[Letter], 1831 June 7, Haweis [Mission, Cherokee Nation] to George R. Gilmer, Governor of Georgia / Elizur Butler

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Dr. Butler's reply to Governor Gilmer.

June 7, 1831
To his Excellency George R. Gilmer, Governor of Georgia.
Sir, --
A few days since, I received a communication purporting to be from your excellency
Suffer me to say, I was not a little surprised at some ideas that communication contained. It is due to the cause in which I am engaged, definitely and concisely to state the object of my residence in the Cherokee nation of Indians.
My sole object in commencing my residence among this people, more than ten years since, was to assist the government of the United States in promoting the civilization and Christianization of the Cherokees.
I have, during my life, studiously avoided all connection or interference with political affairs, and more particularly since my residence among this people. Since living among them, I have invariably pursued that course of conduct, which I conceived would tend most for their spiritual good. Though I may have been accused of being " a mortal enemy to Georgia and her measures," I solemnly affirm I am not, although I could not in conscience subscribe to all her enactments. For instance, I could not take the oath required of white men who reside in her chartered

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limits, as this would acknowledge the jurisdiction of Georgia over the Cherokees, which would be adverse to my opinion, and essentially effect my usefulness. My principles of action are founded on the work of God; and if adhering to the "law and the testimony," and endeavoring to follow the examples of holy writ, my conduct be construed into an unjustifiable interference with political transactions, I cannot help it. I cannot change my religious views, or general religious conduct, with the various political changes of the times. It is what neither your excellency nor any other person can expect. Rather than change my religious views, to meet the exigencies of political affairs, permit me to say, I should sacrifice my life. I wish you distinctly to understand, that I came into the nation for no political or selfish purposes; and that I remain here only for the spiritual good of this people; and that no sufficient reasons have ever been presented to my mind for me to leave the infant church collected here, to be broken to pieces and scattered. If I must suffer for the above course of conduct, I hope the Lord will enable me to meet suffering, with Christian meekness and fortitude. Wishing you and your state, the greatest and best blessings heaven can bestow,

I am very respectfully Your obedient servant,
[Signed] Elizur Butler