General Gaines to Governor Troup.
Head-quarters, Eastern Department, Indian Springs, July 28, 1825.
I have to acknowledge the honor of your excellency's letter of the 16th of this month, by which it appears that you had " only a moment left to say one word" in answer to mine of the 10th.
Your one word, comprehending, however, two pretty closely written pages, coming as it does from the Chief Magistrate of an enlightened and patriotic member of the United States, demands my attention.
Not being disposed, however, to follow your example as to time, I have permitted your letter to lie on my table for a week past, in the expectation that a little reflection would suggest to you the propriety of correcting some expressions, apparently hasty, and calculated to call forth an answer partaking of the climate and heated atmosphere in which I find myself; against which it has been my constant purpose to guard: but your letter having made its appearance in a newspaper just now handed to me by a friend, I can no longer see the propriety of withholding a reply. You say, " The certificate of Marshall, no matter how procured, is one of the most daring efforts that ever was attempted by malignant villainy to palm & falsehood upon credulity." " No matter how procured!"' I will first state to you the manner in which that frightful certificate was " procured," and then proceed to show that its " daring" character consists in its truth, and its direct tendency to expose, in part, the " malignant villainy" which has been extensively practised on the credulity of many of the good citizens of Georgia and other States, in reference to the Indians and the treaty. The facts contained in the certificate in question were voluntarily, and to me unexpectedly, communicated by Mr. William Edwards and Joseph Marshall, whose signatures it bears.
Of the character of William Edwards, who is a citizen of this State, I have had no means of knowing much personally. He has been represented to me by Colonel Brodnax of Pike, and by Colonel Phillips of this county, as a man of truth — poor, but honest and upright; a description of character applicable to a large class of the inhabitants of this and other parts of our western border, in whom I have usually found as much devotion to truth as in any other class of American citizens.
Joseph Marshall is personally better known to me. He is a Creek half-breed, and is deemed to be a good interpreter; and however deficient, as I know he is, in education and refined moral sentiments, such as have obtained the sanction of civilized society, I have no doubt that he is one of the most upright chiefs that ever belonged to the little treaty-making party. Neither of these men, Edwards or .Marshall, appeared to me at all qualified for what you denounce their certificate to be — " the most daring effort that ever was attempted by malignant villainy."
Their statements were simple, and apparently unprejudiced and unimpassioned; they we're made after the principal business of the council had been brought to a close, and in the presence of many of the respectable citizens of Pike county.
Convinced of the propriety of all my duties with the Indians being performed in open day, and in the presence of as many as would attend of all States and of all colors, I took care that the certificate should be taken and explained in presence of the council, and of all others who had seen fit to attend.
I had no secret project to promote, nor any " secret griefs" to remedy, or secret hopes to gratify; and, consequently, had no occasion for separating the chiefs, or for secret examination.
The certificate was written as it was dictated (as I believe, word for word) by my aid-de-camp, E. George Washington Butler, a young officer of accomplished military education and talents, with unbending integrity and spotless honor; and who is as incapable of giving countenance to a trick or misrepresentation as was the beloved Father of his Country, with whose name he is honored, and whose patriotism and virtue he constantly scrupulously imitates.
Having thus explained to you the means employed to obtain the certificate in question, for which I hold myself responsible, I have now to remark, that, although I have never entertained a doubt that you were deceived into a belief that General McIntosh had consulted the few chiefs of his party, and had obtained their assent in council to the immediate survey of the ceded land, yet I have found no satisfactory evidence of such council, consisting of the chiefs of the ceded territory, having ever acted at all upon the subject. And it is apparent from McIntosh's letters, "no matter how procured," (I will offer no apology for making use of your excellency's pregnant phrase,) or by whom written, that he himself considered the permission to survey as merely conditional. But I contend that neither General McIntosh nor his vassal chiefs had any right to give such permission; for the treaty, "no matter how procured," had become a law of the land; its provisions could not, therefore, be changed or rendered inoperative by any correspondence, or any subsequent agreement, between your excellency and any part or the whole of the individuals of one of the contracting parties, without the consent of the other.
The treaty makes it our duty to protect the Indians against the whites and all others. To protect them from the whites, it is necessary and proper that we should maintain the usual line of demarcation between them and the whites.
I am charged with their protection.
To accomplish this, important duty, my first object has been to take effectual measures to prevent all intercourse between them and the whites, excepting only such as is sanctioned by the laws of the United States.
