Taken from the Georgia Journal of the 5th of July, 1825.
TO THE PUBLIC.
The subjoined letter from Major Andrews (United States special agent) is presented to the public to prevent exaggeration and misrepresentation. It speaks for itself. The reasons assigned for my temporary suspension from the office of agent I trust will be duly understood and appreciated. Indeed, the untiring zeal manifested by Governor Troup, in the accomplishment of his purpose, has rarely been equalled, and never surpassed; it stands without a parallel in the annals of persecution. I ask the public and my friends to suspend any opinion in relation to the subject connected with this suspension, until I can have an opportunity of submitting my defence. Far from seeking any advantage from the locality of witnesses in the nation, a.nd from my situation as agent; unwilling to be suspected, even by the most prejudiced, of being capable of using any influence which my official station may be supposed to give me; and anxious to disarm my accuser of the slightest pretext for any insinuation of that character, if I had not received Major Andrews's letter suspending me during the time of taking testimony, I should have asked it. I assure my friends and the public that the investigation will result in the establishment of my innocence of the charges preferred against me by Governor Troup; for, having every confidence in the justice of the Government of my country, and its officers appointed to conduct this investigation, and being conscious of the correct intentions by which my official conduct has been influenced, although I may be for a season subjected to the inquisitorial proceedings of the Governor and Legislature of Georgia, and may be compelled, in consequence thereof, to bear the popular odium, yet I feel persuaded that in the enlightened judgment of my countrymen 1 may safely rely, and from its award I can have nothing to apprehend.
I am, respectfully,
Creek Agency, June 22.
Creek Agency, Flint River, June 21, 1825.
You have been advised of the measures heretofore pursued by the President of the United States and of the Secretary of War, in relation to the charges, specific and implied, made against you as Indian agent. I have now to inform you that a suspension from the exercise of your functions as Indian agent, until the testimony to be collected in the Indian nation has been obtained and examined, has been decided on. I herewith send you a copy of the evidence collected by a committee of the Georgia Legislature, and their report as adopted by the Legislature. Copies of other documents, promised me by the Governor of Georgia, shall be furnished you as soon as those documents are received. You will accordingly turn over the agency to the sub-agent, Captain Tripleit.
In resorting to the discretionary power vested in me by the President, I feel it due to you to state frankly that this determination does not proceed from any present impression unfavorable to your innocence. I am not at liberty, in iny present peculiar situation, to form a settled opinion on the charges made against you, until all the evidence to be collected from every quarter has been received and carefully examined; but I feel it due to you to say that, so far as I am at liberty to take up a present impression, it is in favor of your integrity and honor. I feel it due to you lo make this statement, in consequence of the course (which must be considered an unjust one, if not oppressive,) pursued towards you by the authorities of Georgia; my impression, too, being chiefly grounded on the exparte testimony taken against you. Your suspension is made from courtesy to the authorities of Georgia, who have repeatedly and urgently demanded it, on the ground that it would be impossible to elicit unbiassed testimony in the Indian nation whilst you are in the exercise of your functions. It is done from a desire to do away all pretexts which might otherwise hereafter be seized on to destroy confidence in the results of the examinations. The suspension will be withdrawn so soon as those examinations are concluded, should they result in establishing your innocence.
As the object of the General Government, in this examination, is the establishment of truth, it could not but give me pain, as its agent, to find that, in taking testimony against you, all the usual prerogatives were lost sight of by Georgia. You were neither " informed of the nature or the cause of the accusation, nor confronted with witnesses" against you, nor had you " compulsory process for obtaining witnesses" in your favor. The evidence on which the harshest opinions have been formed and expressed was not only ex parte, but it has been spread before the public in the newspapers before you had been informed of its character, or had an opportunity of making your defence; and public opinion thereby forestalled before the General Government, under which you hold your appointment, has had an opportunity of examining the testimony of either party. The course you have determined to pursue, as made known to me in the copy of your letter of the 20th to the commissioners appointed by the Governor of Georgia, to take further evidence against you, in inviting them to be present at the examination of your voluntary witnesses, is of an opposite character, and cannot fail to strengthen the belief of your conscious innocence.
