the power of steam 
cannot be arrested until it reaches the Father of Waters, the 
great Mississippi. 

I have the hnor to be yr. obt. servt., 




Western and Atlantic R. R. Office, 
Marietta, Ga., Nov. 4th, 1842. 

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of 
Georgia, in General Assembly met. 

In the discharge of a duty which devolves on me, under 
the provisions of the laws of the State of Georgia, I respect- 
fully submit to the General Assembly a report of my official 
transactions in connection with the Western and Atlantic 
Railroad, commencing January last, and embracing all such 
informiation as the several acts of the Legislature, defining 
my duty, appear to require. 

Under the provisions of the act of the 4th of December 
last, on the i8th of January of the present year two of the 
late Commissioners, Messrs. Liddell and Irvin, transferred 
to me the books, papers and assets of their office, as set 
forth in a schedule taken at the time, a copy of which was 
transmitted to the Executive Department shortly thereafter. 


The assets received from the hands of the Commissioners 
amounted to the sum of $71,000, and consisted chiefly of 6 
per cent. State bonds ; and the demands against the office, 
for outstanding scrip put in circulation by the Commissioners 
previous to my connection with the office, and redeemable in 
State bonds, exclusive of other evidences of debt against 
the ofifice, amounted to $113,530. I have since received from 
the Executive Department, in 6 per cent. State bonds, 
$265,000, and have checked on the Central Bank for 
$47,632.20; and the amount of scrip issued and put in circu- 
lation by me, now outstanding, is $24,540. The interest on 
scrip, and other debts due the office which have been col- 
lected, is $9,842.29, from which it will be seen that the 
aggregate of assets chargeable to me during my agency 
amounts to the sum of $418,014.49 and that I have actually 
disbursed out of the aforesaid sum, upon legal requisitions 
and proper vouchers, the sum of $409,841.87, as will satis- 
factorily appear from the receipts and vouchers which have 
accompanied my several reports to the Executive Depart- 
ment ; and from which it may be seen how every dollar 
confided to my hands has been disbursed, and leaves a 
balance, now in the vault of my office, of $8,172.62, all of 
which will more fully appear by reference to a tabular state- 
ment, marked Document No. i, which is herewith submitted. 

According to the last report of the President of the 
Board of Commissioners of the Western and Atlantic Rail- 
road, made to the General Assembly, and dated on the 
4th day of November, 1841, the aggregate expenditures on 
the road, up to the loth of October preceding, amounted 
to the sum of $2,164,326.34, exclusive of $60,000, wiiich 
had been disbursed in the survey of the road, previously to 
the formation of the Board of Commissioners. From the 
loth of October last, up to the date of my entering upon 
the duties of disbursing agent, the Commissioners continued 
to discharge the duties of their office, and to make payments 
accordingly ; and from the best evidence which this office 
affords, which is the receipts taken for the amounts paid 
out, it appears that the payments made by them during 
this time, under every head, amount to $94,491.85, the 
receipts and vouchers for which payments I forwarded to 
the Executive Department in the month of February last. 
The whole of these several items of expenditure on the 
Western and Atlantic Railroad, under every head, up to 
the loth of October of the present year, exhibits the aggre- 
gate sum of $2,728,405.92. 


Tabular statement No. 2 will show the whole amount of 
work done, and materials procured, expenditures for con- 
struction, engineer service, "Earlizing" timber, concessions 
of the right of way, individual damage to private estates, and 
various contingent expenses. It may be proper to remark 
here that some disbursements have been made during the 
present year for the purchase of iron, and other articles for 
the road, under the direction of the Governor, arid through 
the agency of the Chief Engineer, which is not embraced 
in my financial transactions and tabular statements, but are 
nevertheless chargeable to the road. 

I would respectfully ask the attention of the Legislature 
to these interesting financial transactions, so far, at least, 
as I have been connected with the same, with entire confi- 
dence that I am fully prepared to evince to the perfect 
satisfaction of the Legislature the care, economy and cor- 
rectness with which I have discharged every duty confided 
to my charge. I am the more desirous that this subject 
should receive the early attention of the Legislature, as 
various considerations combine to induce me to relieve 
myself, at the earliest day practicable, from any further 
official connection with this service — a service in which I 
should not have embarked but from a sense of my obliga- 
tions to the people of Georgia. The work authorized to 
be executed on the road during the present year being limited 
by the act of December last to the existing contracts at 
that time, and to the completion and putting into operation 
fifty-two miles of the eastern portion of the road, the duties 
of the officers and agents of the State have been principally 
confined to the ejects designated by law. The larger portion 
of the contracts on the western portion of the road have 
been rescinded in conformity with the provisions of the act 
of December last, and the few who are still operating (not 
more than three or four) will, by law, be compelled to close 
their operations on the first day of December next. 

Nothing but the want of available funds to purchase iron, 
locomotive engines, cars, and other necessary appendages, 
has prevented the fifty-two miles of road, commencing at 
the eastern terminus, from being at this time in successful 
operation. Yet, there has been an extraordinary and incal- 
culable delay, extra expense and labor, to which the State 
has been subjected in carrying the timber for the entire 
superstructure of fifty-two miles of road, and of several 
bridges, through what is termed Dr. Earl's preserving process. 
The materials employed in this process are certain propor- 


donate mixtures of the sulphates of iron and copper, applied 
in solution, properly heated by the aid of boilers constructed 
for that express purpose, all of which materials, together 
with a part of the boiling apparatus, had been procured by 
my predecessors, previous to my connection with the service. 
Whatever theorists may say on the subject of thus preparing 
timbers for the superstructure of railroads, I have the most 
entire confidence that no man of practical, common sense 
will ever again make the experiment, after witnessing this 
splendid failure (such an experiment as our State has made 
in this case), involving as it does the unavoidable labor and 
expense which must attend such wild projects; and what 
is still more to be deprecated, it is most confidently believed 
that the most faithful and persevering efifort to carry out 
the plans and views of the inventor of this process, but 
little, if any, durability will be added to the timbers thus 
prepared. For some purposes, small timbers may possibly 
be improved in durability by this process, but not such tim- 
bers as are used for the superstructure of railroads. The 
solution cannot be made to penetrate and saturate large 

It is believed that the work authorized to have been 
done on the road during the present year has been accom- 
plished, as far as the interest of the State and other circum- 
stances would allow. Under the provisions of the act herein- 
before referred to, it necessarily required some time to enable 
the Governor to reorganize a suitable corps of engineers to 
discharge the duties of that department of the service. 

The gentleman selected as Chief Engineer, Charles F. M. 
Garnett, Esquire, did not enter upon the duties of his 
appointment until the month of February last ; but it is due 
to him for me to bear testimony to the zeal and ability 
with which he has devoted his time and services to the State 
throughout his official connection with the same. 

The state and progress of the work upon the road, in 
connection with the consideration that but little remains to 
be done to complete all existing contracts, leaves the Legis- 
lature free from those embarrassments which have heretofore 
existed — that is, of providing the ways and means to carry 
out large existing contracts for work contracted on the road, 
or of violating the faith of the State by rescinding contracts 
made with citizens by the authorized agents of the State. 

The entire work authorized to be done by the act of 
December last would, as hereinbefore stated, have been 
completed by the close of the present year, at furthest, bva 


for the want of available funds to carry on the work. Our 
resources have been, to check upon the Central Bank, to a 
limited amount, and the use of State bonds ; and our great 
reluctance to use the credit of the State, at its depreciated 
value, induced us in our contracts to complete and put in 
operation the road at the sacrifice of the interest and credit 
of the State, to stop short of much which might have been 
accomplished but for these embarrassments. 

It now de olves on the Legislature to determine what 
shall be done with this great public interest and enterprise 
of the State. The question of embarking in this enterprise 
is not now before us. That question has not only been 
decided, but the decision acted upon, so far as to expend 
upon this great work near three millions of dollars. By a 
reconsideration of the subject we cannot expunge what has 
already been done. The record must stand, as long as our 
statute books remain. At the present embarrassing moment 
perhaps but few of us would be disposed to embark in this 
great enterprise. We might perhaps prefer to see such 
improvements vmder the care and charge of private com- 
panies, and be content with the State patronizing such com- 
panies. We can all now see errors connected with the 
progress of this great work. The great and obvious one to 
all reflecting men has been the expenditure of all our 
resources upon the entire line of 140 miles of road — in grad- 
ing, masonry, bridging. &c., without putting a single mile 
of the road into operation. The haste and precipitation in 
locating and putting the entire line of road under contract 
was a policy which few will now attempt to vindicate. From 
the beginning, the work on this road has extended over a 
line of such length as to make it necessary to keep up a 
very large and expensive corps of engineers (never less than 
twenty at one time), as well as numerous officers and agents 
of various grades. 

But I am neither disposed to dwell upon nor conceal the 
errors which have been committed in connection with this 
subject, further than may be necessary to a brief, but clear, 
exposition of my own views. It is too late now to obliterate 
what has been done, and the interest of the State requires 
that we should not underrate the value of what has been 
accomplished, because time and experience have demon- 
strated errors in our past progress. 

The amount of money already expended by Georgia and 
her enterprising citizens, in the construction of railroads, 
will not fall short of $10,000,000, and the investment of so 


large an amount of capital in railroads, at a period when the 
financial affairs of the whole country have become deranged, 
so as to produce universal embarrassment and severe press- 
ure in money matters, could not fail to press heavily upon 
all those who have made such investments. Our progress 
thus far has been that of constructing and building roads. 
We have experienced much of the toil and expense of rail- 
road enterprise, wathout having entered but to a very limited 
extent on the more pleasing part of receiving remuneration, 
either in the way of dividends or the facilities of travel and 
commerce. And even admitting that these railroad invest- 
ments may never yield an adequate recompense to those who 
have made them, may we not take courage and consolation 
from the conviction that our State and common country 
cannot fail to derive incalculable benefits from our labor? 
When patriotism demands it, let us wallingly bear the heat 
and burthen of the day, that posterity may derive the benefit. 
The financial condition of the country, in connection with 
the w^orthless paper currency which has expelled the better 
currency (gold and silver) has caused the present available 
resources of our State and railroad companies to be pretty 
nearly exhausted, and many of the pioneers who have labored 
and toiled to accomplish these works will likely pass away 
before they are completed. But the present generation will 
not pass away before complete lines of railroad will be in 
successful operation from Charleston and Savannah, through 
the length and breadth of Georgia, to the great Mississippi. 
Nothing can possibly retard long this great consummation. 
The utter abandonment of our present great work by those 
who have heretofore sustained and prosecuted them would 
not retard their progress to any great extent. Destiny must 
be obeyed. 

Notwithstanding the extraordinary times through which 
we have passed, and the embarrassments thereby brought 
upon railroad companies, in common with the rest of the 
community, nevertheless the companies most intimately con- 
nected with our State enterprise have still persevered and 
progressed. In the course of twelve months, it is claimed 
that the Central and Monroe Railroads will be in complete 
operation, and the fifty-two miles of the eastern portion of. 
the Western and Atlantic Railroad being in operation, will. 
give to our people a continuous line of railroad of 350 miles,, 
commencing at our largest sea port town. Savannah, and. 
running diagonally through the State to the rich and beau- 
tiful valleys of Xoi-thwest?rn Georgia. The fifty-two miles 


of the State Road being in operation, will be able to sustain 
itself under proper management, as soon as it is intersected 
by a road from the Atlantic. The Central and Monroe Rail- 
roads are entitled to all the aid and encouragement which 
the State may be able to extend to them. The State now 
has a direct interest in their speedy completion. And the 
Georgia Railroad will certainly be completed at a day not 
far distant. The importance of that work, its present 
progress, and the enterprise and capital enlisted in its accom- 
plishment, insures its speedy success. Of the speedy and 
ultimate completion of these roads I do not entertain a doubt. 
It is true that the State, as well as private stockholders 
in such works, is at this time severely pressed, and a state 
of despondency overspreads the minds of many of our most 
valuable citizens. Nevertheless, the state of our common 
country will be permanently benefited and elevated in char- 
acter by the present sacrifices of our enterprising and 
patriotic citizens. The name of Gordon, in connection with 
the Central Railroad, will live in honor on the pages of 
Georgia's history, so long as the English language shall be 
read ; and the patriotic and successful exertions of Dearing 
and Griffin, in accomplishing so much in carrying forward 
the Georgia and Monroe Railroads, will survive any detrac- 
tion from their efficient services in connection with these 

Our railroads connecting our Southern Atlantic cities 
with the navigable waters of the great West may justly be 
considered amongst the most important railroad connections 
that have enlisted the enterprise of this progressive age. 

In a political, social and commercial point of view, our 
works are unsurpassed in importance ; and, in a pecuniary 
point of view, cannot fail to be highly advantageous. 

The railroads of Georgia being completed will effect more 
for the general defense of our common country, both from 
internal and external enemies, than fifty millions of dollars 
expended upon fortifications on our extensive sea coast. 

These roads will overcome space, and bring distant places 
nigh. The mail facilities alone will be an item of vast impor- 
tance to the country. Our seaboard and mountain popula- 
tion will no longer be strangers to each other; they will 
become one people. And our fellow citizens of the Far 
West will no longer be strangers and aliens from our com- 
monwealth. These roads being completed will give to the 
country new channels of commerce, and exchange of agri- 
cultural and other products and fabrications. They will 


greatly hasten the development of the great natural resources 
of our State, and add at least 100 per cent, to the value 
of the real estate of our interior population. 

New productions will be created, not heretofore thought 
of. New enterprises and greatly increased habits of industry 
will follow in the train of these improvements. The amount 
of travel and freight on these roads must be immense. How 
can it be otherwise? An examination and close deliberation 
of this subject will remove every premature doubt. Our 
impatience under the pressure of temporary burdens should 
not be allowed to mislead our sober judgments. I have made 
myself familiar with the brief history of railroads, and I 
believe that no road of any importance has yet been put into 
operation, and kept in proper repair and well managed, the 
business of which has not greatly increased. 

Moreover, most of the railroads which are in operation 
and free from debt throughout our whole country are now 
yielding satisfactory dividends to the stockholders. 

It cannot be concealed that the vitality of railroads 
depends upon their good management, and I confess that 
my only doubt of the triumphant success of the railroad 
enterprise in our section of country is a fear that they may 
not be well managed. 

