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In Their Own Words

April 02, 1838

Report on Cherokee Removal

From Rossville, Thomas G. MacFarland wrote Gov. George Gilmer about the status of the Cherokee Indian removal from Georgia:

“… As the time for the removal of the Cherokees approaches, their opposition to remove from this country seems to increase. They have not yet commenced planting but still seem to entertain the hope that their delegation in Congress will set aside the treaty of ‘35 and negotiate another, by which they will be allowed a longer time to remain in this country. No late intelligence has been received from Washington. Very few in this section are enrolling to go West and even those few are postponing the time of their departure… . I am still fully of [the] opinion that the great mass of the Nation will depart in peace, but, finding their opposition to removal increasing as the time approaches, I am somewhat fearful that we will have difficulties with some of them before they will leave… .

“I would urge upon Your Excellency the necessity of having an additional company raised to be stationed about the county line of Walker and Floyd. They are a considerable number of Cherokees in that neighborhood and some of them very vicious… . I believe no persons apprehend difficulty here until force is applied to the Cherokees and even then we hope and believe there will but little difficulty in effecting their removal. But lest we should be unhappily mistaken, we are anxious to get our country well supplied with troops.”

Source: Edward J. Cashin (ed.), A Wilderness Still the Cradle of Nature: Frontier Georgia (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1994), p. 232.