You say, " I very well know, from the late events which have transpired under the eyes of the commissioners of Georgia, that the oath of a Governor of Georgia may be permitted to pass for nothing, and that any vagabond of the Indian country may be put in requisition to discredit him; but I assure you, sir, if that oath should not weigh a single feather with your Government, it will weigh with the people of this State, who, so far as I have a knowledge of their history, have never yet refused credence to. the word of their Chief Magistrate." To this apparently very serious, but certainly very vague charge, I cannot undertake to reply, until you do me the favor to give me some specifications of the matters-of-fact to which you have referred.
I will, however, take this occasion to remark, that, whatever statements you may have received in support of the insinuation apparently contained in your letter, that I have called in question, or even put any person in requisition to call in question, the oath or the word of a Governor of Georgia, during his continuance in office, are wholly destitute of truth. I have, indeed, believed, and have expressed to you my belief, that you have been greatly deceived by persons in whose honor you have placed reliance, but who were unworthy of your confidence. But I am by no means disposed to yield my tacit assent to the high-toned rule of English law which your remarks just now quoted call to mind, that "the King can do no wrong." Truth is a divine attribute, and the foundation of every virtue. " Truth is the basis of all excellence." This inestimable moral treasure, truth, is to be found in the cottage as well as in the palace, at the plough as well as at the official bureau of state.
Many of the unfortunate wanderers of the wilderness and its borders are as firm votaries of truth as any men I have ever known. Some of them, who have been unfortunate in business, and whose regard to truth and honesty induced them to give up the last dollar justly duo to their creditors, had they regarded money a little more, and truth a little less, might have failed full-handed; and now, instead of being reduced to the condition of despised poverty, would wanton in the luxuries of plundered wealth. It is no longer possible in America to make freemen believe that the " King (or he who governs) can do no wrong."
The enlightened citizens of the republic have long since found it to be fruitless to look for angels in the form of men to govern them, and know full well how to discriminate between the high office and the man who fills it.
Your excellency will, I doubt not, always receive a degree of respect, proportioned at least to that which you are wont to bestow on other men in office: more than this could not be expected; less than this would not be just. That a great number of the citizens of Georgia are magnanimous, just, generous, and chivalric, I well know; and that they are disposed to do justice to their Chief Magistrate, I am equally convinced; nor can I doubt that they will do equal justice to their United States as well as their State officers.
I rely upon the wisdom, justice, and patriotism of at least nine-tenths of those with whom I have the pleasure of an acquaintance, many of whom are cultivators of the land; to which class, in this and every other State in the republic, I look up with confident pleasure and pride, as they form the adamantine pillars of the Union; against which the angry vaporing paper squibs of the little and the great demagogues of all countries may continue to be hurled for hundreds of centuries, without endangering the noble edifice. This beloved monument of American wisdom, and valor, and virtue will stand unshaken, when the disturbers of its infantile repose will be remembered to be pitied or execrated.
The good people of Georgia, I am well aware, are anxious to obtain possession of the land upon their western border; but they would abhor the idea of fraudulent or lawless means being resorted to, to treat for, or, after treating, to obtain possession of it, before the time authorized by treaty. And I am well convinced that the President of the United States is as sincerely desirous as any upright citizen of Georgia can be, that the Indian claims to the lands within her limits should be speedily extinguished, and that the Indians should remove therefrom as soon as they can justly be required to remove; but he owes them protection and justice, and both will be extended to them.
It is not to be denied that there is in Georgia, as well as every other State, a small class of men, who, like the "Holy Alliance," profess to employ themselves in the laudable work of enlightening and governing all other classes of the community, but whose labors consist of the vain and "daring efforts" to prove that the light of truth is to be found only with the party to which themselves respectively belong, and that all others go wrong. If you will take the trouble to read the newspaper essays with which the presses have been teeming for some years past, you will find that many of the essayists have had the hardihood to " refuse credence to the word of their Chief Magistrate," and yet we have no reason to despair of the republic.
You say, " I do not like the complexion of things at all, as disclosed by the commissioners on the part of the State, and sincerely hope (you add) that you may never have cause to regret the part you have taken in them." Permit me then, sir, to conclude with a sincere hope that the commissioners, with whose report I am thus menaced, may prove by their conduct that they belong n6t to the aforementioned one-sided enlightening class; should their report be found to contain truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, your excellency may dismiss your apprehensions felt on my account, as I have nothing to apprehend. But if their report be not true, I can say only that the tongue and the pen of calumny can never move me from the path of duty, nor ever make me regret the course pursued by me, iii respect to the Indians or the commissioners, the State or the United States.