It is scarcely necessary to add, that, in the exalted character of the President of the United States, and of the Secretary of War, you have the surest guaranty of a fair trial, and a just decision on it.
Very respectfully, sir, your most obedient servant,
T. P. Andrews, Special Agent.
Colonel John Crowell.
Taken from the Southern Recorder of the 9th of August, 1825.
To the public — It will be recollected that, at the commencement of the investigation against me, of the charges preferred by his excellency Governor Troup, I assured my friends and the public that it would result in the establishment of my entire innocence. The examination has now closed, and the opinion of the special agent, (Major Andrews,) contained in his letter to me of the 1st August instant, is given to the public; by which it will be perceived my suspension is withdrawn, and my innocence established. This opinion of my innocence is subject to revisal by the supreme executive authority of the Union: before that ulterior decision, it would be obviously improper to publish my defence, or a summary of the evidence upon which it is founded; but after it is officially announced, that impropriety will no longer exist; then I hope to be able to do so, whereby I trust I shall succeed in removing every doubt from the minds of the most skeptical, and silence every scruple of the most casuistical portion of the community. The public will then be able to form a just judgment between my accuser and myself. Until that period arrives, he can continue the course he has pursued throughout the investigation, in publishing what he pleases, whether in the shape of evidence collected exparte, or in the shape of reports of commissioners, since I feel confident that such publications will be ascribed to their legitimate causes; and since I have too much confidence in the justness of my countrymen to apprehend their effects, when the motives which influence my accuser to such a course are so obviously plain, that the who runs may read' them.
August 2, 1825.
T. P. Andrews to John Crowell.
Milledgeville, Georgia, August 1, 1825.
I acknowledge the receipt of your defence, accompanied by the testimony collected to rebut the charges preferred against you by his excellency Governor Troup, as well as the testimony taken against you by a committee of the Legislature of Georgia, and that interspersed throughout the volume of documents furnished me by the Governor of Georgia.
After a diligent examination of all the testimony taken on both sides during the investigation, and coming before me, I feel it incumbent on me to say that I consider you, in reference to the charges made against you, not only an innocent, but a much injured man. This result is the more honorable to you, as you have only had it in your power to avail yourself of voluntary testimony.
I shall make this report to the Secretary of War, to whom you will look for the decision of the President, which will confirm or reverse this opinion. In the mean time, you will consider your suspension withdrawn.
With respect, sir, your obedient servant,
T. P. Andrews, Special Agent.
To Colonel John Crowell, Indian Agent, &c.
The following letter from Edmund Pendleton Gaines, major general commanding, is taken from the. columns of the Georgia Journal, of the 23d of August, 1825.
Head-Quarters, Eastern Department,
Indian Springs, August 16, 1825.
I have received your excellency's letter of the 6th, postmarked "Milledgeville, 8th of August," acknowledging the publication of a letter from me, the original of which, you say, you had not received. To this I have only to say, it was forwarded in due time. It is, doubtless, known to you that yours of the 17th of July was published, as it is presumed, by your authority, in a newspaper before I replied to it; you could not, therefore, feel much " surprise" at the publication of my reply. I had seen, with regret, that for a United States officer to write to you was, in fact, to write for the newspapers; and that to differ from you in opinion was to be denounced as an offender. Since this was apparent to me, (that is, since the receipt of yours of the 17th of July,) 1 have been well aware of the tax which our little differences of opinion would impose upon me — a tax which conscious innocence suffers under the groundless imputation of guilt. I was not, therefore, much surprised at the gross misrepresentations of your dedimus potestateem commissioners, nor at the concluding paragraph of yours of the 6th, wherein you say " I have lost no time to direct you to forbear further intercourse with this Government." These expressions, like others contained \in some of your previous letters, (but of which I took no notice,) wherein you speak of my using the militia against Georgia, &c., appear to evince a very high degree of that prejudice and inflated pride of office which might well be expected to prompt some little European despot " to feel power and forget right." Were you some little German prince, for example, (the most self-important and overbearing of all the crowned tribe,) and I a Turk, it would, in that case, excite no surprise that the little German prince should address the Turk as you have more than once addressed me; and, after freely indulging in words of " learned length and thundering sound," conclude with the expressions above quoted, viz: " I have lost no time to direct you 1o forbear further intercourse with this Government."