It not only requires a master spirit, endowed with ability 
and fidelity of character, to conduct and manage these enter- 
prises, but it requires, in addition, untiring vigilance, watch- 
fulness, industry and perseverance. Nothing short of sleep- 
less vigilance and constant attention to small as well as 
great matters can insure success ; and from these considera- 
tions I have sometimes doubted the policy of Government 
engaging largely in works of this character. 

The management of banks and railroads generally suc- 
ceeds best when under those who have a direct interest in 
their success. It has been often remarked that the only pre- 
requisites for public trust were capacity and honesty ; but 
I am greatly mistaken if I have not very often seen men 
of undaunted capacity and honorable reputation in high trust, 
where public interest and their duty were most shamefully 
neglected. Indolence and love of ease often disqualify men 
for public trust, while they cannot be justly charged with 
ignorance or dishonesty. Under these considerations I 
hope to see the State, at the proper time, relieved from the 
management of both banks and railroads. But it will require 
time and the exercise of wise deliberation to effect these 


objects in a manner which shall best promote the interest 
of the State and people. 

The State, as well as individuals in general, has made 
investments of her capital in times past which scarcely any 
one would advise under our existing embarrassments, with 
our present lights and experience. But the State is bound 
by the most sacred obligations to sustain all her contracts, 
institutions, and works of internal improvement to their final 
completion. Whatever she has brought into existence must 
be sustained until a judicious disposition can be made of 
her investments. The Western and Atlantic Railroad should 
never be abandoned. It is a noble and invaluable work to 
the State and to the country, and must be very profitable to 
its owners at a day not far distant. When the proper time 
shall arrive, let the State, if it should be thought advisable, 
dispose of the road ; in the meantime, let us take care of 
what has already been done. It is a most valuable public 
property. The interest, honor, and prosperity of the State 
require that our expenditures should be brought and kept 
entirely within the available means and resources of the 
State ; and this state of things can only be attained by a 
well organized financial system. Financial matters cannot 
be well conducted without the most rigid system and accurate 
calculation. No individual, or government, should ever 
contract debts, without first devising the ways and means 
to meet their payment with promptitude and punctuality. In 
money matters it will not do to depend upon kind fortune 
alone, without doing our own duty. 

The two great measures of policy out of which has arisen 
the present crisis in the financial affairs of our State may 
be traced to our State banking system, and our large and 
rapid expenditures on our great State Road, as may now 
be seen, developed in the present condition of the Central 
Bank, and the Western and Atlantic Railroad ; and these 
operations have all been conducted under the direction of 
the Legislature. In regard to the policy which has been 
pursued in regard to these, it is useless now to criminate 
or recriminate. That which is now necessary to be done 
is to sustain the honor and secure the interest of the State, 
and this will require the united exertions of the intelligence 
and patriotism of the State. By legislation, the Central Bank 
has been deprived of its capital and resources, so far as 
to wholly incapacitate it to discharge the duties for which 
it was originally established. The capital of the Bank has 
been exhausted upon the Western and Atlantic Railroad, 


while a large amount of its bills are outstanding and depre- 
ciated as a currency. And I consider these bills now a 
part of the public debt, and that they ought to be redeemed 
as speedily as circumstances will allow. As no further appro- 
priations made by the Legislature can be paid by the Central 
Bank without still further depressing its credit, would not 
an entire divorce between the State Treasury and the Bank 
be a wise and expedient measure ? Why should further drafts 
be made on the Bank, when it is known that its means 
are insufficient to meet its present liabilities? 

Appropriations cannot be made with propriety unless the 
means are provided at the Treasury to meet the appropria- 
tions. If the assets of the Central Bank cannot be made 
available to meet its liabilities and sustain its credit, it is 
then obviously the duty of the State to sustain the credit 
of the Bank, by such legislation as the wisdom of the Legis- 
lature may devise for that purpose. This being done, and 
the punctual payment of the interest of our public debt 
being provided for in manner which shall be perfectly satis- 
factory to the creditors of the State, and Georgia will again 
be herself. 

When I contemplate the vast resources of our great 
State, her cHmate, soil, variegated productions, mineral 
wealth and rapidly increasing population, our present State 
debt and financial embarrassments produce no despondency 
on my mind. Wise and judicious legislation, stimulating the 
industry and enterprise of the people in all the various arts 
of life— combining the operative energies of Nature with 
science, capital and physical power, is all that is necessary 
to make our State happy, prosperous and honored by all 
the world. We should practice the strictest economy in the 
expenditure of public money, and thereby render oppressive 
taxation unnecessary. But we should not shrink from any 
burthen of taxation which may be necessary to maintain 
the honor and credit of the State in meeting its obligations 
already incurred. 

The service in which I have been engaged has given rise 
to the reflections and opinions which I have taken the liberty 
of submitting to the Legislature on the several subjects 
adverted to in this report. And if an apology be necessary 
for having expressed myself so freely on these several 
subjects of vital interest to the State, it must be found in 
the abiding conviction resting on my mind that a soimd 
curreny and high credit are as necessary to the prosperity 
of a State as good blood is to the physical system of man. 


My views are most respectfully submitted to the Legislature, 
not as one having authority, but as a citizen in common with 
the great body of the people. 

I have the honor, gentlemen, to be, yr. most obt. servt., 


Agent, &c, 

Athens, Nov. 25th, 1853. 

The present generation, especially its junior members, 
who have never bestowed the necessary time and research 
to make themselves acquainted with the early political history 
of Georgia, labor under many misapprehensions in regard 
to numerous subjects of much interest and importance to 
the present enlightened generation. 

Such persons are often much surprised at the ignorance 
and stupidity of their ancestors, without stopping to ascer- 
tain and reflect on the true state and condition of those who 
have preceded them, or even to know what was really 
attempted and accompHshed by them. They remain strangers 
to the history of their immediate progenitors. 

Such persons will doubtless be still more surprised when 
I express to them the opinion that the people of no state 
or country can be found who have from their first settlement 
of a wild wilderness, more than a century past, up to the 
present date, uniformly and at all times exhibited a larger 
share of enlightened zeal or steady perseverance in every 
branch of civilization and human improvements than that 
of the people of Georgia ; and more especially as regards 
education, and what is now familiarly termed internal 

Therefore, after closing what I had intended to say for 
the present on the subject of our great State Road (the 
Western and Atlantic), I deem it to be not inappropriate to 
give the reader a very brief and much abridged sketch of 
some of the early efforts of Georgia to improve her facilities 
of commerce and navigation, by means of that which would 
at this day be termed internal improvements, and thus 
attempt to sustain the opinion which I have expressed in 
regard to the industry, enterprise and intelligence of those 
who have preceded us. 

I will go back as far as the recognition of our independ- 
ence as a sovereign state ; but, in advance, I must admon'sh 
the reader constantly to bear in mind the true condition of 


our people ; the paucity and sparseness of our population ; 
the general poverty of our people, and the dark day of the 
world, when compared with the present, in regard to the 
application of many of the arts and sciences to the useful 
purposes of man. We Vv^ere truly in a state of infancy. 
Nevertheless, we were children of promise. 

It would be both tedious and uninteresting to the reader 
for me to recite and trace all the various provisions of the 
acts of the Legislature of Georgia, from the earliest times, 
to sustain my assertions. However, the reader who will 
take the trouble and labor to examine the legislation of 
Georgia in detail, from the year 1783 down to the present 
date, 1853, will find that scarcely a session of the Legislature 
has intervened between the two periods named without some 
legislation designed and intended to improve what was once 
supposed to be our navigable water courses, or to construct 
canals, to build bridges, to improve or make wagon, turn- 
pike, plank, or railroads. 

Georgia has never been idle. She has been incessantly 
striving, the whole time, for most of a century, to improve 
and extend her commercial facilities by such means as I 
have suggested. It is not necessary to tell me that the 
means whereby she attempted to effect her desired objects 
were wholly inadequate, or that her plans of improvement 
were based on ignorance. 

It is admitted that she neither had the knowledge nor 
the means to carry into effect such works as adorn the 
country at the present day ; but that same spirit of high 
aspiration and perseverance has neither slumbered nor slept 
in the people of Georgia, since the capture of Cornwallis, at 
Little York. 

A very large proportion of all the wealth and intelligence 
which we now behold in active operation in Georgia — check- 
ering our State with railroads ; rearing up magnificent build- 
ings for colleges and high schools in almost every county ; 
erecting comfortable churches in every city, town and neigh- 
borhood, as temples for the worship of the living God — all 
this has been extracted from the fertile and productive fields 
of Georgia, and we are now enjoying the luxuries and bless- 
ings which have flowed to us in copious showers from the 
toil and sweat of our care-worn ancestors. Let us not 
despise the day of small things. 

And dare any of the present generation look back with 
a sneer of contempt upon the Legislatures of 1798 and 1799, 
for incorporating a company for cutting a canal from the 



Altamaha through Alhgator Swamp, to a creek of the same 
name, to the City of Brunswick, in Glynn County ? 

It is true that the means set apart by the Legislature 
to carry into elTect this grand project was very limited, 
indeed. They authorized the Commissioners of Glynn 
County and the Town of Brunswick to apply to that object 
£279. 3s. of the proceeds of the sales of confiscated property, 
whenever that amount could be realized from the aforesaid 
sales, and further authorized them to sell certain vacant 
pine lands lying in the County of Glynn (then thought to be 
worthless) to aid in their canal project. 

Again, in 1799, a company was incorporated by the Legis- 
lature, with a capital of $40,000, for the improvement of the 
navigation of the Savannah River, from the Town of Augusta 
to Petersburg, at the mouth of Broad River. 

And about the same time a lottery was authorized, and 
Commissioners appointed to superintend it, to raise $1,000 
to open the navigation of Broad River, from Petersburg to 
the forks of the river.* 

About the same time provision was made (upon a small 
scale, to be sure) to improve the navigation of the Savannah, 
Altamaha and Ogeechee Rivers, together with almost the 
whole of the multiplied tributaries of these several rivers 
which were large enough for good mill creeks, including the 
three forks of the Oconee, in the neighborhood of my present 
residence. And from that time to the present day scarcely 
a session of the Legislature has passed at which appropria- 
tions of money, upon a larger or smaller scale, have not 
been made to improve, in some way or other, such of our 
rivers as were thought to be navigable, or to make and 
improve roads, build bridges, or do something else in the 
way of internal improvement. At first, appropriations for 
these objects were exceedingly small, necessarily so on 
account of the leanness of our Treasury ; and as the State 
advanced in wealth, and increased in population, these appro- 
priations were greatly enlarged ; and any person who will 
now take the trouble to examine the records of the State, 
and ascertain with precision the aggregate amount which the 
State expended, from first to last, on our water courses, 
common roads, canals, bridges, &c., previous to commencing 

*This is probably the act assented to Feb. 21, 1796, authorizing the 
raising of $4,000, by lottery, for the purpose of "Opening and clearing 
the River Savannah, and extending the navigation thereof from the Town 
of Augusta to the mouth of Lightwood Log Creek and Br. ad River, 
from its mouth to the south fork." 


our railroad system, will rise from the task better instructed 
on that subject than almost any citizen in the State. 

It was my intention to have made the examination myself, 
but want of all the necessary material at hand caused me to 
decline it. 

But, from the data which I have before me, I will venture 
the opinion that Georgia expended millions of dollars, with 
a view to commercial facilities and transportation, previous 
to her entering upon her great enterprise of the Western 
and Atlantic Railroad. And, to sustain this opinion, I will 
here remark that notwithstanding the insignificant appropria- 
tions for such objects which I have hereinbefore referred to, 
in the year 181 7 the Legislature, in one act for the improve- 
ment of the navigation of numerous rivers, appropriated the 
respectable sum of $250,000. 

Although we can now all see the almost utter loss and 
inutility of most of the expenditures, we were learning 
wisdom in that good old school of experience. We were 
following slowly, but surely, in the footsteps of those who 
had preceded us, in other States and countries. We tried 
improving the navigation of small serpentine rivers, until we 
were convinced that such rivers were only fit to feed canals ; 
and, before we had made much progress in digging canals, 
some of us had heard, read and thought of wooden railroads, 
the cars propelled by horse power ; and before we got a 
wooden railroad under way, to be propelled by horse power, 
at the rate of four or six miles per hour, the fire horse and 
the iron rail were announced to be in operation, on a limited 
scale. And this was our condition a little more than a quarter 
of a century ago. 

But from the time, in 1798, that we were plodding over 
the subject of making a canal from the Altamaha, through 
Alligator Sv/amp, to the City of Brunswick, and making 
Broad River navigable up to its forks, and making our 
Oconee branches navigable even above Athens, and including 
the Appalachee, all this time Georgia has constantly had her 
thinking, investigating, intelligent, sensible men — men gain- 
ing knowledge from experience and standing already suffi- 
ciently enlightened, and ready to take hold of and improve 
upon all the improvements of the day. The men who 
were educated in the schools of danger, diiificulty and 
adversity are not yet quite all gone. 

In conclusion of this article, may I not be allowed to say 
that in the relative elevation of Georgia in the midst of 
her sister States, in relations to her internal improvements 


at the present time, I do not assume exclusive merit over 
others for this high attainment of my beloved State. No ; 
let the masses of the people of Georgia share the honors, 
as well as the benefits, of her achievement. Their industry, 
virtue and intelligence alone could have placed Georgia 
where she now stands. 

I trust I may, however, without a charge of indelicacy, 
be permitted once more to advert to my official connection 
with the internal improvements of Georgia for many years 
past, which may serve unerringly hereafter to point to the 
true history of these transactions. I will not go further back 
than the year 1825, when I was elected a member of the 
Board of Public Works by the Legislature of Georgia, and, 
being selected by my colleagues of that Board and Governor 
Troup, for the purpose, spent the year 1826, in company 
with Mr. Fulton, the State Engineer, in taking a general 
reconnoissance of the State, with a view to a systematic plan 
of internal improvements. While in this service I devoted 
my whole time and all the capacity I possessed to acquiring 
information connected with the business in which I was then 
engaged. And suffice it to say, in this place, that I then 
came to the conclusion that railroads would prove to be 
the best possible investment for Georgia, and that they would 
at some day chiefly supersede the navigation of all small 
rivers and the most of the canal projects of that day. More- 
over, I then thought whenever Georgia should find herself 
prepared to embark in any great work of internal improve- 
ment she should commence at Savannah, from thence to 
Milledgeville, and from thence to some point on the Ten- 
nessee River, near where Chattanooga is now located. These 
opinions were not only entertained but freely expressed, 
officially and unofficially, upon proper occasions. It is 
proper to state, however, that, at that time, there was but 
a few miles of road in the world with iron bars on the 
superstructure. Nor was there a locomotive engine in exist- 
ence — as far as was known to the Chief Engineer, Mr. 
Fulton, and myself. And we both thought iron quite too 
expensive to be laid on long lines of railroad. But we 
both concurred in the opinion that even wooden railroads, 
and the freight propelled by horse power, was preferable 
in Georgia to all other modes of internal improvement upon 
a large scale. 

