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In Their Own Words

June 28, 1838

Tragedy of Cherokee Removal Recorded

Daniel Buttrick, a missionary working among the Cherokee Indians, witnessed the roundup and removal of the Cherokees to the west. On this day he recorded in his diary:

“Last night a company of about twenty Cherokees returned who had escaped from the last company of 1100 who had been started off to the West by land. They say that the whole company almost famished, that for two days together they had nothing to eat and rest of the time but very little. They say that as the company were about to cross the river, on starting one woman was very sick, unable to sit up and lay on the ground, that a soldier came along and kicked her in the side and drove her into the boat and that [she] in a short time was missing. they suppose she died. Six individuals had died before they left the company. It is said that many old women, driven in this company, cried like children when they started, saying they never could live to walk that journey in this hot season. But their cries would not be heard… .”

Source: Mills Lane (ed.) Georgia: History written by Those who lived It (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1995), p. 84.