But I am not a Turk, nor are you a prince; I am a plain native of Virginia, and an adopted citizen of Tennessee; I am an officer of the United States, of which Georgia is an honored and an honorable member. My lawful public duties have called me into this Slate, where, yielding due homage to her laws, and those of the United States, I find myself possessed of ample privileges, which depend not upon the whim or caprice of any individual — no, not even the Governor, with whose correspondence I confess to you, sir, I have not been so much delighted or instructed as individually to wish for its continuance. But, however unprofitable your correspondence may be to me individually, yet the respect due to the office you fill will not permit me to yield to the non-intercourse which you have, without authority, presumed to " direct." On the contrary, sir, I have the right as a citizen, and the additional right as a public functionary, to address you; and should my official duties require that I should, at any time, address the Executive of this State personally, or by letter, 1 shall not fail to do that duty with the respect due to the office and the State over which you preside. In this State, as in all others of the United States that I have visited, I am gratified to find around me men and patriots, and the descendants of men and patriots, who fought and bled for the independence of our country, and who, in September, 1787, in the first paragraph of a rare and very interesting work, which I would recommend to your attention, united with the patriots of other States in saying, " We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United Slates of America." Among such men I cannot feel myself a stranger in a foreign land. Many of these men, I am assured, will do me the justice to believe that the United States soldier, whose respectful communications of June and July last you answered with official arrogance, would cheerfully seize upon any proper occasion to throw himself between them and the fire of an invading foe, to save from harm the humblest citizen of the State. My military command has alternately, within a few years past, extended to every State and Territory of the republic. I have, at different times, been honored with the acquaintance and occasional correspondence of more than twenty of the State and Territorial Governors, from neither of whom, except yourself and one other, have I ever received any expression other than the most dignified, amicable, and polite kind. I have addressed one and all of them, and you, in the same heartfelt terms of that respect which naturally flows from an habitual devotion to the beloved institutions of our common country, no feature of which is, in my estimation, so valuable as that which secures the just rights and privileges of the States — rights and privileges defined by the constitution and known laws, and not such as depend upon the prejudice and passion of a few individuals — rights and privileges, to promote which is to promote the interest and honor of the Union. With these impressions I have approached the State authorities, not as foreign princes, but as brethren of one great political family, whose fair fame has already attracted the admiration of every civilized country, and whose example has led to the establishment of liberty in South America, and promises to aid in its final extension and permanent establishment throughout every portion of the world. Such institutions should not be sported with. A public officer, resolved to act the part of a bold man when he has lost the character of a wise one, may sometimes, perhaps, innocently amuse himself in attempts to pass off the turbulence of his thundering words for force, and the frenziy of his party zeal for fire; but when he thus writes Himself into a great passion about nothing, and when he permits himself to utter threats in the face of such institutions, and gravely appeals to his commanders and " co-workers," and says unto them, " having exhausted the argument, we will stand by our arms," we (the people) involuntarily call to mind the ludicrous idea of licentiousness personified in the act of " tweaking justice by the nose, and the babe beating the nurse;" and it becomes a grave question to determine whether to smile or be serious at such eccentricities.
Wishing your excellency health and respect, I have the honor to be,
Edmund Pendleton Gaines,
Major General Commanding.
Taken from the " Georgia Patriot" of the 30th August, 1825.
Head-Quarters, Eastern Department,
Milledgeville, August 29, 1825.
I have received your communication through Mr. Secretary Pierce, with two papers purporting to be copies of letters from your excellency to the President of the United States, bearing date the 26th of July and 6th of August, wherein it appears you are pleased to write at me and of me, notwithstanding your avowed resolution not to write to me.