In tendering to your excellency my acknowledgments for the prepossession in my favor of which you speak, and which you say would have given you " pleasure to cherish in behalf of an officer who had rendered signal services to his country," permit me to observe, that the approbation of my countrymen is more dear to me than any earthly treasure they could bestow, save that of an assured devotion to the republic: if, indeed, it be in my power to win that approbation by a faithful discharge of my duty as a public officer and as an honest man, I have long endeavored thus to win it. My best efforts are constantly exerted to ascertain the direct and proper course of duty prescribed by law, and justice, and honor; and to pursue that course without any regard to consequences. But I have seen, of late, with regret, that it is scarcely possible for an officer of the General Government to differ with you in opinion without incurring your uncourteous animadversion or your acrimonious censure, neither of which shall ever induce me to forget what is due to myself, or the venerated station you fill, and the relation in which you stand to the General Government, in whose service I have the honor to be placed.
Wishing you health and respect, I have the honor to be,
Edmunds P. Gaines, Maj. Gen. Commanding.
To His Excellency George M. Troup, Governor of Georgia.
Governor Troup to General Gaines.
Executive Department, Milledgeville, August 6, 1825.
A letter purporting to be yours, which appeared in the last Georgia Journal, and having every characteristic of an official one, could not fail to attract my attention. Immediately, therefore, on my return to this place, inquiry was made at the Department for the original, and I learned, with surprise, that none such had been received. The proper means were then resorted to, to ascertain the authenticity of the published letter; and, having been satisfied that the same was in your proper handwriting, I have lost no time to direct you to forbear further intercourse with this Government. Having thought proper to make representations of your conduct to the President, I have ordered you to be furnished with a copy of every letter written on your subject, and which will reach you in due lime. Any communication proceeding from the officer next in command in this military department will be received and attended to.
G. M. Troup.
E. P. Gaines, Major General Commanding, Indian Springs.
Governor Troup to T. P. Andrews.
Executive Department, Milledgeville, June 14, 1825.
In the conversations held with yourself and General Gaines, in relation to the objects of your mission, you were pleased to express a desire to receive from myself any views or suggestions which might usefully contribute to the results which were most desirable. These, in passing, have been hitherto frankly given. As it is determined that one or both of you will proceed to attend the convention of the Indians about to be holden at Broken Arrow and the Indian Springs, it becomes my duty to disclose to you, in a special manner, the opinions entertained of this first and most important movement, so that, if miscarriage follow, the councils of Georgia will share in no degree the responsibility of that miscarriage. It is known to be one of your objects to elicit from the convention the truths connected with the late and present disorders in the nation — a development which the councils of Georgia cannot fail to regard with very deep concern; it has been more than once asked of you, therefore, if, preparatory to this movement, it did [not] seem to you as indispensable to suspend the agent from his functions under the authority vested in you by your Government. The answers given have been received with pain and regret, because they indicated an intention to forbear the exercise of the power, at least for the present; whilst it is plainly foreseen that the present is the only moment at which the exercise of it would be of any value to you, or to us, in the fulfillment of the objects of your mission, and for this very obvious reason: the agent, in virtue of his official power, exercising a controlling influence over one portion of the nation, has already assembled that portion; and you see in the morning's paper by what a formidable and imposing array of chiefs he stands exculpated and acquitted.
Now, sir, I appeal to your good sense to inform me of what avail will be the contemplated convocation and catechizing of the Indians, the agent holding to his commission and wielding his accustomed powers? Is it to be believed that, under like circumstances, they will reconsider their minutes and alter their verdict? Not so. In matters even of this kind, they have sagacity and shrewdness, and a decent regard for the opinions of the world. Not doubting that your object is the ascertainment of truth, it is hoped that you will suffer no obstacles to impede your course to it; the most formidable of all stands directly in your way. It is impossible that the faintest ray of light can reach you, when it is known that, in despite of all that has transpired of crimination, of investigation, of evidence, and of exposure, the agent is present to the Indians in his robes of ermine, yet sustained by the Government of the United States as if his purity were spotless and his name unsullied; the same in authority as he always has been; the same whom they behold in prospect to be their leader through new trials, their counselor in evil times, and the supreme director of their destinies in all times. Can it be presumed that, under such circumstances, the Indians will speak to you without restraint? The documents of incontestable authority prove to you that they will not. No, sir; the way to the accomplishment of the ends of your mission is open — suspend the agent; make atonement to the friends of McIntosh for the blood shed by the guilty instruments of white men; restore the friendly chiefs to their political rank and power; and, my word for it, you will find truth, (and enough of it for every purpose,) peace, reconciliation, and union.