In the year 1831, when I entered on the duties of the 
Executive Office, we had advanced much in our knowledge 
of building railroads. We had now found that it was both 


expedient and practicable to lay iron rails on roads, and 
that in the end it would be economy to do so, in preference 
to relying on a wooden road. The idea of horse power, 
also, had vanished before the iron horse, or locomotive, &c. 
During the four years that I was in that office I exercised 
my best influence to enlighten, encourage, and prepare the 
way for my project of a great State railroad, as may be 
seen by my several messages to the Legislature, and in 
my official correspondence connected with the subject of 

My great aversion, however, to individual or State indebt- 
edness was such that I did not urge immediate action on the 
subject, until we should first prepare the way by a well 
organized and defined system of finance, which would ensure 
the ways and means to prosecute to success so great a 
work. My next official connection with the internal improve- 
ments of the State is that which is partially presented in the 
preceding part of this chapter. 

By references which I have already made, it will be seen 
that two entire years of the prime of my life, with a very 
moderate compensation, was devoted almost exclusively to 
the subject of the internal improvements of Georgia, when 
in the most important official positions in connection with 
the subject. 

Besides, during the four years that I was Governor of 
Georgia, a due share of my time was devoted to the same 
subject; and I did all that could be done at that time to 
keep the subject alive, and prepare the public mind, until 
the removal of the Cherokee Indians, which event I had 
long believed should be the signal for the commencement of 
our great State Road. 

While in the Executive Office of Georgia, I had some 
experience in the direction of the improvement of our great 
market roads, by slave labor, the property of the State ; and 
my convictions then were, that it might have been made a 
highly beneficial policy to the people for that system of 
improvement to have been perfected, and kept up. But the 
Legislature thought differently, and the system was abol- 

I leave this record in connection with this subject to those 
who will survive me. 

Some time in the latter part of the summer, or early 


part of the fall, of 1831 (I have not the precise date before 
me), when I was first a candidate for Governor of Georgia, 
in opposition to Mr. Gilmer, the Hon. Wm. H. Crawford 
published in various newspapers an address to the people 
of the United States, purporting to be a vindication of his 
own conduct in relation to various political matters. But, 
from the large share of attention paid to myself in that 
publication, it was obvious to every one who read it that 
the principal design of that address was to injure me in 
my then approaching election for Governor. And this 
induced me to reply to that part of the address which assailed 
me with injurious intent. 

I preserved the papers in which these publications 
appeared, but cannot at this time find them. But I have my 
original draft of what I did publish, in my own handwriting, 
and am quite confident that it varies but little, if at all, from 
what I did publish. And after due reflection, and reading 
Gov. Gilmer's lately published volume on matters and things 
in general, I have felt it to be my duty to place my reply 
to Mr. Crawford on these pages, for the purpose of affording 
to posterity the means of vindicating my character from false 
charges, even when emanating from such men as Mr. Craw- 
ford and Mr. Gilmer. Like most of the prominent political 
men of the day, I have been falsely accused of very many 
political sins of which I was entirely innocent. The verdict 
of the people, throughout my life, has vindicated me from 
such falsehoods. And I hope posterity will not be misled 
by newspaper or book perversions of truth. 

For the Georgia Journal, 183 1. 

Messrs. Editors : — In the Georgia Journal of the 25th 
inst. I have read an address. To the Citizens of the United 
States, signed Wm. H. Crawford, in which I perceive that 
the venerable gentleman has used my name in rather an 
unfriendly and uncourteous manner— more so than I pre- 
sume he would have done at a more calm and lucid moment. 
Was this publication located and confined in its circulation 
to the people of Georgia, where Mr. Crawford and myself 
are and have been best known throughout our lives, I should 
deem it entirely unnecessary on my part to pay the slightest 
attention to his denunciations. But the notoriety and stand- 
ing which Mr. Crawford once held throughout the whole 
country may cause this publication to mislead some portion 
of the reading public. 


I deny, in the most positive terms, the whole of Mr. 
Crawford's unfounded charges which he has arrayed against 
me. And he knows them to be false. 

He knows that I have been an undeviating Democratic 
Republican throughout my whole life. He knows that I am 
no turn-coat. He knows my firmness and independence, from 
the most mortified experience. He knows that, in my youth, 
I was attached to him, and supported him for various offices. 
He knows that I abandoned him greatly against my popular 
interest, and contrary to the wishes of many of my personal 
friends and nearest relations. 

I discarded Mr. Crawford, as a public man, because, from 
a long and intimate acquaintance with him, I became fully 
satisfied that he was wholly unworthy of that share of public 
confidence to which he aspired. And this is the somerset, 
this is the turning with which Mr. Crawford and a few 
of his subservient presses and friends attempt to reproach 
me, because, in my youth I had supported him as a candidate 
for the State Legislature, and other ofiices. And afterwards, 
when he aspired to the Presidency of the United States, I 
preferred and supported Andrew Jackson, I am denounced 
as a political apostate, and charged with a want of Republi- 
canism. Time was in Georgia, when Mr. Crawford had 
the art and means to make the people believe that Republi- 
canism consisted in supporting him in all his ambitious 
schemes of self-aggrandizement. But his magic arts have 
long since been unveiled. His caucus schemes of political 
juggling are at an end. The people of Georgia are now 
free ; the passports to honor and distinction are now -merit 
and intrinsic worth of character. I disregard Mr. Crawford's 
attempts at oppression. Denunciations from that quarter 
are nov/ without efifect. The people of Georgia will not, at 
present, believe me to be a Federalist, because I supoorted 
Andrew Jackson in preference to Wm. H. Crawford for the 
Presidency. Mr. Crawford's letter to Mr. Balch, a copy of 
which passed through my hands to Mr. Calhoun, was not 
known to have been in existence by me until I received it 
from Gen. Newnan. After reading it, I entertained no doubt 
that Mr. Crawford was engaged at his old tricks of mischief- 
making between the President and \^ice President — the two 
highest officers of the Government, for both of whom I 
entertain the highest regard ar.d friendship. If I was mis- 
taken in regard to the relations which had existed between 
the President and Vice President and Mr. Crawford, so 
was the whole countrv. Everv one knew that Mr. Calhoun's 


friends generally had contributed to the elevation of Gen. 
Jackson to the Presidency ; and that amongst the most 
distinguished friends of Mr. Crawford the General had found 
his most bitter and violent opposers upon the subject of 
the Seminole War, and every other question where his fame 
was involved. Moreover, I wrote with the more freedom 
to Mr. Calhoun, because I knew that Gen. Jackson had, 
years before that, expressed his firm convictions to me of 
the unworthy course of Mr. Crawford and his friends upon 
this subject of the Seminole War. If I was under some 
misapprehension on this subject, so was Gen. Jackson him- 
self, and the whole country besides. Mr. Crawford is entirely 
mistaken in regard to my humble pretensions. I make no 
pretensions in regard to the gift of prophecy or extraordi- 
nary sagacity ; I am amongst the number of those citizens 
of Georgia whom he brands with the mark of ignorance for 
having sustained Gen. Jackson against the most slanderous 
persecutions of Mr. Crawford and his co-workers in Georgia. 
I never was so humiliated in my own eyes as to set up 
the political creed of Wm. H. Crawford, Geo. M. Troup, 
or John Clark, as my standard of political orthodoxy. I 
have always had a much higher standard, and that has been 
the Constitutions of my country — first, State and then 
Federal. In interpreting these instruments, I avail mvself 
of the lights of those who have preceded me, and arrive at 
my conclusions accordingly. 

As Judge Crawford has, throughout his life, manifested 
a peculiar fondness for newspaper controversy, and as his 
friends have always boasted of his great poAvers in that line, 
and as my utter aversion to controversy is well known to 
all my acquaintances, I trust that his honor will hereafter 
select some other person for the revengeful portion of his 
essays, and leave me to use my best and entire efforts to 
fill up the measure of my duty to the public, in -whatever 
position may be assigned me. 

I will close by addressing a few interrogations to Mr. 
Crawford, which he may answer whenever it may suit his 
convenience : 

Interrogatory i. Did you not draft, and sanction, the 
Augusta resolutions, in 1789, expressing the most unbounded 
confidence in the firmness, fiistice and wisdom in the admin- 
istration of John Adams, Sr. ? If yea, what was your age at 
that time? 

Interrogatory 2. Was not one of your first acts, when 
you went into the Senate of the United States, in 1807, 



to vote against the embargo, recommended by Mr. Jefferson, 
to save our commerce and mercantile capital from the deso- 
lating sweep of the French decrees and British orders in 
council ? And was not that measure then considered the 
touchstone of Republicanism? And was not your vote then 
recorded with a Federal minority, with Timothy Pickering, 
of Massachusetts, at your head? 

Interrogatory 3. When Mr. Jefferson and the Republi- 
cans determined to abandon the embargo, and prepare for 
more decisive measures, were you not then opposed to the 
repeal of the embargo? And do you not now think it was 
expedient in its incipient stage when you voted against it, 
and unwise in its continuance, when you voted for it? 

Interrogatory 4. Did you not, about the time you went 
into the Senate of the United States, set your eye upon the 
Presidential chair, by a courtship with the Federal party ? 

Interrogatory 5. Did you not treat Mr. Madison's war 
message sneeringly, and admonish the Senate against 
preparation for war, pretending then that the embargo ought 
to have been continued and adhered to? And did you not 
afterwards, when the war became inevitable, pronounce it 
worse than ridiculous to think of supporting our commerce 
by a navy ? 

Interrogatory 6. When the question of the War of 181 2 
finally came direct before Congress (though you finally voted 
for the measure) was not your support cold, equivocal and 
inefficient, during the long and dubious contest in the Senate 
of the United States, and did you ever raise your voice in 
its support ? 

Interrogatory 7. Did you not, soon after the war was 
declared, take refuge from responsibility and danger in a 
foreign court, and there remain in undistinguished and 
unprofitable security, until the storm of war had subsided ? 

Interrogatory 8. Although you shrunk from the respon- 
sibility of sustaining the war, were you not found, soon after 
the return of peace, ambitiously aspiring, by the most cen- 
surable means, to that high office which a grateful people 
had almost unanimously designated as the reward of the 
great and efficient services and recent self-devotion of Mr. 

If Mr. Crawford will answer the foregoing interrogations, 

directly and truly, I think the old gentleman, with all his 

fluency when he figtires again before the American people, 

will not venture to accuse me of political ''Apostasy'' from 

the Republican party, for having abandoned and discarded 


him, as being wholly unworthy of the Presidential chair. 


Note. — Mr. Crawford, in his address referred to in the 
foregoing article, not only accused me of political apostasy 
because I supported Gen. Jackson for the Presidency in 
preference to himself, but he said this change of mine, as 
he termed it, took place after I was forty years old, and 
that any man who changed his politics after that age was 
not influenced by principle, but some selfish design. And 
this explains my reason for inquiring into his age, in my 
first interrogat ry. I will here add that, in drawing up my 
accusative interrogatories, I felt confident that Mr. Crawford 
would never attempt to answer them, as he well knew that 
I was able to establish his guilt, as intimated in my questions, 
before the whole country. From the time of this publication 
of mine, to the death of Judge Crawford, he never again 
to my knowledge attempted to disparage my character. 

January ist, 1855. W. I- 

Athens, January ist, 1855. 

After glancing hastily over this unique production, I feel 
assured that its inimitable sketches of past events will aflford 
a rich treat to the hearty laicghers of Georgia. Its contents, 
of course, can never be brought fully under regular review 
by any thifiking competent writer. Indeed, it is difficult to 
treat of a tiling which is without form and void. Neverthe- 
less, there are ebullitions gumboed up in this highly sea- 
soned dish of political party prejudice which require modifi- 
cation and correction. 

The author's direct personal hits at his former political 
opponents were to have been expected by all those who are 
at all acquainted with his peculiar temperament and excita- 
bility. He can neither speak nor write of those with whom 
he differs, without manifesting a superlative degree of preju- 
dice. Yet I sincerely hope that Gov. Gilmer may so far 
survive his prejudices as to forgive those whom he thinks 
have trespassed against his superior claims to political 
distinction. And that he also may be forgiven for his many 
trespasses against others. 


On page 566 he says : "When Mr. Lumpkin, my success- 
ful opponent in 1831, came into the Executive Ol^ce on 
the morning when he was to be inaugurated, when I was 
still in possession officially, I forgot the mortifying circum- 
stances of my own situation, upon witnessing his own con- 
fusion. Previous to his becoming a candidate he assured 
me that he approved of my recommendations to the Legis- 
lature that the gold mines should be preserved for the use 
of the State, and the Indians protected against injustice; 
telling me that he should not avail himself of the unpopularity 
which had followed what I had done to become Governor, 
though he had been greatly urged to do so. But the tempta- 
tion to office increased with the increasing probabilities of 
success, until the assurance which he had given to me 
unnecessarily was necessarily forgotten." 

In noticing the foregoing quotation from Gov. Gilmer's 
book, it is proper, first, to state that the deep mortification 
of Gov. Gilmer at being ejected from the Executive Office 
was the constant subject of remark in every circle; so much 
so that he had a large share in the sympathy of many good 
men who had contributed to his defeat. Indeed, they pitied 
him in his agony of confusion and distress. I confess he 
had a large share in my own sympathy, for I had no unkind 
feelings towards Gov. Gilmer. 

Moreover, I always gave him full credit for honest inten- 
sions to administer the government of the State to the best 
of his ability. As to my approval of his recommendations 
to the Legislature, and my assuring him that I would not 
become his opponent for Governor, &c., I solemnly declare 
that I have not the slightest recollection of ever having^ 
spoken to him, or of having written a single line to him 
upon the subjects to which he adverts. 

I know that I never did believe that it would be either 
a wise or practicable policy for the State to reserve and 
work the gold mines for the use of the State, as recom- 
mended by Gov. Gilmer. And as regards justice and protec- 
tion to the Indians, I claim to have been their best and 
most constant friend for forty years past. 

