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In Their Own Words

May 10, 1838

Ultimatum to Cherokees

From the Cherokee Agency, Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott delivered an ultimatum to the Cherokees remaining in northern Georgia - they had to go west, and they had to go now:

“Cherokees! The President of the United States has sent me with a powerful army, to cause you, in obedience to the treaty of 1835 [the Treaty of New Echota], to join that part of your people who have already established in prosperity on the other side of the Mississippi… .

My friends! This is no sudden determination on the part of the President, whom you and I must now obey. By the treaty, the emigration was to have been completed on or before the 23rd of this month; and the President has constantly kept you warned, during the two years allowed, through all his officers and agents in this country, that the treaty would be enforced.

I am come to carry out that determination… .”

Source: Edward J. Cashin (ed.), A Wilderness Still The Cradle of Nature: Frontier Georgia (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1994), pp. 137-38.