With great respect and esteem,
G. M. Troup.
T. P. Andrews, Special Agent.
Governor Troup to T. P. Andrews.
Executive Department, Milledgeville, June 13, 1825.
In compliance with a resolution of the Legislature of the Stale of Georgia, I place you in possession of the report of a committee, the resolutions which follow, and the evidence which supports them, in the case of the agent for Indian affairs, whose conduct in connexion with the late disturbances in the Creek nation has been recently a subject of investigation before that Legislature.
G. M. Troup.
T. P. Andrews, Special Agent U. S., Milledgeville, Georgia.
T. P. Andrews to Governor Troup.
Creek Agency, Flint River, June 18, 1825.
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency's letter of the 13th instant, accompanied by a copy of the evidence against the Indian agent, taken before the committee of the Legislature.
I have not yet received an official copy of the documents promised in your letter of the 31st May. I take the liberty of urging your excellency to furnish me with them as early as possible. I avail myself of this opportunity to call the attention of your excellency, in an especial manner, to the necessity of furnishing the agent of the General Government, as speedily as possible, will) any additional testimony which you wish to offer against the Indian agent. I hope to get through the examination of the evidence offered, and to be offered, by the agent, to rebut that with which I have already been furnished, in about three weeks. The urgency, indeed necessity, of having any additional testimony which may be offered against him by that time, or as soon thereafter as possible, ivill be apparent; as a fair examination must form the wish of your excellency, as it does that of the President and of the Secretary of War. I have also to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 14th instant, which was handed to me at the moment of my departure for this place from Milledgeville. I am, perhaps, unfortunate in entertaining different opinions of the matters to which it relates, and particularly as to the importance, the justice, or necessity of suspending the agent, under present circumstances.
After an attentive examination of the testimony talen by the committee, and some already shown to me by the agent, and as no specifications have been presented, I did not think that the suspension was demanded on the grounds contemplated in my letter of the 31st of May, and by the Government. I did think, the determination of the General Government and of its agents being, as your excellency has very justly remarked, "the ascertainment of truth," that the presence or absence of the Indian agent at any place, or under any circumstances, would be immaterial in the fulfillment of that determination. I had a hope, also, that, as your excellency is seen to speak in doubting language of all guilt of that officer in your message of the 3d instant, being after the date of your charges against him; that, as he has been acquitted generally of one of the charges by the adopted report of the Legislature; having still the appalling influence and power of the executive and legislative branches of one Government against him, and that, too, on testimony avowedly exparte, he would not have to complain, during his trial, of any acts on the part of another which might appear to partake of oppression. Your fixed opinion as to the necessity of his suspension, and the manner in which that opinion is communicated, will compel me to that course, iu courtesy, and to convince your excellency and the people of Georgia that the General Government is determined not to suffer even a supposed difficulty to be in the way, and to leave no course untried which may elicit the free and unbiased testimony of all persons: this, even towards a man who has not been, so far as the investigation has been pursued by the authorities of Georgia, " informed of the nature and causes of the accusation," or " confronted with the witnesses against him," or had " compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor," as required by the sacred instrument which guards the rights of all.
I observed, before leaving Milledgeville, that parts of the testimony taken before the committee of the Legislature had been published in the newspapers, and it was currently reported the balance was to be shortly made public.
The Indian agent being an officer of the General Government, I presume (and from expressions adopted by the Legislature) that the main object of the examination was to place the General Government in possession of the evidence. If such is the fact, your excellency will not, I feel assured, think it improper in me, as the agent of the General Government, to remark, that I trust you will consider it as due in courtesy to the General Government, and in justice to the party accused, that the evidence taken by the committee, and now in the official charge of your excellency, avowedly exparte, should not be spread before the public, and public opinion thereby forestalled, before the agent has had an opportunity of defending himself, or the General Government an opportunity of examining the evidence adduced by either party. The frankness which your excellency has uniformly invited, emboldens me to make the suggestion for your consideration.