From the ist of December, 1830, to the first of August, 
183 1 — eight months — I Was constantly receiving letters from 
my part of the State, urging me to become a candidate for 
Governor at the next October election in opposition to Gov. 
Gilmer. In all my replies to these letters I declined yielding 
to the proposed honor in the most appropriate manner of 
which I was capable. I was really averse to exchanging 


my position at that time, as a nieniber of Congress, for that 
of Governor of Georgia. I had just been elected to a new 
Congress by a large and general vote of the whole State ; 
and I thought that the experience which I had there gained 
in Congress was such as to enable me to render my State 
more efficient service in Congress than I had ever before 
been able to do. 

Moreover, although I already saw the inefficiency of 
Gov. Gilmer's policy and measures in bringing our long- 
standing Indian difficulties to a happy close, yet I was 
apprised of the fact that my old friend. Gen. Jackson, and 
Gov. Gilmer were acting in perfect concert in regard to 
our Indian matters at that time. They both still retained 
the old idea that nothing could be done effectually in 
furtherance of the removal of the Cherokees from Georgia 
previous to making an old-fashioned Indian treaty, in which 
the Cherokees should relinquish their claims to the country 
then occupied by them. They both entertained great con- 
fidence that extending the State laws over the Indians would 
induce them to leave the State, by laying hold of the emigrat- 
ing policy of the United States, &c., &c. And hence my 
reluctance in becoming a candidate for Governor was greatly 
increased ; for, whatever efficiency there might be in the 
policy of Gen. Jackson and Gov. Gilmer, I knew that my 
position as a member of Congress, in relation to Indian 
affairs, would enable me to render useful service in co-operat- 
ing with them ; but I must confess that my hopes of removing 
the Cherokees by the policy and means then in operation 
was so small that my mind was fully made up that, if I 
was Governor of Georgia, I would pursue altogether a 
different policy and different measures from that which was 
then in a course of inefficient progress — a policy which 1 
believed to be more just and honorable to all the parties in 
interest, and which could not fail in the end to benefit the 
Indians, as it would be certain to expedite and hasten their 
removal to the West. Under all these circumstances, in 
resisting the appeal to become a candidate for Governor, 
for at least eight months, although greatly pressed, I neces- 
sarily said all that my conscience would allow me to say 
to reconciling my friends to the continuance of Gov. Gilmer 
in office for another term. And we now have in this book 
a specimen of his gratitude for my kindness towards him. 
And after all this, why did I yield my assent to become a 
candidate? Answer: Because nothing else would satisfy 
my beloved friends and constituents who had stood by me 


through evil and good report, for upwards of thirty years. 
They finally commanded, and I obeyed. At the college 
commencement, at Athens, in August, 1831, I gave my assent 
for my name to be used as a candidate, and I was elected 
on the first Monday in October following. 

And no person can at this time form a correct opinion 
in regard to the difference in the views of Gov. Gilmer and 
myself, upon the then state of our Indian affairs, without 
first reading his last annual message to the Legislature, in 
November, 1831, and then reading my views upon the same 
subjects, communicated to the same Legislature, in the same 
journal, a few weeks thereafter, at the special request of the 
Legislature. By reading these two documents carefully it 
will be plainly seen that our Indian affairs had arrived at a 
crisis which demanded a change of both men and measures. 
It was necessary to the enforcement of our laws, as well 
as the peace of the State. And yet, it will be seen that Mr. 
Gilmer thought of no change of policy. Experience had 
proved that our laws could not be maintained over a half- 
civilized, half-savage people, of some 10,000 souls, scattered 
over five millions of acres of land, and not disposed to 
obey or enforce our laws. A country, too, containing great 
mineral wealth in the precious metals. Therefore, it became 
necessary to introduce into this country a settled freehold 
white population, both capable and disposed from motives 
of interest to aid in a faithful administration of tlie lavv^s of 
the State. No other remedy was left but to place our 
citizens on the unoccupied lands of the country, or to 
establish a military despotism which should be deprecated 
by all who love liberty and equal rights. The Judiciary of 
the country, from our inferior courts up to the Supreme 
Court of the United States, had declared our laws uncon- 
stitutional, and had fully taken sides with the Indians. And 
these courts were aided by most of the lawyers of Georgia, 
as well as by distinguished lawyers from various other 
States. Therefore, at the close of Gov. Gilmer's administra- 
tion the Indians were not only more averse to removal and 
leaving the State, or making a treaty, but felt assured that 
their cause was every day gaining strength throughout the 

The Indians had become accustomed to Mr. Gibner's 
hightened, spicy ''paper bullets. " They disregarded his 
splutter. They viewed him as a man of words, but not of 
deeds. And I must confess that this state of things in 
connection with our Indian affairs had so greatly changed 


for the worse from the time that I was first urged to 
become a candidate for Governor to the time when I assented 
to it, that my own feeHngs had undergone a considerable 
change. In December, 1830, I indulged a favorable hope 
that Mr. Gilmer, by the aid of Gen. Jackson, might carry 
the State through its then existing dif^culties with the 
Cherokee Indians. But the progress of things from that 
time to the following August produced serious apprehensions 
for the ship of state with a helmsman so feeble in the time 
of a violent storm. Confused and embarrassed as Mr. Gilmer 
represents me to have been when at the threshold of my 
executive duties, without one faltering step, I took the com- 
mand, in the midst of the whole ofBcial crew of State — my 
decided political opponents — and my first olBcial step was 
to give my views plainly and fully in regard to what was 
necessary to be done to sustain the ship of state in its then 
hazardous condition in relation to our Indian affairs. And 
many of Mr. Gilmer's friends and supporters who were mem- 
bers of that Legislature came to the aid of my friends who 
were in a minority in that Legislature. And my views were 
sustained in the most important points by that Legislature, 
although so very different from the views of my predecessor. 

In accordance with my views, the Cherokee lands were 
shortly thereafter surveyed, and in less than one year com- 
menced being populated and settled by good freehold white 
citizens. And at the meeting of the next Legislature the 
country was laid out into ten new counties which were organ- 
ized in the second year of my administration, and the civil 
and criminal laws of the State in regular operation in these 
ten new counties. I was then elected to another guberna- 
torial term of two years, and before the end of that time 
the most respectable portion of the Cherokee Indians had 
been brought to see and acknowledge that the best interest 
of their people required their emigration to the West, without 
loss of time, and were anxious to enter into a treaty for 
that purpose — which treaty was concluded and entered into 
a few weeks after the close of my last term, December, 1835. 
All this was efifected, too, in the face of a most violent 
opposition, composed chiefly of Mr. Gilmer's political parti- 
sans and associates. It was an opposition of the most violent 
bitterness. All this was effected, too, without violence, or 
bloodshed. During my four years administration of the 
Government the whole Cherokee country was run out into 
small lots, properly surveyed and marked, and thousands of 
our white citizens went into the countrv, and settled as the 


near neighbors of the Cherokee people, the Indians all 
having their improvements reserved to them, with the neces- 
sary wood land to sustain their improvements. 

Notwithstanding all this was accomplished, I venture the 
opinion, and facts will sustain me, that there was not more 
murder, robbery and theft committed in the Cherokee part 
of Georgia during these four years than in the same extent 
of territory in some other parts of the State. 

This last Treaty with the Cherokee Indians was nego- 
tiated by a very large portion of the intelligence of that 
people, but was still opposed by John Ross and his kinjolks 
who had become the wealthy aristocracy of the Cherokee 
people — not like Gov. Gilmer's Broad River ki7ifolks, by 
honest industry, labor and economy — but by sv/indling the 
poor Cherokees out of their Government annuities, and 
applying them to family aggrandizement. Ross and his 
party governed a large portion of the ignorant and savage 
part of the Cherokee people who were incapable of judging 
of these matters for themselves. 

This Treaty of December, 1835, provided, amongst other 

things, for the appointment of two Commissioners by the 

President of the United States, by and with the advice and 

consent of the Senate of the United States, to superintend 

and carry into effect the various important provisions of this 

Treaty, preparatory to their removal to the West. The 

whole of the Indian improvements were to be valued and 

paid for — every cabin, every acre of cleared land, every fence 

rail, every fruit tree of every kind, was to undergo this 

inspection and valuation. Moreover, all persons having 

claims against any one or more of the Cherokee people, 

whether large, or plain, or complicated, submitted their 

claims to these Commissioners for adjudication and final 

settlement. Amongst other claims, lawyers from Georgia 

and several other adjoining States presented claims against 

the Cherokee nation and people, for legal services, amounting 

to near two hundred thousand dollars. Millions of dollars 

depended upon the court adjustment and settlement of all 

these complicated matters. Besides all this, the Indians had 

many cases of litigation amongst themselves touching their 

improvements, and other matters. 

Moreover, these Commissioners were invested by their 
instructions from President Jackson with full power over all 
the operations, civil and military, connected with the execu- 
tion of the Treaty and the removal of the Indians. And 
what rendered the discharge of their duty very unpleasant 


indeed in regard to the military operations was that Gen. 
Wool would not co-operate in the discharge of his duty 
with the views of the Commissioners — to which cause I 
attribute the whole difficulty of the removal of the Indians. 
Gen. Wool was in reality a Ross man at heart. 

Gov. Carroll, of Tennessee, and myself were the first 
Commissioners appointed to the discharge of these impor- 
tant duties ; but Gov. Carroll, from bad health and other 
causes, never entered upon the duties of his appointment, 
and Judge John Kennedy, of Tennessee, was appointed to 
fill Gov. Carroll's vacancy, who, after his appointment, acted 
as my colleague during the time I was engaged in that 
service, which was from July, 1836, to November, 1837. And 
although Gov. Gilmer speaks of my official service as con- 
nected with this business as a very small affair, and intimates 
that I was called to its discharge by President Jackson for 
the purpose of promoting the election of Mr. Van Buren 
to the Presidency, I can assure Gov. Gilmer that nothing 
but his ignorance of the duties performed and his malignant 
party prejudices could have induced him thus to speak, and 
write, and publish in his model bcok. I would stake my 
reputation as to being a man of sound mind and judgment, 
that, if a board of the best qualified judges would thoroughly 
investigate the whole subject, and examine all the record 
proof appertaining thereto, they would unhesitatingly come 
to the conclusion that it required a higher order of talents 
to discharge all the duties that I did perform while in this 
office than any other office which I have ever occupied, 
although I have served for years as a member of both 
branches of Congress, as well as in the Executive Office of 
Georgia at its most eventful period. And, as to the ability 
and fidelity with which I discharged these duties, I invite 
the most scrutinizing investigation. Ample records of my 
actings and doings were deposited in the War Department, 
and if preserved, as they should be, will redound to my 
credit as long as they exist. Gov. Gilmer has not the slight- 
est idea of the hazards, labor, and exposure which I passed 
through during this service, or, impudent and impetuous 
as he is, he would never speak lightly of such services 
which were witnessed from day to day by thousands of 
the people of Georgia, as well as of other States, for the 
term of nearly eighteen months — much less would he give 
his misapprehensions a place in his book of old wives' fables. 
His great hazard in crossing the Savannah River in a flat 
boat, and his memorable tour through the country, from 


Columbus, Georgia, to Montgomery, Alabama, and home 
again, while there was still remaining a renmant of Indians 
in the country over which he traveled, although a country 
settled by a white population, would certainly be left out 
of his next edition of fables. Gov. Gilmer ought to know 
that he lias nothing to gain by attempting to get up a new 
rivalry between himself and myself. During my service as 
United States Com.missioner for executing the Cherokee 
Treaty (the accurate and official details of which I have 
given elsewhere) the whole of the Indian improvements 
were valued, returned, examined and recorded in well-bound 
books. All the claims for and against the Indians v/ere 
investigated, determined and recorded, amounting to thou- 
sands of cases. Most of the payments were made, and 
proper receipts and vouchers taken, and filed, and recorded, 
of all tlie Indians who had emigrated and who were prepar- 
ing for speedy emigration, embracing a large majority of 
those who were pleased with the Treaty, as well as many 
of the Ross faction. 

In performing the various duties herein adverted to, I 
constantly kept in view the great importance of convincing 
and reconciling the Indians that their best interest would 
be promoted by a speedy removal — indeed, that their only 
hope of peace and prosperity was to be found in emigration ; 
and, in all cases, assured them that they would not be 
permitted to remain in the country a single day beyond the 
time stipulated in the Treaty. Many cases arose in the 
transaction of this business which made it necessary for me, 
from time to time, to visit almost every neighborhood of 
Indians in the whole country. And in discharging this duty 
I often performed long zigzag journeys from place to place, 
on horseback, solitary and alone, without firearms, or guard 
of any kind, and that at the very time, too, when the greatest 
excitement existed in the country — often meeting bands of 
Indians alone, in the wilderness and caves of the mountains, 
and sometimes lodging at the houses (from necessity) of 
those known to be most hostile to the Treaty and emigration. 

I only mention these facts to show that I am not disposed 
to magnify the dangers through which I have passed in cross- 
ing rivers in Indian flats and canoes, traversing mountain 
trails through a country in which there still remained a large 
number of poor, dissatisfied, angry and yet desponding 
Indians. Moreover, I knew my situation to be more perilous 
on account of the daily sympathy which John Ross and his 
friends were receiving from my political opponents, as well 


as from many individuals attached to the United States 
Army then stationed in the country, with Gen. John E. Wool 
at their head. But none of these things moved me from 
a fearless discharge of my whole duty. I knev»' that murder 
was reeking in the hearts of John Ross and his leading 
friends towards me and the Ridges, and Boudinot, and the 
rest of the leaders of the treaty-making party. 

But I operated on the fears of Ross and his party by 
having them assured, in a proper manner, that if the blood 
of any friend of the Treaty v/as shed an awful retribution 
awaited him and all his adherents. He believed me, and 
remembered that some years before that time he was very 
near being brought in chains to Milledgeville to atone for 
his many transgressions. 

And this is the great secret why myself, the Ridges and 
Boudinot remained unharmed during these exciting times. 
While the Ridges and Boudinot remained in Georgia they 
were safe. And they would have remained unharmed to 
this day if the Federal Government had done its duty in 
protecting them after their removal to the West, as I often 
urged upon the Federal authorities. 

