Gilmer, George Rockingham (1790-1859; Gov. Georgia, US House Reps.). ALS, 2pp. Executive Department, Milledgeville (GA), July 6, 1830. To Archibald R.S. Hunter, Powelton, GA.
As Governor of Georgia during the 1829-1831 term, George Gilmer was responsible for the removal of the Cherokees from the state on the orders of Andrew Jackson. The President had signed the Indian Removal Act on May 28, 1830. After thanking Mr. Hunter for the copy of the War Department communication to the Cherokee Agent, Governor Gilmer relates: "I believe myself that the enrolment [sic] of individuals and small parties of the Cherokees is the most effectual method of removing them, especially since the passage of the law by which their improvements when paid for, in Georgia, by the U States, becomes the property of the State."
Other southern states did not see themselves as party to this agreement between Georgia and the Federal Government. They began to speed up removal of native groups within their borders forcing the Federal government to pass the Indian Removal Act to provide lands west of the Mississippi to replace lands lost in the Southeast.
Gilmer goes on to note: "The President is himself personally attending to the removal of the Cherokees, and is fully acquainted with everything connected with our relations with that tribe. I find it extremely difficult to preserve the rights of the State, and at the same time to acquesce [sic] in the means used by the U States to sustain its own policy in conducting Indian affairs."
Gilmer declines to recommend to the President the reappointment of Hunter and Bridge to their positions. "The subjects of correspondence with the President present so many difficulties and concern such important interests to the State, that I would prefer that the request to the President for yourself and Mr. Bridge's reappointment should be made in some other manner than that you propose."
But then, he asks for "intelligence" from the Cherokee region: "I shall be gratified in receiving from you, whilst in the Cherokee Country such information as you may be able to give me respecting the disposition of the Cherokees in Georgia to submit to the laws - intrusion upon their territory by the whites - or the taking of gold from the lands of the State occupied by Indians - either by Whites or Indians."
Letter is in very good condition other than hole created by breaking wax seal.
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