With the highest respect and consideration, I remain your excellency's most obedient servant,
T. P. Andrews, Special Agent.
To His Excellency Geo. M. Troup, Governor of Georgia, Milledgeville.
Governor Troup to T. P. Andrews.
Executive Department, Milledgeville, June 20, 1825.
I have this moment received your letter of the 18th instant, dated at the Creek agency. The printing of the documents and evidence having relation to the disorders in the nation, and to the charges exhibited by this Government, will be completed, it is understood, in the course of the day; so that a copy will be forwarded for your use in the course of to-morrow.
The commission authorized by the Legislature to take further testimony, will, for that purpose, proceed forthwith to the nation, and under orders to make all possible despatch.
You have widely mistaken me if you believe that any disposition exists here to withhold from the agent the most ample means of justifying himself to his Government, much less any desire for the performance of an act on your part that would savor of oppression; on the contrary, this Government desires that the fairest opportunity shall be afforded the accused of profiting of every description of testimony which may be available for his complete vindication, free from any obstacles or embarrassments which it might have the power to interpose. It was in this spirit that my instructions to the commissioners were draughted; and although it was known that the agent had disclaimed the authority of the Government of Georgia to interfere, and that, therefore, there was little probability of his seeking the benefit of a particular instruction, nevertheless an instruction has been given, which will admit him at his pleasure to be present at the investigation on our part, and to exercise the right of cross-examination freely. Moreover, I can add, with great sincerity, that it will give me pleasure at any time to contribute aids and facilities to his defence; for, whatever I may believe of the guilt or innocence of the agent, I trust that one and all of us, for the honor of our own human nature, would gladly see him vindicated and justified against such charges as have been preferred by this Government. Whilst, however, this assurance is given, it is nevertheless true that you have very much misconceived the sentence of my message, which, according to your construction of it, implies doubt of the guilt of the agent. No such doubt exists. It was not said that the agent had committed crimes, because it was not intended to say so; it was enough that the agent had been charged with the commission of them: and, having exhibited the charges, I presume you would not have been insensible to the indelicacy of the accuser passing sentence upon the accused. But whilst this was purposely avoided there, I can very freely make known to you here, that if, instead of passing upon the guilt or innocence of the accused, I had been stating my belief from the evidence even now disclosed, and ex parte as it may be, I would have said, without hesitation, that, with respect to the one charge, I believed him guilty of that beyond the possibility of refutation; and that, with regard to the other, he was so far innocent only as he was not present at the time and place, inflicting the blows with his own hands. Taking very opposite views of the subject, you seem to have yielded a reluctant and ungracious assent to the suspension of the agent, and indeed to indulge a little in the language of complaint, lest injury might, by possibility, result from it to the accused.
Be persuaded, sir, that this act of suspension is in no respect personally gratifying to me; nor were feelings of any kind connected with my suggestion of the propriety of it, but those which yourself must have indulged for the successful fulfillment of the objects of your mission. I repeat what was before alleged in support of that suggestion, that it could not be conceived how it would be possible for you to make any the least advance to the attainment of truth, or to the pacification of the Indians, without it as a first and indispensable measure. The friendly chiefs had already given your Government to understand that they would never consent to commit themselves again to the protection of the agent; and you were almost present to witness that, by the power and influence of his office, the hostile chiefs had been convoked, and a declaration of the innocence of the agent either extorted or otherwise obtained; and this, too, just before the period had arrived at which General Games and yourself were to convene the same Indians, for the purpose of obtaining from them, fairly and honestly, the truth; a fact well known to the agent, but which fact did not prevent him from thus forestalling and anticipating you.