Although I have stated the facts elsewhere in my writings, 
I will here repeat, as a part of the refutation of Gov. Gilmer's 
insidious attempt to revive an old refuted falsehood, to wit: 
that while I was a Senator in Congress I had countenanced 
an attempt of Mr. Van Buren to reconcile John Ross and 
his party to emigration by an indirect bribery, and a faint 
show of allowing further time to the Indians for emigration 
than that stipulated in the Treaty. Complete refutation to 
all such dark insinuations may be found in the whole of 
my official correspondence with Gen. Jackson, Mr. Van 
Buren, Gen. Cass, Mr. Poinsett, and anybody else with 
whom I corresponded as Commissioner for executing the 
Treaty, and all of which is on record. From first to last, 
in my every word and act in regard to executing the Treaty, 
I acted the part of immutability itself m. unyielding opposition 
to the slightest compromise with John Ross, as regards the 
slightest modification of the Treaty. I always urged upon 
the Federal authorities the use of imperative language to 
Ross, to wit : that the Treaty must and shall be faithfully 
executed. I always thought, and have often written as well 
as said, that during the progress of executing this Treaty, 
instead of requiring all the disposable force of the United 
States Army to remove these Indians, as recommended by 
Gov. Gilmer himself, I would select a few hundred Georgians 


who would accomplish the removal of the Cherokees, in the 
best possible manner, v.ithout the slightest aid or assistance 
from the Federal Government (see note at the close of this 
article). The letter of Messrs. Owens, Cleveland and Towns, 
to which Mr. Gilmer gives a place in his book, I have no 
doubt was written Vvdth an intent to do me an injury. 
Although they do not mention my name, I am doubtless the 
person they allude to as being in the daily councils of Mr. 
Van Buren and his Cabinet ; for these gentlemen were all 
deeply mortified at the respect and attention that I was 
daily receiving from that quarter, while they were not con- 
sidered worth consulting upon important matters of state. 
And it is well known that these same men had been honored 
with seats in Congress on my popularity, rather than their 
own ; and why they and others of my own political party 
should have conspired together to do me injury is quite 
unaccountable, unless it be charged to the depravity of the 
human heart, which cannot bear to see others more confided 
in and respected than themselves. Many such letters were 
written about the same time, from Washington to Georgia, 
by those who owed all their political consequence to the 
public labors of my life. I afterwards ascertained to my 
satisfaction that this political conspiracy was formed for the 
express purpose of inducing me to retire from public life. I 
know of no cause for this movement, up to the present day, 
except that a few aspiring men of my own party came to 
the conclusion that forty years was quite long enough for 
any one man to be more prominent than all others of his 
his party for high offices. Perhaps they were right for 
thinking it time for me to withdraw from public life and 
leave the way open to others. At any rate, this hint was 
amply sufficient for me. I at once resolved to serve no party 
which embraced a faction combined to do me injustice and 
disparage my public efforts to promote the public interest. 
I have not since allowed myself to be a Mordecai in the 
gateway of promotion to any aspirant of my old party 
friends. And I have supported some of these same men 
since for high offices, and have never allowed myself to 
retaliate on any of them in any way whatever. I contented 
myself by exposing all who were concerned in this matter, 
in a speech made in the Senate of the United States about 
the time of these occurrences. The speech was made in 
reply to Senator Preston, of South Carolina, and was 
published in the Washington Globe, and widely circulated at 
the time, as well as republished in many other papers. And 


I have recorded it again in its regular order in giving a 
documentary history of my official acts in connection with 
Indian affairs. No one can read this speech understandingly 
and take into consideration the time and place when and 
where it was delivered, without being astonished at the folly 
and perfidy of the originators, aiders and abettors of this 
scheme to falsify and injure an individual so little deserving 
such vile assaults. 

Gov. Gilmer happening again to be the occupant of the 
Executive Office of Georgia when the day for the final 
departure of the last Cherokees was at hand, set himself to 
work, in his usual way, to get up a great ado about nothing. 
He determined to raise one of his teapot stonns, and assume 
to himself great credit in the removal of the Cherokees from 
Georgia. I have for several years past been apprised that 
Gov. Gilmer was making a great effort to pervert the truths 
of history in regard to this Cherokee subject. The publica- 
tion of the Rev. Geo. White's "Statistics" gave me the first 
reliable evidence of Mr. Gilmer's movements. And when 
Mr. White was getting up his second book he applied to 
me, in a Hattering and friendly manner, and requested me 
to write him an article for his books on Georgia's difficulties 
with the Cherokee Indians. I promptly declined doing so, 
but informed Mr. White that I would furnish him with ample 
printed documentary evidence of my official connection with 
that subject, in various important offices, and accordingly 
furnished him with the documents suggested. And when I 
explained to him these documents, and pointed out the order 
in which they should be taken up and read, and showed him 
that each consecutive document would corroborate and 
explain the preceding one, I plainly discovered his great 
embarrassment. I saw that he was too far committed to 
his patrons and friends to have any use for plain docu- 
mentary historical facts. Since that I have put the gentleman 
in possession of some of m.y views on this subject, and have 
in my own writings assigned to him his true position as an 
author.* Those who may unfortunately form their opinions 
in regard to th.e history of Georgia in connection with her 
Cherokee difficulties from the mere reading of what can be 
gathered from the books of White and Gilmer will neces- 

* See chapter XVIII of this work for Gov. Lumpkin's explanation of 
this matter. This further reference to it seems to indicate that Gov. 
Lumpkin reluctantly consented to the publication of the chapter on the 
"Difficulties with the Cherokees" in INIr. White's "Historical Collections 
of Georgia." 


sarily be led to the most erroneous conclusions for oil that 
is given in these books is intended to present Mr. Gilmer 
to posterity as the man who had done much, if not most, to 
relieve the State from the incumbrance of her Indian popula- 
tion. Mr. Gilmer was a member of Congress for years, at 
the proper time to have taken an active part in the great 
plan of Indian emigration — a plan for removing all the 
remnant tribes from the States east of the Mississippi to the 
west of that river to a suitable location. And if he ever said 
or did anything to effect this great object, except to give his 
vote, it is unknown to me. Well, after the long and arduous 
battle in Congress resulted in the consummation and triumph 
of this policy, and a good country was provided for the Indians, 
west of the Mississippi, and $500,000 appropriated to defray 
the expense of the removal of the Indians, Gov. Gilmer was 
elected, and went into the Executive Ofifice of Georgia, in 
November, 1829, and was supported in all his official policy 
and measures in regard to Indian affairs, to the end of his 
official term. And what was the result? Why, long before 
the expiration of his term a majority of the people of the 
State, notwithstanding his political party were largely in the 
ascendancy in the State, decided that Mr. Gilmer was not 
the man for such a crisis — that he would not do for the lead. 
The laws of the State had been extended over the Cherokee 
country, and a military guard had been provided and organ- 
ized for the purpose of maintaining good order and peace 
in the Indian country, and to aid the civil authority in execut- 
ing the laws, by apprehending and bringing to justice all 
offenders against the laws of the State. A law had been 
passed to prevent intrusions on the gold mines. And a law 
had also been passed requiring all white men residing in 
the Cherokee country to take and subscribe an oath to sup- 
port the laws and constitution of the State, and in cases of re- 
fusal to do so, they were required to leave the country, and in 
case of failure to do so, they were then liable to prosecution, 
and, on conviction, were to be sentenced to confinement in the 
Penitentiary. And a number of missionaries in the Indian 
country obstinately made themselves obnoxious to the penal- 
ties of this last recited act, and were accordingly sent to 
the Penitentiary. And this is the great missionary case which 
produced the great fanatical excitement at the North. As 
will be seen by Mr. Gilmer's correspondence, as given in 
his book, I believe he was constantly trying to do the best 
he could with these various and complicated matters. But 
it is obvious from his ovvU showing in these letters, as well 



as his last annual message to the Legislature, that confusion 
7nor£ cofifused was daily increasing in the Cherokee country, 
and that the laws were not, and could not be, executed under 
all the then existing curcumstances. The courts were still 
controverting the ccnstitutionality of the laws of the State 
in governing the Cherokee country, at every step of the 
Executive which was taken to execute the laws. And not- 
withstanding the great military campaign of Gen. J. W. A. 
Sanford, under the direction of Gov. Gilmer, and his bom- 
bastic report of his battle with the gold diggers at Leathers- 
ford, on the Chestatee River, gold digging was still carried 
on to a very large extent. Indeed, the mines were so scat- 
tered and dispersed over the country that they could not be 
protected from intrusion by any reasonable amount of force. 
This state of things — indeed, the whole condition of our 
Indian affairs, at the close of Gov. Gilmer's administration — 
was such as to force every thinking, rational man who was 
well informed on the subject to despair of ever terminating 
our Indian perplexities by such agents and such means as 
then had the control of these vital affairs. And thus it was 
that I was made Governor of Georgia, to supersede Gov. 
Gilmer. And the policy which I at once recommended to 
the Legislature in regard to these vital matters of interest 
to the State may be seen in my communication to the Legis- 
lature, about the ist of December, 1831 (which, I think, will 
be read by every person in Georgia, at least) ; for tliese 
measures then recommended were steadily adhered to, and 
purusued, in the midst of the greatest difficulties and opposi- 
tion, at home and broad, until the consummation and final 
settlement of all our embarrassments and perplexities with 
the Cherokee Indians, and in their entire removal from the 
State of Georgia, in terms of the Treaty of December, 1835. 
But, in pressing the inquiry as to what Gov. Gilmer has 
done for the people of Georgia in regard to Indian affairs, 
it is proper to state that, after a lapse of six years, we 
find him again the occupant of the Executive Office of 
Georgia from which he had been expelled by the voice of 
the people, in October, 1831. He entered upon this executive 
term about six months previous to the removal of the last 
Cherokee Indians from Georgia, and immediately resumed 
his old practice of endeavoring to get up a viuch ado about 
nothi7ig — of raising a teapot tempest ; and after having laid 
the foundation, by his letters, of inducing Mr. Van Buren 
to make the attempt to conciliate John Ross by coaxing and 
money, he all at once became greatly excited and alarmed. 


for fear that Mr. Van Buren would make a new treaty with 
Ross, and that the Indians would not be removed in terms 
of the Treaty of 1835. ^^^ 3-11 his official correspondence on 
the subject, which was very extensive, goes to prove that 
he was endeavoring to impress the public mind with the 
belief that he had again fallen on most perilous times, and 
that the great issue in Cherokee affairs was just at hand. 
How fallacious and insincere was all this blast of buQ^les 
and trumpets! tor every sensible and well-informed man in 
the whole country knew just as well then as now that every 
thing had been done and fully carried into effect to settle 
forever our Indian perplexities, except the final departure 
from the State of a portion of the Ross party of the Chero- 
kees who manifested an obstinacy upon the subject of 
removal, for the purpose of aiding Ross in getting more 
money from the Federal Government. The way having been 
prepared by others, and Mr. Gilmer happening to get in 
command, as Governor of Georgia, when the great battle in 
relation to Cherokee afifairs was commenced in Georgia, he 
seems to assume much credit to himself for having brought 
on that battle. But the sagacity of the people very soon 
discovered that he was unequal to the task which had been 
devolved upon him, and, therefore, superseded him in the 
command by another who had been prominently instrumental 
in bringing about the then present state of things, and one' 
in whom they had more confidence than they had in Mr. 
Gilmer. And he was for six years thereafter a quiet spectator 
of a controversy never before equaled in the annals of 
Georgia. He had seen him who now stood in the breach 
to effect the important change then in progress exposing 
himself to every hazard of person and character, in the midst 
of the Cherokee people, carrying into effect faithfully the 
provisions of the Cherokee Treaty of December, 1835, which 
had been brought about chiefly through his own instru- 
mentality. Moreover, Mr. Gilmer had seen this same indi- 
vidual, after having secured the execution of the Treaty, 
transferred by the voice of the people to a seat in the Senate 
of the United States, to become the advisor, in many cases, 
of the Chief Magistrate of this great Republic. Furthermore, 
Mr. Gilmer is well apprised that when I took my seat in 
Congress, in the year 1827, that, without delay, I urged upon 
that body (being the first attempt of the sort from any one) 
the propriety of a general plan for the emigration of all 
the remnant tribes of Indians from the States to the west of 
the Mississippi River, and that I followed up that first move 



with the most untiring zeal and constancy, until a suitable 
country was provided for the settlement and location of the 
Indians; and that, in 1830, five hundred thousand dollars was 
appropriated by Congress to defray the expenses of emigrat- 
ing Indians. During the years 1827, 1828, 1829, and 1830, 
Gov. Gilmer is fully apprised of my extraordinary labors in 
Congress, as well as the success which attended them. He 
knows, too, that when I set this ball in motion all my Georgia 
colleagues then in Congress (himself included) considered 
my effort hopeless, and I have understood that more than 
one of my colleagues pronounced my effort nothing more 
than a popularity-seeking affair. But time and events have 
rectified all these slanders. In 1830, I was again elected 
to a new Congress, but before I entered upon that service I 
was forced by pubHc opinion to the Executive chair of 
Georgia. I remained there for two terms — four years — the 
actings and doings of which years are spread upon the 
executive records of Georgia. I was there one year and 
a half engaged as Commissioner in carrying into effect the 
Cherokee Treaty of December, 1835. I was then four years 
a Senator in Congress, making, in all, thirteen and a half 
successive years, without any intermission, in the pursuit 
(as a prime object) of happily settling and winding up, and 
consummating all that could be desired by Georgia in rela- 
tion to her Indian affairs. 

And in this constant battle of thirteen years and a half 
public opinion kept me constantly in the lead, in regard to 
these Indian affairs. I was transferred from one high posi- 
tion to another, wherever the greatest difficulty and danger 
were to be met. And all this was passed through with a 
constantly increasing popularity, and the enlarged confidence 
of the people. And all that I have written upon these pages 
is amply and fully sustained by the records of the country. 
And now let me cite whoever may be the reader of this 
article to a few of the principal documentary evidences which 
will sustain all my statements. And, first, read my speech 
in the House of Representatives of the United States of 
February 20th, 1828, very imperfectly reported in the 
National Intelligencer. Secondly, read my speech, in the 
same body, delivered in May, 1830, but very incorrectly 
reported in the same paper — a paper which never failed to 
do me injustice in its reports. In this last case, however, 
by way of correction, I wrote out my speech, and it was 
published in pamphlet form, and was very extensively circu- 
lated in every part of the United States by numerous members 


of Congress, as well as myself. I have retained only one 
copy of this speech ; but have had it recorded, in manuscript, 
amongst my writings for posterity. 

