[illegible text] Mr. Worcesters account of his second arrest, and of the treatment which himself, Dr. Butler, & other prisoners recieved [received] from the guard, contained in a letter dated
July 18th, 1831
Early on Friday morning,
July 8 I with my guard Joined Sergeant Brooks at a the house of a near neighbor and rode thense [thence] ten miles to where Col. Nelson was with a detachment of which that under Mr. Brooks by which I was arrested, was only apart. There I found the Rev. Mr. Trott, a methodist missionary who has a Cherokee family, and a Cherokee by the name of Proctor, Proctor was chained to the wall of the house by the neck & had another chain around his ancle [ankle] . He had been arrested on Tuesday, on the charge of digging for gold, chained the first night by the ancle [ankle] only, the second & third by the neck to the wall & by the ancle [ankle] to Mr. Trott. Mr. Trott was arrested on Wednesday & taken on horseback about ten miles to where Col. Nelson then was. He had been before arrested, & was under bonds to answer at Court for the offence of residing in the nation without licence & now was taken again, & having committed the second offence by returning to his family while the cause was pending. On Thursday, he & Proctor were marched on foot 22 miles, to the place where I found them, Proctor being chained by the neck to the waggon [wagon] . This manner of treatment, I suppose, was occasioned by his having resistance when arrested and afterwards attempted to escape.
When I was arrested, Sergeant Brooks enquired the state of my family, & when told that Mrs. Worcester was still confined to her bed, remarked
that he regretted that Col. Nelson was not himself present, implying implying [implying], as I understood him, that if he were, he probably would not arrest me under such circumstances. When we arrived where Col. Nelson was, I requested Mr. Brooks, to mention to him the state in which he found us, which he very readily promised to do, but certainly had not fulfilled his promise when I heard him say that I was to go on to Head Quarters ie. to this place. Perceiving, therefore that the state of my family was not to be regarded, I said no more.
We were then marched on foot 22 miles to the same place from which Mr. Trott & Mr. Proctor were taken the day before, Proctor being again chained to the waggon [wagon] . We had proceeded about three miles, When we met Messrs. [Messieurs] McLeod & Wells, tow [two] Methodist clergymen, not residing within the charter of Georgia. With leave of Col. Nelson, they turned & rode along some distance in our company. In conversation, [deleted text: [illegible text] ] Mr. McLeod asked Mr. Trott whether he had been chained the preceeding [preceding] night, & being answered in the affirmative, asked if it were according to law to chain a prisoner who manifested no disposition to escape. Mr. Trott said he thought not, but that we ought not to blame those under who [whose] charge we were, as they were obliged to act according to orders. Mr McLeod remarked "It seems they proceed more by orders than by laws" This gave offence. A few words had passed between Mr. McLeod & some of the guard, when Col. Nelson rode up & being told of the remark, asked Mr. McLeod where he [unclear text: rides ] . He replied [unclear text: to ] Tennessee. Col. Nelson, with a curse, ordered him to "flank of" Mr.
McLeod, turning his horse, said I will sir, if it your command" but added, hastily as he afterwards said "You will hear from me again." He was then riding away, when the Col. ordered him to halt, & then to dismount & lead his horse along in the rear. He then inquired of Mr. Trott whether this was one of their circuit riders" Mr. Trott answered "yes" Mr. McLeod's horse was then taken from him & delivered to Mr. Wells, and he was declared a prisoner & ordered to walk on with the rest. For a short distance, Brooks compelled him to keep the center of the road, through mire & water threatening to thrust him through with the bayonette [bayonet] if he turned aside. In the meantime he was heaping upon all our heads a load of tremendous curses, & reviling missionaries and all ministers of the Gospel in language, which for profaneness and obscenity, could not be exceeded. The words of our Savior he turned into ridicule -- [added text: "Fear not- said he tauntingly ] Fear not" little flock, for it is you Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." The manner in which these words were uttered did not prevent me, at least from rejoicing in the consolation they afford. -- Brooks was the chief speaker, & exceeded all, though some others joined him in his revilings [revelings] .
Another circumstance afterwards occurred, which was related to me by Mr. Thompson, who was eye witness. Mr. Wells, after Mr. McLeod's arrest, pursued his journey in the opposite direction till he met Mr Thompson riding in the same direction with the guard. He then turned & rode in company with Mr. T. intending to see what should become of Mr. McLeod, & to render him any assistance in his power. After some time they came up with the guard. When Col. Nelson saw Mr. Wells, he ordered him to ride
out of his sight either before or behind, threatening violence if he did not. Mr. Wells, without replying fell back a little & followed on. Col. Nelson cut a stick and making up to Mr. Wells gave him a severe blow on the head. Mr. Wells then said he had a right to travel the public road & should do it. He persevered accordingly & rode on till he came to a house where Mr. McLeod requested him to stop. I know not what offence Mr. Wells had given, unless that, in conversation with me, he had expressed strong disapprobation of the policy of the state of Georgia, & the course pursued by the Executive of the United States.