When you permit yourself to say that the agent "has not, so far as the investigation has been pursued by the authorities of Georgia, been informed of the nature and cause of the accusation," you will suffer me to answer that this has been no omission of ours, but of yours. It was part of your duty to have notified the agent, so soon as the charges were received, of the existence of those charges; and with regard to specifications, I assure you that unless for some very useful purpose to the interest of Georgia, I would not take the trouble to sit down to paper to make them. The agent is charged with instigating the Indians to the commission of the crime of murder, and with predetermined resolution to prevent the Indians from making cession of the lands, so long as a certain person was at the head of the Government of Georgia; and these, in all reason, are specifications enough. We are not exhibiting charges against the agent as offending the martial law, to which a long detail of specifications, according to custom, must be subjoined. If your Government wants further specification, it must seek it elsewhere; and this, sir, is obviously the mistaken bias Under which you and your Government labor. You are willing to resolve every thing into prejudice against the agent, for his protection; whereas it is notorious that the prejudice of your Government has been so far advantageous to him, that it is very difficult to subdue it by any kind of evidence. With respect to " the right of confrontation with the witnesses against him," there is abundant time for that when, after finding a true bill, he shall be arraigned at the bar of justice; and with regard to his "not having compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, as required by the sacred instrument which guards the rights of all," I pledge you my word of honor that, whenever I shall hear of such gross injustice being done him be any competent and authorized tribunal before which he may be cited, I will consider it as an injury done to myself; and it done by a tribunal within our jurisdiction, and of course punishable for offences committed under our constitution and laws, so far as depends on me, the utmost efforts will be made to bring to punishment all or any public agents concerned in so offending.
The documents are in a course of publication, by order of the Legislature. Having been previously made public by that body itself, in the most formal manner, it is not seen that any further publication of them can operate injuriously to the agent; for it would seem to be better, even on his own account, that, after so much had been made known of their contents, all should be known, and that nothing should be left for inference or conjecture; especially, too, as the public, understanding the character of the evidence to be exparte, will be able to estimate it at what it may be worth. It may be proper to add, that, by a special and positive resolution, the Governor is directed to cause them to be distributed through all the counties as soon as they are printed, and you are already informed that the printing will be complete in the course of to-day.
With great respect and consideration,
G. M. Troup.
To Major T. P. Andrews, Special Agent, Creek Agency.
T. P. Andrews to Governor Troup.
Creek Agency, Flint River, June 23, 1825.
I do myself the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 20th instant, this day received from your aid-de-camp, Colonel Jones, from whom I have also received a copy of the documents which accompanied your excellency's message of the 23d of May to the Legislature.
Your excellency appears to entertain an impression that I had expressed a.belief, in my letter of the 18th instant, that a disposition exists on the part of the authorities of Georgia to withhold from the agent the means of justifying himself to his Government, and that you had also shown a wish that I should, by complying with your repeated and urgent request, both verbally and in writing, to suspend the agent, enter into proceedings against him before his trial, which might savor of oppression.
At the same time that I take advantage of the first possible moment to disclaim, in the fullest manner, entertaining for a moment a belief as to any such disposition or intention, yet your excellency will excuse me for remarking that, although I could not for an instant entertain a belief that such intentions actuated the authorities of Georgia, yet their acts must inevitably have that unjust and oppressive operation on the agent.
It is impossible that authorities so exalted could wish to act oppressively or unjustly towards an humble individual under trial; but it is equally impossible for an unprejudiced person to withhold the belief that their proceedings (in the absence of any but the fairest intentions) have had their effects on the interests and feelings of the individual referred to.
You remark " that, by the power and influence of his office, the hostile chiefs had been convoked, and a declaration of the innocence of the agent either extorted or otherwise obtained; and this, too, just before the period had arrived at which General Gaines and myself were to convene the same Indians, for the purpose of obtaining from them, fairly and honestly, the truth; a fact well known to the agent, but which fact did not prevent him from thus forestalling and anticipating us." I am satisfied it is only necessary (to induce you to do him justice in your good opinion in relation to that particular transaction) to remind your excellency that those documents were procured by the agent from the Indians before it was possible for the agent to know that General Gaines or an agent of the Government was ordered here.
I arrived at Milledgeville on the 31st of May, and General Gaines on the 12th or 13th of June; and the documents referred to as procured by the agent from the Indians are dated on the 14th of May. Indeed, they were procured from the Indians six days before General Gaines's orders were issued at Washington, and the same number of days before I was appointed special agent for the Government. They were shown to me the day I reached Milledgeville.
In your remark, that it was part of my duty to have notified the agent, so soon as the charges were received, of the existence of those charges, your excellency inadvertently overlooks the fact, that, in my letter of the 31st of May, it was made known to you that it was expressly contemplated by my Government that specifications and evidence should accompany the charges, as an act of justice to the accused, to enable him " to defend himself before his Government with as little delay as possible." It was so contemplated by the General Government, because of the intention of having a fair, and, consequently, a " speedy trial."