These speeches, and others, in connection with the 
journals of Congress, will fully sustain this article in regard 
to these four years in Congress. The next four years, while 
I was Governor of Georgia, will every word be sustained by 
the records of the Executive and Legislative Departments 
of the Government of that period. What I have said in 
regard to my acting as United States Commissioner for exe- 
cuting the Cherokee Treaty will be fully sustained by the 
records filed in the War Department at Washington. The 
most important parts of these records may now be seen 
on my private records, as taken from the originals. My 
course in the Senate of the United States may be pretty 
fully understood by reference to the Congressional Globe 
during my service in that body. But in a very special manner 
I request whoever may be the reader of this article to read 
and consider my speech, made in the Senate of the United 
States June 7th, 1838, in reply to Senator Preston, of South 
Carolina, on the then state of Cherokee affairs, which may be 
found correctly reported in the Congressional Globe. 

In conclusion, it is due to Mr. Gilmer for me to say that 
I have never impugned his of^cial motives when in public 
trust. But I have long considered him very deficient in the 
necessary qualifications to make an efificient, useful, public 
man. His undying prejudices and prepossessions have never 
allowed him to examine and judge calmly and impartially of 
men or measures. 

His kinfolks (Broad River) and his special partisan friends 
seem to constitute his whole world of good. And when he 
looks upon his political opponents his green-eyed prejudic" 
is such that very honestly, as he thinks, no good thing ca-^ 
come out of such a Nazareth of degradation. The foible'^ 
of those whom he dislikes are, by his telescope, magnified 
into mountains of iniquity. Let any impartial, sensible 
person read his book, and I think he will be forced to the 
conclusion that my opinions of Mr. Gilmer are fully sus- 
tained ; or why has he so unnecessarily and spitefully tram- 
pled upon the ashes of the dead ? For no other purpose than 
that of harrowing up the most painful feelings of the living-. 
Would it not have been more becoming the character which 
Mr. Gilmer aspires to to have let the dead have buried their 
dead, and for him to have passed on, proclaiming the fame 
of his own friends to succeeding generations? 


But Mr. Gilmer has always boasted of his frankness and 
open cafidor, and professed the greatest abhorrence of every 
thing like trickery and deception. But this book of his — in 
connection with the two volumes of his friend and co-opera- 
tor, the Rev. Geo. White, whom he has aided and assisted 
iti paving the way before him for his own literarv advent — 
to my mind stamps upon his character the indelible stain 
of a deliberate and well-considered attempt insidiously to 
place himself on the pages of history of Georgia in a false 
light, by making himself the subject of admiration and dis- 
tinguished usefulness in connection with matters where the 
seal of public disapprobation and condemnation had long 
since consigned to him an abiding place. A^nd what is not 
less censurable in Mr. Gilmer is his attempt to detract from 
the merit and usefulness of his successful rival. He would 
gladly take from that rival the toil-earned merit and fame 
of a long life devoted to the service of his country. Should 
Georgia's history of the nineteenth century ever be written 
by a compete7it author, I here warn that author to search 
the records of the country for his facts. Let him place no 
reliance on party newspapers, essays, reviews, and p:-riodicals, 
and to be still more especially guarded against looking for 
facts in books of falles, such as those of White, Gilmer, 
&c. These works are admirably adapted to the purpose of 
preventing the truths of history. 


of Georsfia. 

Note. — Let me here note, lest it be forgotten, that 
Mr. Gilmer, in his book, page 525, says: "A citizen who 
had held the highest office in Georgia, and was then very 
popular, and always very conciliatory, had been sent into 
the Cherokee country by Mr. Van Buren (where political 
opinions and party connections were less fixed at the time 
than elsewhere) previous to the election, with some little 
commission, which kept him there while the canvass was 
going on." Now, it is evident that I am the individual 
alluded to in the sentence quoted; and it is equally clear 
that when Mr. Gilmer penned this sentence he knev/ it to 
be wholly false and unfounded. My office of Commissioner, 
to which he alludes, was bestowed on me by Gen. Jackso""!. 
and ratified and confirmed by the Senate of the United 
States nine or ten months before Mr. Van Buren's election to 
the Presidency. And I received my commission and instruc- 


tions, through the Postoffice, without the slightest previous 
intimation or expectation of receiving the appointment. It 
was accompanied by a private letter from Gen. Jackson, 
urging me to the acceptance of the unsought and unex- 
pected appointment. And although Mr. Gilmer speaks of 
the ofifice as a small afifair, designed for electioneering pur- 
poses, an investigation of the subject will satisfy any sensible 
man that the magnitude of that office, and the discharge Oi 
its duties, would have crushed and extinguished a dozen such 
men as Geo. R. Gilmer. That office required a grade of 
qualifications to meet the various emergencies that would 
have completely overwhelmed such men as Geo. R. Gilmer. 


Athens, January 8th, 1855. 

Note. — This Volume, as well as the preceding one, is 
composed almost exclusively of my own writings and 
speeches, extending through many years of my life ; and have, 
in the course of a few years past, been compiled and brought 
into their present form by myself, at such intervals as could 
be spared from other duties. And, from the want of a 
copyist, it will be seen that much the larger portion of these 
volumes are in my own handwriting. I am fully apprised 
that, in a literary point of view, my writings are defective — 
my want of scholarship must necessarily make it so. But it 
is proper for me to state, for the information of those in 
whose hands these volumes may happen to fall, that many 
of the verbal and transcribing errors which will be seen, 
and which I am capable of correcting, have been postponed 
for the want of time and opportunity, and which I will still 
make, if time is allowed. I have read but a small portion 
of these writings, since brought into their present form, and 
what has been read was not with a view to making correc- 
tions. It has been a toilsome labor for a man of my age 
to write so much. I have some days written as much as 
twenty pages a day on this book, seldom taking time to 
mend my pen. No doubt in copying I have often omitted 
words, misspelt, and sometimes omitted whole sentences. 
But the intelligent reader of these pages will make the 
proper allowance for these defects, and not subject the work 
to illiberal and unjust criticism.. The attempts which have 
been made, and are still making, to prevent many historical 
facts with which the labors of my life are closely identified, 
has induced me to extend my labors in the way of writing 


far beyond what I had in the commencement anticipated. 

The same cause has induced me to change my first inten- 
tions in regard to the character of my writings. Instead of 
writing on general and various subjects, for the use of the 
future historian, and pointing out, where documentary facts 
might be found, self-defense, the first law of nature, has 
forced me to labor chiefly to place the labors of mv own 
life in their proper and true position before posterity. 


of Georgia. 

Note. — To repel false impressions, and to relieve my 
character from the appearance of contradictory statements, 
it is proper for me to state that, although it was my settled 
and still unchanged opinion that it required no large military 
force to remove the Cherokee Indians in terms of the Treaty 
of 1835, and that they could have been removed, peaceably 
and quietly, by the aid of only a few hundred and well- 
selected Georgians, under proper command, nevertheless, 
circumstances and the bad management of the afifairs con- 
nected with the execution of the Treaty, finally produced 
a state of things which made it necessary and proper to have 
a considerable military force — all of which is fully explained 
by the following statement of facts : After the Treaty was 
entered into, in December, 1835, it was the policy of the 
Federal Government to station a large number of its troops 
under the command of Col. Dunlap, of Tennessee, on the 
border of Georgia, in the Tennessee portion of the Cherokee 
country, for the purpose of maintaining the peace and quiet 
of the country. And this naturally led the timid portion of 
the white settlers in Georgia to magnify the danger of their 
exposed situation. 

Moreover, very soon after Col. Dunlap and his command 
entered upon this duty they became very obnoxious to the 
people of Georgia, on account of their zealous advocacy of 
Ross and his party, as well as their open abuse of Georgia 
and Georgians, for their conduct towards the Cherokees. 
Under these circumstances, when I entered on the discharge 
of my duties as Commissioner to execute the Cherokee 
Treaty, much of my official correspondence might be pro- 
duced to prove than I had, from time to time, favored the 
idea of employing a large military force. I urged upon the 
Federal authorities the propriety of the people of Georgia 
being guarded and protected by Georgians, instead of Ten- 


nesseeans. I urged a change of Dunlap for some other 
officer of the United States Army, and my views received 
on pape? the full sanction of the Federal authorities, and 
Gen. Wool very soon superseded Col. Dunlap in the com- 
mand, and some Georgians were introduced into the service. 
But the whole of these military affairs were badly managed. 
It is true that, by the instructions of President Jackson to 
the Commissioners for executing the Treaty, the military 
were placed under the control of the Commissioners, yet it 
is equally true that Gen. Wool would not carry out the views 
of the Commissioners, but often thwarted them in their plans 
of operation. Thus, the exposed people of the Cherokee 
country, as well as the Indians, became greatly excited and 
alarmed — especially after Gov. Gilmer got into the Executive 
Office and commenced his old trade of getting up a great 
excitement over small matters. 


Abbott, Col., i, 222. 

Abolitionists, i, 164; ii. 183. 

Academy fund, i, 113, 317, 318. 

Adair, Geo. W., i, 258; ii, 27. 

Adair, Walter S., i, 38, 238. 

Adair family, i, 38. 

Adams, John, i, 14, 29; ii, 192, 

Adams. John Quincy, i, 36, 
41, 64, 7i. 

A-do-hee (Indian), ii, 2>7- 

Alabama and Georgia boun- 
dary line, i, 39, 248. 

Alabama Indians, troubles 
with, i, 167, 288-299, 302, 
308-312, 319-325, Z^T, 330, 
331, ZZ-^; ZZ2>, 339-343- 

Alabama, railroad through, i, 

Alday, Wm., i, 229. 

Allen, John W., ii, 180. 

Arbuckle, Gen. Matthew, ii, 

Armstrong, Capt., ii, 107. 

Ashley, Wm., Jr., i, 195. 

Athens, Ga., ii, 7. 

Athens, Ga., railroad to, i, 

Atlantic and Mississippi Rail- 
road Co., i, 230. 

Balch, ii, 297. 

Baldwin. Abraham, i, 315. 

Baldwin, Henry, i, 93. 

Bank of Augusta, ii, 66, 89, 
100, 124. 125, 128. 

Bank of Macon, i, 117, 131. 

Bank of the State of Georgia, 
ii, 58. 

Bank of Tennessee, ii, dd, 106, 
139, 140. 

Bank of the United States, i, 
21, 22, 155. 

Bank examinations, i, 214-216. 

Barbour, James, i, 23, 46, 51, 

Barbour, Philip P., i, 23, 24. 

25, 26. 
Barron & Irv/in, ii, 152-179. 

Bateman, M. Wolf, ii, 27, 28. 
Bates, Gen. John, i, 278, 279, 

284, 293. 
Bayard, Richard H., 11, 180. 
Bean and Potato, John (In- 
dian), ii, II. 
Bear Meat (Indian), ii, ZJ. 
Bell, John, i, 49, 57, 59, 84. 
Bell, John A., ii, 27, 30. 
Bell, S. W., ii, 86. 
Bennett, Capt. Richard, ii, 100, 

106, 124, 125. 
Benton. Thos. H.. ii. 180. 
Bibb, Wm. W., i, 24. 

Bill, , i, 190. 

Bishop Col. Wm. N., i, 219, 

266, 271, 272, 285, 313, 314. 

Zi7^ 343, 349- 352, 353. 358. 

359, 360, 361, 363, 364, 366, 

367. 368; ii, 34, 265. 
Bleecker. H., i, 201. 
Boiled Corn (Indian), ii, 11. 
Boudinot, Elias, i, 38, 182, 

187, 190, 192, 193, 250, Z(i2 

364, 365, z^T, 369; ii, 9, 16, 

2Z, 27, 28, 30, 34, Zl^ 58, 185, 

186, 203, 265. 308. 

Bowman, , i, 210. 

Brainerd David, ii. 195. 
Brewster, B. H., ii, 177. 
Brewster, John, i, 277, 278, 

287, 288. 
Bronson. G. C, i, 201. 
Brown, Bedford, ii, 180. 
Brunswick. Ga., i, 138. 
Bryant, Moses, i, 274. 
'Buchanan, James, i, 49; ii, 

Surges, S. F., i, 289, 291. 
Burnes, Dr. James, i, 275, 

Burney, John W., i, 195. 
Burwell, Wm. A., i, 24, 28. 
Butler, Benjamin F., i, 201; 

ii, 59, 98, loi, 147. 
Butler, Flizur, i, 93, 103, 146. 

202-207, 238. 
Cae-te-hee (Indian), ii. 27. 



Calhoun, John C, i, 23, 24. 

25, 26, 29, 31, 51, 62, 64; 11. 

180, 181, 182, 190, 192, 199. 

200, 235, 297, 298. 
Campbell, J. N., i, 201. 
Campbell, J. P. H.. i, 339- 
Cannon, Newton, ii, 127. 
Canotoo (Indian), ii, 166. 
Carroll Wm., i, 264: ii, 9. lO' 

15. 17, 27, 31, 38. 39. 43- 44. 

53, 57, 63, 67, 146, 258, 303- 
Carson, Samuel P., i, 56. 
Carter, Col. , i, 312, 313. 

314- ^ 
Carter, Fans, 1, 173. 
Cass, Lewis, i, I95, 196, 207, 

222, 225, 235, 242, 289, 291, 

298, 299, 300, 303. 307, 3T-2. 

316, 320, 324, 326, 327, 328, 

333, 349; ii, 41, 308. 
Central Bank, i. 107, 108, 131. 

155, 156, 173, 174, 175, 223, 

251, 316, 326, 327. 331; '1. 

269, 277. 284, 2S8, 289^ 
Central Railroad, ii, 285. 

Chambers, George, ii. 23, 27. 
Chambers, Wm., ii, 9. 
Charleston, S. C, i, 138. 246, 
Chattalioochee Falls, i, 117. 
Chattanooga, Railroad to, i, 


Cherokee Indians, treaties 
with, and removal of, i, 31, 
38, 42-48, 50-81, 88. 89, 94, 
95-103, 105-107 166, 182- 
223, 224-228, 240, 243-245, 
260-269, 299. 301, 316, 317, 
319-325, 333. 335, 339, 340, 
343, 347, 349, 351, 355. 357, 
359- 360. 364. 365, 366, 369; 
ii, 8-179, 181-266, 300-319. 

Cherokee Intelligencer, i, 237. 

