[Letter] 1831 July 2, Cherokee Agency, Calhoun, T[ennessee to] George Gilmore [i.e., Gilmer], [Governor of Georgia], Milledgeville, Georgia / Hugh Montgomery

Southeastern Native American Documents, 1730-1842
[Letter] 1831 July 2, Cherokee Agency, Calhoun, T[ennessee to] George Gilmore [i.e., Gilmer], [Governor of Georgia], Milledgeville, Georgia / Hugh Montgomery
Montgomery, Hugh, fl. 1831
Date of Original:
Cherokee Indians--Treaties
Cherokee Indians--Relocation
Cherokee Indians--Genealogy
Indian land transfers
Indian agents
United States, Georgia, 32.75042, -83.50018
United States, Tennessee, 35.75035, -86.25027
This letter of July 2, 1831 from Hugh Montgomery, an agent to the Cherokees, to George Gilmer, Governor of Georgia (1829-1831). Montgomery answers Gilmer's request for information on some Cherokees, including Walter Adair, Richard Taylor, and John Ross, who had sold their reservations under the Treaty of 1819. Montgomery provides information on the lineage of Ross, and several other Cherokee figures, describing their parentage and blood quantum. Montgomery complains that he cannot comment directly on any secret meetings that the Cherokee leaders might be holding regarding whether or not they plan to cooperate with the government's requests that they give up their land. He goes on to say that he is sure that the Cherokees are opposed to the idea of removal, or emigration, and that the only way to persuade them to leave is to pay them. Montgomery looks forward to the time when the Cherokee territory will be peopled by whites and rid of the "trouble of Indians".
Digital image and encoded transcription of an original manuscript, scanned, transcribed and encoded by the Digital Library of Georgia in 2001, as part of GALILEO, funded in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
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Bibliographic Citation (Cite As):
Cite as: [title of item], Telamon Cuyler, Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries, presented in the Digital Library of Georgia
4 pages/leaves
Original Collection:
Manuscript held by the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries, Telamon Cuyler, box 49, folder 12, document 01.
Holding Institution:
Hargrett Library
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Cherokee Agency
2nd July 1831
The last knyhts [night's] mail brought me your letter of the
31st May ult [ultimo], and I will with great pleasure answer your inquirys [inquiries] as far as I am able.
On examining the file of notifycations [notifications], I find that Richard Walker, John Martin, Daniel Davis, George Parris, Walter J. Adair, Richard Taylor, and John Ross, have all filed the notifycations [notifications] required by the Treaty of
1819; -- They are all living in the Cherokee Nation and within the limits of Georgia; and have sold their Reservations; and are the same persons aluded [alluded] to in the list of Reserves annexed to the Treaty of
Mr [unclear text: Linch ] Died shortly after the Treaty and a Notifycation [Notification] was filed by his widow who died shortly thereafter; The heirs did not get the Reservation but were paid $3000 by the Government for it.
Richard Walkers Reservation was in No [North] Carolina Richd [Richard] Taylors and John Rosses in Tennessee; the rest in Georgia John Ross had but the one, -- His Grand Mother was half Indian his Mother quarter & he is ⅛, his Great grand Father [added text: it is said was ] a British officer at Fort Loudon, his Father & Grand Father Scotchmen [Scotsmen], John Martins Mother is said to have been half Indian, his Father a Brother of Govr. [Governor] Martin of Virginia, Richard Taylors Mother was half Indian, his Father White, Mr Coody is a sisters son of John Ross by a whiteman of Course about 1/16 Indian John Ridge is full Blood,
Whether, or not, the Indians are in the practice of holding private counels [counsels] I cannot say I have not heard of their holding any Since last fall, but situated as I am and where I am, they might hold many secret Councils on the Georgia side and I never hear of them, especially as I am not

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let into any of their secrets, But that the Chiefs [unclear text: are ] opposed to the Jurisdiction of Georgia over their people both by [unclear text: precept ] and example, and advise their people not to accede to the propositions of the Government for their removal, their [there] can be no doubt, --
I am entirely uninformed of the Course which they intend to pursue, for as I said before they keep their plans all secret from me; I understand that the Principle Chief and George Lowry and Major Ridge, have lately taken a Tour round the Nation, and given Talks (as they call them) in almost every Village -- The Interpretor [Interpreter] heard one of them -- [deleted text: [illegible text] ] at their court house in this district, he informs me that they urged their people to stick to their country and live and die where their Fathers did, and be buried by their side; That their prospect was better now than it ever had been, that they had many friends in Congress, who were true to them, and growing in number, and that Congress would compell [compel] the President to protect them against the cruel oppressions of Georgia.
My opinion is that as long as the present Chiefs are in power they will not cede any of their country, at least for some years yet to come, upon any Terms whatever; and that the only mode of effecting their removal, is by Emigration -- Pay them for their improvements and ship them as they become willing to go -- I am also of opinion that it was bad Policy to stop it last year --
It had taken us near two years to raise the spirit of Emigration, (The Chiefs allways [always] opposing with all their might) and now the spirit has cooled down it will be hard to raise [added text: it ] again another piece of bad Policy Connected with it

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is that [added text (appears to be different ink): x ] we have not been furnished with mony [money] to pay those who have gone for their improvements. But if opened shortly and funds furnished to pay for Improvements, I have no doubt but a goodly number would [added text: go ] this fall and winter and increase every year untill [until] the National Pride of the chiefs would be overcome, and they, and the remnant wold [would] then be likely to go in a body, at least this wold [would] be more likely to succeed [deleted text: [illegible text] ] than any attempt at a Treaty with the chiefs; in the former case they would act for themselves as Interest might direct in the latter they would act as they were acted upon by the Chiefs, who are generally permitted to think, speak, and act for them.
an other plan has long Since presented itself to my mind as [deleted text: the ] most likely to suc [document damaged: ceed ] and which (altho [although] gratuitous) I will ventur [document damaged: e ] to suggest, if it does not accord with your Ideas it can go only for what it is worth -- suppose when a register is opened for enrolling Emigrants an other was opened for all those to enroll [deleted text: in ] who were not willing, or ready to go, and who would become Citizens and relinquish all their right to the ballance [balance] of the Land on having a reservation Given them, and let it be granted to them on, Congress paying the state the minimum price of publick [public] lands for it; They would soon sell out to whitemen and go off at their own expince [expense], the Country would be setted [settled] up with white people, and the state get clear of the trouble of Indians --

I have the honour [honor] to be your Excellencys ob St [obedient Servant]
[Signed] H [Hugh] Montgomery

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H. [Hugh] Montgomery

2.d [2nd] July 1831

Indian Reservations

Calhoun T [Tennessee]
9 July 1831
His Excellency George R. Gilmore Milledgeville Georgia

18 9/11