The utter impossibility of replying to charges of crimes not dated or located, referred to in general terms only, and the consequent injustice to the accused, is certainly also inadvertently overlooked by your excellency.
Your excellency is pleased to remark, in substance, that when, " after the finding of a true bill, the agent should be arraigned at the bar of justice, there is abundant time for confronting him with the witnesses against him." You remark, also, with regard to his not having " compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor," as required by the sacred instrument which guards the rights of all, that whenever "you shall hear of such gross injustice done him, by any competent and authorized tribunal before which he may be cited, you will " bring to punishment all or any public agent concerned in so offending."
The multiplicity and importance of your high duties have caused your excellency to forget that, before even the " finding of the bill," and consequently before the trial, the punishment has been loudly demanded of the court — the dismissal of the agent, in the report and resolutions adopted by the Legislature.
I did not, as your excellency seems to suppose, allude to the publication of the evidence in the form of a document or pamphlet. I was aware that the Legislature had so ordered its publication, and should have considered it highly indecorous and improper to have asked the violation of its injunctions.
I alluded solely, as my letter will show, to the publication (depending on, the will of your excellency) of the evidence, admitted by all to be ex parte, in the newspapers. The suggestion, however, was merely submitted for your consideration.
With a respectful protest against the supposed prejudices ascribed to the General Government and to its agent, and with a free acknowledgment of the high-minded resolutions and sentiments of an opposite tenor interspersed through your excellency's letter, the latter of which only do justice to your great talents and high character,
I remain, with the highest respect and consideration, your excellency's most obedient servant,
T. P. Andrews, Special Agent.
To His Excellency G. M. Troup, Governor of Georgia, Milledgeville.
Governor Troup to T. P. Andrews.
Executive Department, Milledgeville, June 27, 1825.
I have this moment received your letter of the 23d instant. It gives me great pleasure to correct, without delay, an error into which I had fallen, in consequence of not adverting particularly to the date of the certificate obtained from the Indians by the agent, as published as part of his defence in one of the last papers. From a comparison of dates, it does appear that that certificate was obtained before the agent knew that yourself and General Gaines would proceed to Broken Arrow to convene a council or institute an inquiry. Whilst this correction, therefore, is most cheerfully made, you cannot but admit the utter immateriality of it to the agent for any objects or interests of his; for the fact still turns out to be, that, whilst the agent, in procuring that certificate, did not intend to forestall, in particular, General Gaines and yourself in making a certain examination, he did well know that it would forestall General Gaines or yourself, or any others whom your Government might at any time depute to make an examination there; and this is the fact, and the only fact of any consequence to the argument.
On the subject of specifications, to which you have again called my attention, I have only to remark, that, if your Government pleases to forbear further inquiry or investigation into the conduct of the agent, either because it derives no specifications from me, or because those specifications are not precisely such, in manner and form, as are agreeable to itself, it has the power to do so. But if your Government has not found matter enough for specifications (if, indeed, they be at all important) in the published accredited documents, or, finding it there in abundance, shall not choose to frame them for itself, I assure you, sir, I would not know where to proceed to look for it, even if I believed it (as I do not) to be my duty to furnish those specifications.
When time shall have disclosed that I was mistaken in attributing prejudice to your Government in behalf of its agent, although that belief has not been assumed upon light ground, and is so far sustained by the occurrences of every day, I assure you, sir, I shall proceed without delay to render to it the fullest measure of justice which injured honor, could, require from a deceived accuser.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. P. andrews, Special Agent.
G. M. Troup.
Governor Troup to T. P. Andrews.
Executive Department, Milledgeville, June 18, 1825.
From the course recently pursued by the agent in procuring from the chiefs of the hostile Indians, under the" influence of his office, and from the missionaries, their attestation to his innocence, the commissioners appointed under the authority of the Legislature are directed to proceed to Broken Arrow, to participate in the councils to be holden there on the 25th instant, so far as they have for their objects the collection of facts and development of truths, as connected with the late disturbances in the nation, and the charges exhibited by this Government against the agent of the United States for Indian affairs. They are instructed specially to avoid any interference, unless solicited, with the political arrangements or negotiations between the United States and the Indians, which appertain exclusively to'the relations and interests subsisting between them, and to which the State of Georgia is no party. It is hoped and expected that this measure will meet your concurrence and approbation.
With great respect, &c.
G. M. Troup.
Major T. P. Andrews, Special Agent.
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