Cherokee Phoenix, i, 276; ii, 
185, 186. 

Chester, . i, 226. 

Chickasaw Indians, i, 61; ii, 

Choctaw Indians, i, 61, 62, 
81 ; ii. 18. 203, 204. 

Chouteau. A. P., ii, 20. 

Churchwell, G. W., ii. 152- 

Clark. Gen. Elijah, i. 14, 15. 

Clark, John, i, 32, 33, 37; ii, 

Clarke, Matthew St. Clair, i, 

169, 263, 302. 314. 
Clay, Clement C, ii, 180. 220. 
Clay, Henry, i, 23, 24, 25, 26, 

29, 36; ii. 180. 
Clayton, Thos., ii. 180. 
Cleveland, Benjamin, i. 195. 
Cleveland, Jesse F., i, 195; 

ii, 309- 
Cobb. Howell, i, 276, 278, 

280, 287. 
Coffee, John, i, 195, 239, 243, 

304, 311, .?68; ii, 34. 
Compact of 1802, i, 54, 224. 
Cone, Francis H.. i, 168. 
Couper. James Hamilton, i, 

Crane. Col. S. D.. i. 285. 
Crawford. Simmons, i, 195, 

Crawford, Wm. H., i, 14, 27, 

28, 29, 32, 36, 37, 41; ii, 295- 

Creek Indians, i, 31, 33, 4i> 

42, 60, 61, 62, 167, 240, 241, 

291-298, 300, 319-325. 327- 

329, 331, 332, 339-343, 348, 

349; ii, 50, 51, 74, 135, 252, 

Crittenden John J., ii, 180. 
Currency, i, 117. 
Curry Benjamin F.. i, 224-228, 

233, 234, 235, 238, 264, 269, 

298, 312, 357, 3.59, .360, 361, 

364; ii, 9, 27, 28, 38, 39, 44. 

48, 57, 72, 74, 75, 77, 80, 81, 

86, 87, 88, 89, 117. 
Curry. G. W., ii. 27, 88. 
Cuthbert. Alfred, i, 20; ii, 

Cuthbert, John A., i, 135, 157, 

169 213, 252, 253, 258, 270, 

329, 334. 337-_ 
Darien, Ga., i, 138. 
Darien Bank, i, 155. 
Davis, John, ii, 180, 200, 207. 
Davis, Wm. A., ii, 16. 
Day, Joseph, i, 270. 
Deaf Mutes, education of, i, 

159, 170, 328. 
Dearborn, Gen. Henry, ii, 

232, 237, 239, 243, 244, 247. 
Delaware Indians, i. 81. 
De-satie-dar-ske (Indian), ii, 

Desha, Joseph, i, 23. 



De Witt, Simeon, i, 201. 
Dismukes, Wm. H., i, 310. 
Dix, John A., i, 291. 
Downing, Wm., ii, 11. 
Dudley, Edward B., ii, 128. 
Dunlap, Gen. John H., ii, 49. 

318, 319- 
Earl, Dr., n, 2-7^. 
Eaton, John H., i, 64. 
Echols, Gen. R. M., i, 292. 
Edmundson, M. S., i, 289, 291. 
Education, Gov. Lumpkin's 

views on, i, 112-115, 153- 
Eliot, John, ii, 195. 
"Era of Good Feeling," i, 36- 
Everett, Alexander H., ii, 28, 


Everett, Edward, ii, 243, 247. 
Fair, Peter, i, 92. 

Fellows, , ii, 237. 

Ferris, Isaac, i, 201. 
Fields, James, i, 190; ii, 30. 
Fields, John, i, 190; ii, 30. 
Flagg, A. C., i, 201. 
Florida^ acquisition of, i, 34. 
Florida War, ii, 210-220. 
Flournoy, John J., i, 159. 
Foot, Samuel A., i, 159, 268. 
Foreman, Charles F., li, 27. 
Forman, Joseph A , i, 190; ii, 30. 
Forsyth, John, i, 20, 22,, 26, 
27, 200, 208, 239, 249, 261, 

346; ii, 31- 
Fort Gibson, ii, 107, iii, 203. 
Fort Minims, i, 19. 
Fort Mitchell, i, 308, 310, 327, 

330, ZZ^, 2,2,2, 2,22,- 
Fort Moses, i, 127. 
Fort Smith, ii, 202. 
Fort Tomlinson, i, 331. 
Foster, James, ii, 27, 30, Z7- 
Foster, Col., i, 326. 328. 
Franklin College (Universits^ 

of Ga.), i, 133, 154, i;.S 

Frelinghuysen, Frederick, i, 
_3(>4, 306. 
Fulton, Hamilton, i, 39, 40; 

i/, 272>, 294. 
Fr.'ton, Wm. S., ii, i3u. 
Gaines Gen. E. P., i, 230, 

245-247, 263. 
Cxarlancl, John li, 31. 
Garnett, F. M., ii, 283. 

Garrett, Mr. , ii, 43. 

Gaston, Wm., i, 2Z, 25, 26. 

Gayle, John, i, 229. 

Georgia and Ohio Valley R. 

R., proposed, i, 176. 
Georgia Courier, i, 214-216. 
Georgia, Internal Improve- 
ments in, i, 137, 151, 177; 

ii, 290-295. 
Georgia Journal, i, 222', ii. 

Georgia Railroad Bank, ii, 104. 
Georgia Railroad Co., i, 150, 

Georgia State Railroad, Se? 

Western and Atlantic Rail- 
Gillett, Ransom H.^ ii, 232, 

227, 229, 241, 243, 244, 247. 
Gilmer, Geo. R., i, 91, 94; ii, 

214, 215, 226, 253, 296, 300-317. 
Glascock, Thos., i, 195, 220, 

223, 225, 226, 227; ii, 31. 
Gordon, William W., i, 168; 

ii, 286. 
Greene, Mr. i, 329. 
Grosvenor, Thos. P., i, 23, 25, 

Grundy, Felix, ii, 180. 
Guarreneau, Susan, ii, 11. 
Guerry, James P., i, 229. 
tiuess, George (Sequoyah),!, 78. 
Guieu, P. C., i, 317. 
Gunter, John, i, 190; ii, 9, 11, 

22, 27, 30. 
Gunter Samuel, i, 190; ii, 15. 
Gunter's Landing, ii, 100. 
Hagner, Peter, i, 328. 
Half-Breed, Jesse (Indian), 

ii, 27, 27- 
Hall, Boiling, i, 20, 27. 
Hamilton, Alexander, i, 143. 
Hansel], Wm. Y., ii, 28, 31, 

Harden, Gen. Edward, ii, 152- 

Harden, Col. William, i, 228, 

234, 351; ii, 161. 
Harding, Geo. R., i, 175. 
Hargrove, Z. B., i, 256, 257. 

258, 285, 291, 296, 297, 337, 

351; ii, 161. 
Harris, Carey A., ii, li, 31, 

57, 60, 63, 65, 67, 75, 80, 89. 

93, 99, 102-107, III, 116, 124, 
126, 137. 
Hemphill, Gen. James, i, 285, 

291, 296, 297; ii, 77. 



Hemphill, P. W., ii, n. 
Henderson, John, ii, i8o. 
Herring, Elbert, i, 223; ii, 28, 

Hicks, Charles, i, 38; ii, loi. 
Hicks, Elijah, ii, 126, 127. 
Hicks, George, ii, 23. 

Hill, , i, 229. 

Hines, Richard K., i, 331. 
Hitchcock, C. M., ii, 27. 
Holland Land Co., ii, 238. 
Holt, R. M., i, 277, 278, 287, 

Hooper, John L., ii, 27, 28. 
Hooper John W., i, 238, 239, 

243, 244, 253, 254, 259, 266, 

270, 273. 311, 335, 2>i(^, T,iT, 

338; n, 171, 264. 
Hopkinson, Joseph, i, 24, 25, 

ITopson (maiden name of 

Gov. Ivumpkin's mother), i, 9. 
Hopson, Joseph, i, 10. 
Howard, H. V., i, 223. 
Hubbard, Henry, ii, 180. 
Hubbard, Lovi, i, 25. 
Hulbert, John VV., i, 23. 
Hunter, James, i, 195. 
Indian Springs, Treaty at, i. 

Z?^, 41. 
Ingham, Samuel D., i, 23. 
Internal Improvements in 
Georgia, i, 116, 117, 137, 

150, 151, 176-178, 214, 245- 

247; ii, 290-295. 
Irwin, Barron, ii, 152-179. 
Irwin, David, ii, 152-179. 
Iverson, Alfred, i, 339. 
Jackson, Abram, i, 13. 
Jackson, Andrew, i, 15, 36, 

7,7, 41, 48, 64, 7?>. 74, 75. 79. 

82, 83, 86, 181, 183, 193, 194, 

195, 216-218, 335, 339, 346. 

368; n, 8, 31, Zi, 7,7, 43, 72, 

85, 87, 114, 146, 217, 258, 260, 

297, 298, 300, 301, 304, 305, 

306, 308, 316, 317. 
Jackson, Gen. James, i, 13. 
Jackson, Wm. H., ii, 40. 57, 

Jefferson, Thomas, i, 14, 60, 

6r, 77, 125; ii, 187, 235, 299. 
Jesup, Gen. T. S., ii, 55. 
Johnson, Launcclot, i, 195. 
Johnson, Richard M., i, 23. 

195; ii, 249. 

Johnson, Capt. Robert, i, 

Jonakin, Spencer, ii, 11. 
Jones, Aaron, i, 171. 
Kennedy, John, i, 183; ii, 10, 

12, 13, 65, 67, 74, 75-145, 

Kent, JosepT5, ii, 180. 
Kerrs & Co., ii, 126. 
Kickapoo Indians, i, 62. 
King, Cyrus, i, 24. 
King, John P., i, 195, 239, 

304; ii, 126. 
King, Wm. R., i, 24; ii, 180, 

188, 189, 190. 
Kirby, John, i, 289, 291. 
Knight, N. R., ii, 180. 
Kutz, D., ii, 28. 
Land Lotteries, i, 107, 128. 
Lapley, Wm., ii, 27. 
Latham, Thos., ii, 152-179. 
Lawson, Hugh, i, 137. 
Lawyers employed by Chero- 

kees, i, 194, 217, 238, 265, 

266, 281, 282, 350; ii, 148- 

Lewis, Jonathan, i, 171. 
Liddell, James, ii, 77. 
Liddell & Irvin, ii, 275, 277, 

Little Den (Indian) ,ii, 156. 
Linn, Lewis F., ii, 180. 
Little, John, ii, 28, 31. 
Lochead, Wm., i, 201. 
Long Shell Turtle (Indian), 

ii, 30. 
Long, Lt. Col. Stephen H., 

i, 263; ii, 269, 272. 
Lott, Arthur, and his son, 

murder of, i, 19. 
Lowndes. Wm., i, 23, 24, 25, 

Ludlow, John, i, 201. 
Lumpkin, George, i, 9. 
Lumpkin, John, i, 9. 
Lumpkin, Joseph H., i, 135, 


Lumpkin, Wilson, birth of, i, 
9; education, i, 11, 12; mar- 
riage, i, 12; teacher, i, 13; 
church member, i, 13; in 
Legislature, i, 13, 17, 20, 
32; assists his father as 
Clerk of Superior Court, i, 
ID, 13; magistrate, i, 16; 
trip to the West, i, 18; 



farmer, i, 30; Commission- 
er to fix limits under Creek 
Treaty, i, 31, 33; Commis- 
sioner under Cherokee 
Treaty, i, 31; "- 8, 251, 
258; member of Congress, 
i, 20, 40, 46, 49, 90; ii, 250, 
257; death of first wife, i, 
32; Commissioner to fix line 
between Georgia and Flori- 
da, i, 33; second marriage, 
i, 34; member of Board of 
Public Works, i, 37; _ de- 
clines Commissionership to 
establish boundary line be- 
tween Georgia and Ala- 
bama, i, 39; declines office 
in Florida Territorial Gov- 
ernment, i, 34; suggests 
railroad from Milledgeville 
to Chattanooga, i, 39, 40; 
Indian policy, i, 40, 45, 47, 
50; member of Committee 
on Indian Affairs, i, 44; 
Governor of Georgia, i, 91- 
180; ii, 251, 260; inaugural 
address, i, 91-92; messages 
to Legislature, i, 93-94, 
95-102, 103-125, 126-141, 
141-143, 144-162, 162-180; 
Trustee of University of 
Georgia, ii, 7; address to 
Cherokees, ii, 51-53; UnitecT 
States Senator, ii, 12, 180, 
181, 251; speeches in Senate, 
ii, 181-249, 259. 

Lunday, McL,in, i, 171. 

Lyman, Wm. C, i, 157, 229, 
249, 251, 259. 

Lynch, Joseph M., ii, 166. 

Lyon, Lucius, ii, 180. 

McBride, John, i, 248. 

McClug, James W., ii, 11. 

McComb, Ro"Pert, i, 331. 

McConnell, Gen. Eli, i, 274, 
278, 284, 286. 

McCoy, A., i., 312, 313, 3i4;ii,i6i 

McCoy, Daniel, ii, 15. 

McCoy, Rev. Isaac, i, 46, 64. 

McCoy, Thos., ii, 11. 

McCrary, John T., i, 229. 

McDonald, Chas. J., ii, 270, 
271, 272, 274-280. 

McDougald, Gen. Daniel, i, 
308, 310, 319, 322, 324, 330, 
331, 332, 333- 

McKean, Samuel, ii, 180, 

McLean, Wm., i, 23, 52. 
McMillan, Col., ii, 77, 78. 

McNair, , i, 38. 

