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In Their Own Words

July 01, 1838

Cherokee Women Seduced

Daniel Buttrick, a missionary to the Cherokee Indians at the time of their forced removal, recorded in his diary on this day:

“I rode alone to the camp. Before closing my [church] meeting, I told our dear [Cherokee] friends that if they continued to profane the Lord’s Day by playing cards, drinking and frolicing [sic] as they had done, they might depend upon it that the wrath of God would pursue them to death. On returning home, I met the soldiers and Cherokees and found that the women had been in the creek swimming, while the soldiers stood by them on the bank and other young men were in the creek naked but just below. The women, who infested the place by going into the creek while the soldiers were standing by, might be some who had been seduced by the soldiers. Brother Vail, the other day on going to the landing, saw six soldiers about two Cherokee women. The women stood by a tree, and the soldiers with a bottle of liquor were endeavoring to entice them to drink, though the women as yet were resisting them. It was reported afterwards that those soldiers had the two women out with them all night.

“A young married women, a member of the Methodist society, was at the camps, though her husband was not there, I believe, at the time. The soldiers, it is said, caught her, dragged her about and at length, either through fear or other causes, was induced to drink and yield to their seduction, so that is now an outcast.”

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), Georgia: History written by Those who lived It (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1995), pp. 84-85.