Get your ow
n diary at! contact me older entries newest entry

2002-01-12 - 9:01 a.m.

Baptist missionary Evan Jones who joined the Cherokee on the Trail of Tears

Camp Hetzel, near Cleveland, June 16, 1838

The Cherokee are nearly all prisoners. They have been dragged from their houses, and encamped at the forts and military posts, all over the nation. In Georgia, especially, the multitudes were allowed no time to take anything with them, except the clothes they had on. Well-furnished houses were a prey to plunderers, who, like hungry wolves, follow the train of the captors. These wretches rifle the houses, and strip the helpless, unoffending owners of all they have on earth .... The property of many has been taken, and sold before their eyes for almost nothing - the sellers and buyers, in many cases, being combined to cheat the poor Indians .... The poor captive, in a state of distressing agitation, his weeping wife almost frantic with terror, surrounded by a group of crying, terrified children, without a friend to speak a consoling word, is in a poor condition to make a good disposition of his property and is in most cases stripped of it whole, at one blow. Many of the Cherokees, who, a few days ago, were in comfortable circumstances, are now victims of abject poverty. Some, who have been allowed to return home, under passport, to inquire after their property, have found their cattle, horses, swine, farming tools, and household furniture all gone. And this is not a description of extreme cases. It is altogether a faint representation of the work which has been perpetrated against the unoffending, unarmed, and unresisting Cherokees....

It is due to justice to say, that, at this station (and I learn the same is true of some others), the officer in command treats his prisoners with great respect and indulgence. But fault rests somewhere. They are prisoners, without a crime to justify the fact ....

July 10 and 11

The work of war in time of peace, is commenced in the Georgia part of the Cherokee nation, and it is carried on, in most cases, in the most unfeeling and brutal manner; no regard being paid to the orders of the commanding General, in regard to humane treatment of the Indians. I have heard of only one officer in Georgia (I hope there are more), who manifests anything like humanity, in his treatment of this persecuted people ....

The work of capturing being completed, and about 3,000 sent off, the General had agreed to suspend further transportation of the captives till the first of September. This arrangement, though but a small favor, diffused universal joy through the camps of the prisoners ....

On our way, we met a detachment of 1,300 prisoners. As I took some of them by hand, the tears gushed from their eyes. Their hearts, however, were cheered to see us and to hear a word of consolation. Many members of the church were among them. At Fort Butler, we found a company of 300, just arrived from the mountains, on their way to the general depot, at the agency. Some of our members were among these also.

Andrew Jackson, December 6, 1830, Address to Congress it to be supposed that the wandering savage has a stronger attachment to his home than the settled, civilized Christian? Is it more afflicting to him to leave the graves of his fathers than it is to our brothers and children? Rightly considered, the policy of the General Government toward the red man is not only liberal, but generous....



previous - next

about me - read my profile! read other Diar
yLand diaries! recommend my diary to a friend! Get
 your own fun + free diary at!