Macon, Nathaniel, i, 24, 25. 
Macon, Ga., railroad to, i, 

137, 247. 
Madison, James, i, 22, 23, 28, 

64; ii, 192. 
Malone, Henry W., i, 223, 

316, 326, 327, 331. 
Marcy, W. L., i, 201. 
Marlor, John, i, 236. 
Martin, Judge John, i, 311, 

312, 314, 317; ii, 204. 
Martin, John, ii, 23, 175. 
Mason, J., Jr., ii, 132, 142. 
Meigs, R. J., ii, 26. 
Menomonee Indians, ii, 234. 
Merchants and Planters Bank 

of Augusta, i, 132. 
Meriwether, James A., i, 157. 
Middleton, Henry, Jr., i, 23. 
Militia, i, no, in, 157, 158, 

171, 172. 
Milledge. John, i, 13, 315. 
Milledgeville, railroad from, 

to Chattanooga, i, 39. 
Mills, Chas. C, i, 158, 195. 
Mills, Elijah Hunt, i, 25. 
Milton, Lewis, ii, loi. 
Milton, Moses, ii, 137, 139. 
Minis, Dr. Philip, ii, 66, 70, 

71, 72, 73, 77, 81, 91, 100, 

Missionaries to Indians, im- 
prisonment of, i, 93, 103, 

146, 198-200, 201-207, 209; 

ii, 174. 
Mitchell, D. B., i, 276, 277, 

278, 287, 288. 
Mitchell, Robert, ii, 152-179. 
Mobile, Ala., i, 34. 
Mohican Indians, i, 80. 
Monroe, James, i, 24, 28, 29, 

31, 36, 41, 51, 62, 63, 64, 65; 

n, 187, 192, 235, 299. 
Monroe Railroad Co., i, 175; 

ii, 280, 285, 286. 
Montgomery, Col. Hugh, i, 

233, 264, 265. 
Moore, Charles, ii, 27, 202. 
Morris, Robert, ii, 232, 238. 
Morris, Thos., ii, 180, 182. 
Mouton, Alexander, ii, 180. 



Narragansett Indians, i, 8r. 

Navy, i, 21. 

Nelson. Col. C. H., i, 300, 

359; ii, 49. 50, 51, 55, 56, 

Nelson, Thos. M., i, 23. 
Neosho Territory, ii, 188, 204. 
New Echota, Treaty at, i, 

359; ii, 9, 15, 28, 29, 38, 39, 

41, 43, 47. 48, 51, 53-145. 

202, 224. 251, 253. 
Newnan, Daniel, i, I95; ii' 

New Orleans, i, 34. 
New York Indians, Treaty 

with, ii, 231-249. 
Nicholas. Robert C, ii, 180. 
Nichols, Wm., Jr., i, 139. 
Niles, John M., ii, 180, 
Norvell, John, ii, 180. 
Nott, Eliphalet, i, 201. 
Nullification, i, 124, 125, 142, 

196, 197, 205, 208. 
Ogden & Co., ii, 232. 
Ogden, David A., ii, 238. 
Ogden, Fellows, and Words- 
worth, ii, 237. 
Ohio Valley, railroad from, i, 

Osage Indians, ii, 18, 19, 20. 
Osceola, ii, 45, 211. 
Owens, George W., i, 212; ii, 

Payne, John Howard, ii, 265. 
Peek, Henry, i, 289, 291. 
Penitentiary Inspectors, i, 

108-110, 158, 174, 195, 260. 

Penn, Wm., ii, 244. 
Penobscot Indians, i, 80. 
Pensacola, Fla., i, 34. 
Phillips, Lieut. E., i, 330, 331. 
Phillips, Joseph, ii, 11. 
Pickering, Timothy, i, 23; ii, 

Pierce, Franklin, ii, 180. 
Pierce, John, i, 315. 
Pinkney, William, i, 24, 25, 

Planters Bank of Tennessee, 

ii, 104, 124. 
Pleasants, James, i, 23, 26. 
Poinsett, Joel, ii, 34, 226, 308. 
Polhill, John G., i, 137. 
Political parties, i, 36, 2>7, 4^, 

142; ii, 297, 299. 

Polk, James K., ii, 177. 

Poor School Fund, i, 113, 317, 

Pope, John, i, 230. 
Porter, P. B., i, 64. 
Potts, Samuel I., ii, 28, 31. 
Powell, Dr. N. B., i, 157, 195, 

214, 249, 259. 
Prentiss, Samuel, ii, 190. 
Preston, Wm. C, ii, 210-212. 

217-221, 261, 309, 315. 
Prince, A., i, 310. 
Public Lands, i, 115. 
Public roads, i, 115-117, 229. 
Ralston, Lewis, ii, 166. 
Randolph, John, i, 23, 24, 25. 
Randolph, Peyton, i, 296. 
Rawlings, Isaac, i, 230. 
Red Clay, Council at, ii, 10, 

16, 76, 175, 176. 
Redfield, Abraham, ii, 20. 
Reese, Dr. D. H.. i, 195. 
Revill, Randolph, i, 195. 
Revolutionary War Claims of 

Georgia, i, 169, 302, 303, 314, 

Ridge, John, i, 38, 182, 187, 
190, 192, 193, 311, 343, 345 

347, 350, 351, 352, 355. 365 

369; li, 9, 16, 23, 27, 28, 30 

ZZ, 34- 82, 85, 97, 122, 123 

140, 148, 200-205, 207, 222 

224, 225, 226, 308. 
Ridge, Major, i, 38, 192. 193 

ii, 2T, 30, ZZ, 34, Z7^ -222, 

224,^225, 265, 308. 
Ridge's Ferry, ii, 43. 
Rives, Wm. C, ii, 180. 
Roane, Wm., i, 23; ii, 180. 
Robb, John, ii, 28, 31. 
Robbins, Asher, ii, 180. 
Robinson, John M., ii, 180. 
Robinson, T. B., i, 23. 
Rockwell, Samuel, i, 350; ii, 

28, 31, 152-179- 
Rodgers, Lovely, ii, 157. 
Rodgers, Wm., i, 38. 190; ii, 

9, IS, 23, 27, 30, 161. 
Rogers. James, i, 38, 190; ii, 

28, 30. 
Rogers, Johnson, i, 38, 190; 

ii, 30. 
Rogers, Joseph, ii, 202. 
Rogers, Robert, ii, 27, 43. 
Roman Nose Situake. See 

Situwake, Roman Nose. 



Ross, Andrew, ii, 2rj, 30. 

Ross, Daniel, i, 186; ii, 196. 

Ross, James, i, 230. 

Ross, John, i, 38, -76, 182, 186, 
187, 190, 192, 207, 208, 216, 
225, 238, 261, 265, 304- 306, 

307, 314, 335, 336, 345. 346, 
347, 352, 355, 357, 359, 361, 
363, 366, 367, 368, 369; 11, 8, 
10, 23, 32, 34, 41, 43, 44, 45, 
46, 47, 48, 50, 54, 60. 63, 73, 
76, 78, 79, 94, 100, 105, 106, 
III, 112, 113, 115, 116, 
117. 118, 119, 133, 135, 136. 
144, 146, 149, 155, 159, 165, 
170, 175, 183, 184, 185, 186, 
196, 202, 205, 207, 209, 212- 
220, 222-230. 250, 251, 253, 
258, 259, 265, 305. 306, 307, 

308, 312. 313, 318. 
Ruggles. John, ii, 180. 
Saffold, A. G., i, 195- . 

Sam, negro, his heroic act, i, 

161, 236. 
Sanden, Waher (Indian), ii, 

Sanders, George, i, 190; n, 23. 
Sanders. Robert, ii, 30. 
Sanford, Gen. J. W. A., ii, 

Savage, John, i, 201. 
Savannah, Ga., memorial of 

citizens of, i, 212. 
Savannah, Ga., proposed rail- 
road from, i, 137, 138, 247. 
Sawgy, Thos., ii. 11. 
Schermerhorn, John F., i, 

360, 361, 364, 366; ii, 15, 16, 

17, 27, 30, 31, 98, 153, 165, 

Schley, Philip T., i, 157. 
Schley, William, i, 135, 213, 

239, 304; ii, 49, ^z- 55- 
Scott, Gen. Winfield, ii, 216, 

226-228. 260. 
Seminole Indians, i. 61; ii, 50, 

Seneca Indians, ii, 18, 237, 238, 

Sequoyah (See Guess, Geo.') 
Sergeant, John, i, 22,, 25, 26, 

93, 230; ii. 262. 
Sevier, Ambrose H., ii, 204, 

Sewall, Dr. Thomas, i, 267. 
Shawnee Indians, i, (>2,. 

Sheffey, Daniel, i, 23, 25. 
Shorter, EU S., i, 339- 
Simms, Henry L-, ii, I52-I79- 
Simonton, Capt. I. P., ii, 106, 

no, 124, 125, 128, 139. 
Simpson, John, ii, 23. 
Sinclair, Rev, Elijah, i, 17U, 

Situwake, Roman Nose (In- 
dian), ii, 23. 
Six Nations, i, 80. 
Smith. Ashel R.. Ii. 16, 27. 
Smith, John, ii, 2?, 3U 
Smith, Gen. Nathaniel, ii, «9, 

91, 92, 94, 97, 99, 100, 109. 

Ill, 119. 
Smith, Oliver H., ii, 180. 
Smith, Perry, ii, 180. 
Southard, Samuel L., ii, 180, 

Spalding, Thomas, i, 176. 
Spence, J"ohn S., ii. 180. 
Spencer, Ambrose, i, 84. 
Sprague, Wm. B., i, 201. 
Springer, Wm. G., i, 232, 236, 

239, 242, 250, 252, 253, 256, 

334, 337- ^^ ^, ■ . 

Stand Watie (See Watie, 


Starr, James, i, 190; ii, n, 
23, 27, 30. 

State rights, 1, 83, 85, 104, 
121, 123, 124, 143, 145, 162, 
163-165, 199, 206, 255, 266. 

State Road. Georgia (See 
Western and Atlantic Rail- 

Stepp. Jesse, i, 289, 291. 

Still, George, ii, il. 

Stone, Francis M., i, I57, 171, 
172, 173. 

Storrs, Henry R., i, 58, 87. 

Strange, Robert, ii. 180, 220. 

Sutherland, Jacob, i, 201. 

Swift, Benjamin, ii, 180. 

S , Col. John H., ii, 142. 

Tah-ye-ske (Indian), ii, 27, 

Tallmadge, Nathaniel P., n, 

Tapp, Robertson, i, 230. 
Tariff, i, 21, 120, 122, 180. 
Tarrant, Leonard, i, 295, 299. 
Tarvin, Richard, ii, 71. 
Taylor, Richard, ii, 15. 
Tassels, George, i, 156. 



Tazewell, L. W., i, 22>. 
Tecumseh, i, i8. 
Te-gah-e-ske (Indian), ii, 27. 
Telfair, Thomas, i, 20. 
Tennessee, railroad from, i, 

245, 246. 
Terhune, C. D., i, 238, 239, 

255. 2?>7; ii. 27, 161, 229. 
Terrell, Gen. Henry M., i, 283, 

285. . , .. 

Tesa-ta-esky (Indian), 11, 27. 
Thomas, E. L., i, 248. 
Thomas, Western B., ii, 27. 
Thompson, Waddy, i, 289, 291. 
Thompson, Gen. Wiley, ii. 211. 
Tipton, John, ii, 180, 183, 186, 

187, 191. 

Took, , 1, 3(>2,- 

Towns, Geo. W., ii, 309. 
Troup. George M., i, 37, 38, 

39, 40. 41, 42; ii, 252, 294,298. 
Troup, Dr. James, i, 195. 
Tru-nah-stoode (Indian), ii, 37. 
Tuckabatchee, Indian Council 

at, i, 18. 
Tucker, Henry St. George, i, 23. 
Turk, Col. H. K., i, 359- 
Tuscarora Indians, ii, 238. 
Underwood, John W. H., ii, 

Underwood, Wm. H., i, 238, 

259, 266, 311, 362, 364, 367; 

ii, 27, 148-179- 
University of Georgia 

(Franklin College), i, 33, 

154. 178. 179- 
Van Buren, Martin, i, 319: 

ii, 2,3, 34. 113. 147. 225, 259. 

267, 268, 306, 308, 312, 313, 

Van Horn, Lieut, ii, 107, iii. 
Vann, Charles, i, 38, 296. 
Vann, David, i, 38. 
Vann, Joseph, i, 38; ii, 156. 
Van Rensselaer, Stephen, i, 201. 
Van Vechten, Abner, f, 201. 
Vashon, Geo., ii, 20. 
Vinton, Samuel F., i, 50, 51. 
Walker, Elizabeth, marriage 

to Gov. Lumpkin, i, 12. 
Walker, Robt. J., ii, 180. 
Wall, Garrett, D., ii, 180. 
Walthall, Turman, i, 289, 291, 

295, 296, 297. 
Walworth. R. H., i, 201. 
War of 1812, i, 20. 

Ward, Col. H. R., i, 322, 325. 

Warner, Hiram, i, 270. 
Warren, Lott, i, 229. 
Washington City, Treaty at, 

i, 31. 
Washington, George, i, 14, 

127; ii, 187, 192. 

Waters, '■ — , i, 190. 

Watie, David (Indian), ii, 37. 
Watie, Stand (Indian), ii, 28, 

30, 27- 
Wayne, James M., i, 195. 208, 

Wea Indians, i, 62. 
Webster. Daniel, i, 23, 25, 26; 

ii, 180, 210. 

Weir, , i, 362, 363, 367. 

Welch. B. T. i, 2or. 
Welch, George, ii, 30. 
Weld, Lewis, i. 159, 268. 
West, Ezekiel, ii, 16. 
West, John, ii, 16. 
Western and Atlantic Rail- 
road (Georgia State Road), 

ii, 267-295. 
White, Albert S., ii, 200, 220. 
White, Rev. George, ii, 254- 

266, 310, 316. 
White, Hugh Lawson. ii. 180. 
Wilde, Richard Henry, i, 20. 
Williams, Rcuel, ii. 180. 
Williamson, Wm. W., 1, 195, 

210, 218. 
Wilson, John, i, 9. 
Wirt, William, i, 93; ii. 152- 

179. 230, 262. 
Witcher. John, i, 289, 291. .yp6. 
Witcher, Lacy, i, 289, 291. 
Wood, Jacob, i, 195. 
Woods, John, i, 51. 
Wool. Gen. John E.. ii. to. 

43. 44. 46. 49. 55. 60, 61, 64, 

67, 71. 72, 72,^ 74, 75. 76, 78, 

86, 92, 95, 100, loi. 102, 124, 

134, 306, 308, 319- 
Worcester, Samuel _A., i, 93, 

103, 146, 202-207: ii, 203. 
Wright, Hiram, i, 289, 291. 
Wright, Silas, ii, 180, 210, 232. 
Wright, Silas, Jr.. i, 201. 
Yancey, Bartlett, i, 23. 
Yazoo Fraud, i, 10. 14. 15, 17, 

Young, John S., ii. 90, 91. 
Young, Richard M., ii, 180. 


3 9999 06561 205 1