Towards the end of our days Journey, Mr. McLeod was afflicted with a severe pain in the hips & knees, to which he had been subject, & requested the privilege of riding. Col. Nelson sent him answer, that Proctor at first thought that he could not walk, but afterwards got along very well.
A [At] night the four prisoners were chained together by their ancle [ankle] in pairs.
Some time after we lay down, a small detachment arrived with Doctor Butler. He had been arrested at Haweis on the preceeding [preceding] day. After crossing a river three or four miles from home, a chain was fastened by a padlock around his neck, and at the other end to the neck of a horse, by the side of which he walked Night soon came on. The horse was kept walking at a quick pace, and Doctor Butler unable to see any obstruction which a rough
road might present, and liable at any moment to fall, and so to be dragged by the neck till the horse should stop. After walking some distance in the dark, on representing the danger of his situation, he was taken up behind the saddle, his chain being still fastened to the horse's neck, & short enough to keep his neck close to the shoulder of the guard. In this situation the horse fell both his riders fell under him, and neither the horse nor either of the men could rise, till others could come and, after ascertaining their situation by the sense of feeling, roll the horse over. Dr. Butler was considerably hurt, but the soldier none, having two ribs broken. After this, till they came to their lodgings, Dr. Butler was permitted to ride, while a soldier walked. In the mean time they lost their way in the woods. However, they found a pine knot, of which they made a torch by striking fire; and by this means recovered their way. Their lodging place was only 11 miles from Dr. Butlers, but it was midnight when they arrived, well drenched with rain. When they lay down, the prisoner was chained to his bedstead by the ancle [ankle] the officer, however, putting a handkerchief around under the chain. The next day they had 35 miles or more to travel. Dr. Butler wore the chain on his neck, but no longer fastened to a horse. He was occasionally permitted to ride, one or another of the soldier's walking in his stead. At night he was chained to Mr. McLeod and me.
On Friday morning we had to cross the Hightower river in boat. As the prisoners, with a part of the guard, were crossing
Mr. Thompson was observed on the opposite side waiting to speak with us. At the same time Col. Nelson & Sergeant Brooks were observed in conversation. Brooks then called to those who were with us, charging them that no person should be allowed to speak with a prisoner privately, and no letter to be delivered unexamined. Proctor was now mounted on his own horse (which had been taken as a prize when he was arrested) wearing a chain, as Dr. Butler had worn it the day before. He had a bag of clothes for a saddle, and a rope halter instead of a bridle. No other one was chained. When we had travelled a considerable distance, four of the soldiers were so kind as to walk four or five miles & allow the prisoners to ride for which we were told they were afterwards abused by Brooks, who now had the command of the detachment. Col. Nelson having parted from them. Afterwards Mr. Trott, being likely to fail, was mounted on Proctor's horse in his stead. Still later Mr. McLeod, having become so lame that he could scarcely walk, solicited the privilege of riding, Brooks with much cursing compelled him to walk on. Afterwards, however, he ordered Mr. Trott to dismount, and placed Mr. McLeod in his stead. Our days journey was 35 miles
At night only Proctor was chained. Brooks having retired without giving any orders, on the subject, and the officer who had the charge of us not being disposed to chain us.
The sabbath came & we had 22 miles to travel. Remonstrance would on [only] have irritated. We were under the command of armed men, & must travel on. Mr. McLeod being utterly unable to walk, was mounted on Proctor's horse. Mr. Trott was allowed to ride part of the way in the waggon [wagon] and Dr. Butler & myself two or three miles on horse back.
Arrived here, we were, as a matter of course, marched into camp under sound of fife and drum. We were then introduced to the jail, Brooks saying, as we entered "There is were [where] all the enemies of Georgia have to land, -- there and in Hell" Happily man has not the keyes [keys] of the everlasting prison. -- At night a white man who has a Cherokee family was added to our number.
On monday Mr. Thompson [deleted text: was admitted ] & Mr. Wells came & requested an interview with us. Mr. Thomas was admitted under the restriction that no one would have any private conversation with us, or receive any papers from us without their being inspected by Col. Nelson, who has the present command. Col. Sanford being absent, Mr. Wells was refused admittance.
