[Letter] 1832 Jan. 23, [to] Gen[era]l [John] Coffee / Geo[rge] M. Waters

Southeastern Native American Documents, 1730-1842
[Letter] 1832 Jan. 23, [to] Gen[era]l [John] Coffee / Geo[rge] M. Waters
Waters, George M.
Date of Original:
Cherokee Indians--Land tenure
Cherokee Indians--Claims
Cherokee Indians--Legal status, laws, etc.
United States, Georgia, 32.75042, -83.50018
This is a letter dated January 23, 1832 from Cherokee leader George M. Waters to General John Coffee regarding his land along the Chattahoochee River. Waters claims that several white men have unlawfully settled on his land and have been cultivating it, and their actions are an infringement on his rights as the legal landowner. He explains that he has been in possession of the land for about ten years and employs upwards of twenty hands to improve and cultivate the land. Waters indicates that Colonel J.W.A. Sanford, of the Georgia Guard, has already attempted to evict the squatters and requests Coffee's assistance in removing the trespassers. A series of sworn statements from the squatters mentioned herein appears in tcc701. Another letter from Waters (to Governor of Georgia, Wilson Lumpkin) articulating his claim also appears in tcc703. A further letter related to this dispute is tcc704.
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
3 pages/leaves
Original Collection:
Manuscript held by the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries, Telamon Cuyler, box 01, folder 46, document 05.
Holding Institution:
Hargrett Library
Rights Statement information

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Jan. 23 [
Genl. [General] Coffee
Dr [Dear] Sir,
About ten years ago I settled my plantation on the west side of the Chatahoochee in right of my decent [descent] from the cherokees, in as much as my force of hands was about Twenty & enclosed the [unclear text: bend ] below my buildings, and extended my fence above my buildings about half a mile, the whole extent of my fence run along the river about one mile & 1/2 taking in about six hundred acres of Land of various quallities [qualities], my fence was constructed for a three fold purchase, 1st to keep my stock from the river 2nd that I might have the oppy [opportunity] of opening land for cultivation as I might require 3d for the purchase of enclosing a field in the bend of thirty acres. about two or three years ago certain persons viz [videlicet] Miller, Green, [unclear text: A ] Hambleton, Webb, J. Hambleton Slayton and Coleman trespassed upon my rights by clearing land within my enclosure, and planting the same for two, or three years, without a rail round three fields and altogether protected by [added text: my ] fence, by this unlawfull [unlawful] trespass I have been [illegible text] in my planting interests, as I work upwards of Twenty hands I [unclear text: could ] cultivate fully three hundred acres of Lands, by these trespasses I have been unable to cultivate more than one hundred and fifty, or sixty acres. The former Agent (Col. [Colonel] Sandford) notified the beforementioned persons so soon as they gathered there last years crops to give me peaceable possession of all the lands cleared and claimed (expressly) by them to me, this they agreed to do [added text: so ] but now taking

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advantage of the last act of the Legislature which directs all Lands cleared &c [et cetera], by whites to be rented they have [illegible text] the lands be cleared within my enclosures Should these lands be rented I consider it an [deleted text: unlawfull ] infringements [added text: upon ] of my rights and not Contemplated by the enactment. it has been represented to you that the whole of the lands within my enclosure are of the best quallity [quality], this is not the fact, for nearly two thirds of the land is of an inferior quallity [quality] and not fit for cultivation. Cou'd [Could] you conveniently view the trespass upon my rights it wou'd [would] be gratifying to me in [deleted text: which ] which case I cannot but believe you wou'd [would] be perfectly satisfied of my statements. the persons before mentioned have neither Law, [deleted text: [illegible text] ] [added text: nor ] justice on their side for they have infringed the laws of the state, [added text: and ] [deleted text: by ] trespassing upon my acknowledged rights I have very briefly stated to you my grievances --

I am very respectfully yrs. [yours] &c [et cetera]
[Signed] Geo: [George] M. Waters

23d. Jany [January] 1832
P. S. perhaps it will be proper to state that I settled a small place on a creek about two miles from my residence were [where] I contemplate erecting a mill, on this place, I have had a white man for four, or five years. I allow him part of the crops made annually, for the privileges of living on said [added text: place ] and taking care of my stock of hog &c [et cetera] . he is under a license

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Genl. Jno. [General John] Coffee