Mr. McLeod sent a note to Col. Nelson on Monday, requesting a personal interview. On Tuesday morning Col. Nelson sent for him, & dismissed him. He was not permitted to return & bid us farewell.
On Saturday evening,
July 16 perceiving that we should probably spend the sabbath here, we sent to Col. Nelson the following request.
Col. [unclear text: Ch ] H Nelson
If it be consistent with necessary regulations it would be a high gratification to some of your prisoners, if Mr. Trott & Mr. Worcester might be permitted to hold a meeting tomorrow evening at some place where such of the guard & of the neighbors as are disposed might attend. If the favor can be granted, be so kind as to give us an answer as soon as convenient. We wish to be understood that we should all greatly desire the privilege of attending.
[Signed] S. [Samuel] A. Worcester
[Signed] JJ Trott
[Signed] Elizur Butler
[Signed] Samuel Mayes
This note was presently returned with the following written on the outside. "
We view the within request as an impertinent one. If Your conduct be evidence of your character & the doctrines you wish to promulgate, we are sufficiently enlightened as to both. Our object is to restrain, not to facilitate their promulgation. If you object be true piety you can enjoy it where you are were we hearers we would not be benefited [benefitted], devoid as we are of confidence in your honesty.
[Signed] C H Nelson
From most of the individuals of the guard we have received no ill treatment; from some of them kindness. As was, however, [added text: perhaps ] to be expected in our circumstances, we have received some insults, which it is trying for the spirit to bear: But we regard it as a testimony in our favor, that when the desire is to torture us, it is taken for granted that this case be best effected by uttering profane & obscene expressions in our ears.
July 19 Yesterday Mr. Thompson & Mr. William Rogers a Cherokee who acts as agent for the nation, arrived, & presented to Col. Nelson a writ of habeas corpus, which they had procured to remove us from this place. This would have been sooner done, but Dr. Butler and I thought it best for Mr. Thompson first to consult Mr. Underwood our counsel, who lives at considerable distance, whether that was the best course to pursue in reference to the final result. When the writ arrived, we supposed we should be immediately taken before a court, but we still remain here.
June 28 After I had written the above we still remained in Jail till thursday morning
July 21. The reason afterwards assigned by Col. Nelson in court for our detention was, that Col. Sanford who returned on Wednesday evening from a Journey to Milledgeville, had important testimony in his possession. On thursday morning, we were furnished with horses & set out for Lawrenceville. On the way we were taken before a Justice of the peace & committed to Jail, although the writ of habeas Corpus required Col. Nelson to present us before the county court at Lawrenceville.
It was understood that the constable into whose [unclear text: han ] we were committed would wait upon the Col. til he could attend the court. We arrived at Lawrenceville late at night. Friday was spent in a vain attempt to convene the court. On Saturday morning, Dr. Butler had a very violent & dangerous attack of bilious colick [colic], and although by prompt & vigorous medical assistance he was relieved in a few hours, he was by no means able to attend court. The Cherokee also was unable to attend.
The court convened & we were presented before them I think at about 11 o'clock A.M. I will not attempt to describe the proceedings. They appeared to me as singular as the attitude in which we were presented, in the hands of a constable already committed to jail & at the same time in the hands of Col. Nelson to be presented before the court to which he was required to render the reasons of our capture & detention. In the result, we were ordered to give security for our appearance at the next term of the superior court, or be anew committed to Jail. We all gave bail for our appearance except the Cherokee, who could not, at that time, find any one to be his security.
[added text: Insert here the paragraph on the following page ]
Dr. Butler & myself left Lawrenceville on monday morning, after experiencing several acts of distinguished kindness from some of the most respectable citizens, which we shall gratefully remember.
I arrived at home last night, & had the satisfaction to find that Mr. Worcesters health had considerably improved during my absence.
I remain with much affection & respect (Signed)
[Signed] S. [Samuel] A. Worcester.
[added text: (insert this paragraph as marked on the preceding page) ] In the course of the trial, Col. Nelson's counsel produced as evidence in the case of Dr. Butler & myself a letter of the Post master General to the Governor informing him of my removal from office. A letter from the Secretary of war disavowing missionaries as agents of the General Government. Dr. Butler's answer & mine to the governor's letter to us, & a letter from the governor to Col. Sanford, directing him to have us arrested forthwith, and if we should be released by the courts or give bail & return home to have us arrested again. These letters I suppose were the important testimony referred to by Col. Nelson as having been in the hands of Col. Sanford
Papers in relation to the arrest of the Cherokee missionaries --