To this wise expedient to preserve the immense weight of dignity under which your excellency labors, I can have no objection. I take this occasion, before noticing your assumed " facts and arguments," to assure you that I have no authority whatever from the President of the United States or Department of War to write or speak to you upon any other than public and official subjects, such as I have, with perfect frankness and cordiality, communicated to you previous to the receipt of your letter of the 17th July. In that letter, you will recollect, you so far lost sight of your own proper sphere of action, as to attempt to give me what you term " a gentle rebuke.'1'' You thus, then, laid aside the wonted high themes of your brilliant pen — the Federal Government, the Federal Judiciary, State rights, Yazoo claims, &c. &c.; and leaving all these great matters to stand or move in the separate and distinct orbits in which the federal and State constitutions and laws have wisely placed them, you have " descended," rather hastily, as it would seem, to unauthorized personal animadversion and " rebuke," touching certain official duties confided to me.
In repelling the personal censure and menace contained in what you have termed your " mild rebuke," I have acted on my own individual responsibility, without any authority save that which is implanted in the breast of every upright man, civilized and savage; which is known to the virtuous and wise as the " first law of nature;" a law which authorizes the free use of the bayonet against the highway robber of money, whose weapon is of a deadly hue, and the free use of the pen against the official robber of reputation, whose known weapon is the pen. I have no money, and but little property of any kind that would command money, and, therefore, have no occasion to guard against the highway robber. The little store of wealth of which I am master consists of an untarnished reputation, with some testimonials of applause generously and spontaneously bestowed on me by the National and some of the State Legislatures, of which Georgia is one; and by which she and they have secured my lasting gratitude, and strengthened the ties of friendly feeling and brotherly union between us. This little store is valued highly by me; it is my own — my all. It will be held in trust by me for my children and my country; and it is, therefore, my right and bbunden duty to preserve and defend it! It would be criminal in me to neglect it! No earthly law can impair the higher law of self-defence and self-preservation.
My letters of the 14th, 16th, and 22d June, and those of the 1st and 10th of July, have convinced my friends (whose good opinion I value most highly) of my uniform and earnest desire to abstain from collision with you. And, in my answer to yours of the 17th July, it is known that your suggestion of the haste in which you wrote induced me to decline a reply for a week, and until your letter made its appearance (as usual) in a newspaper, doubtless bv your permission. If, in mine of the 28th July, of which you complain to the President, or in my last of the 16th of this month, it should appear that nature, or a defective, education, should have implanted in me a little spice of that knight errantry for which your excellency is so much renowned, and that I should thereby have been tempted to break a lance with you in something like your own proper style, I cannot but hope that my fault in this case, in following your example, and quoting your own expressions, (the only fault with which I can possibly be charged,) will be pardoned by the President and the people of the United States, of whose wisdom and justice and magnanimity I have had the most undoubted proofs. To your excellency I have no apology to offer. I purpose, however, that, in our future correspondence, after disposing of your futile charges against me, you and I may confine ourselves to our public and official duties. When these are accomplished, I hereby promise, should vou desire it, to correspond with you "unofficially," until "we shall have exhausted the argument;" and then we will stand by our — goose quills, and talk of "valor'' — about which you have written to the President.
In the interim, since you appear to be fond of quotations from the poets upon the subject of "valor," I wilt here give you one for your particular consideration and benefit:
" The brave vent not their prowess in a storm of words,
" They let actions speak for them."
In your letter of the 26th July, recommending to the notice of the President the report of your commissioners, you remark that the report "may indeed be said to carry with it its own commentary;" and yet you have taken care to furnish it with an elaborate commentary! It has gone forth doubly armed — with its own and your
commentary. Thus armed and shielded at all points, it remains for me to approach and try its boasted strength. In this necessary measure of self-defence, T shall proceed upon the principle indicated in the following quotation: " Out of thine own mouth will I convict thee,"
From your " documentary evidence," and from the report of your commissioners, it is my purpose to prove, 1st. That your attempt to associate your commissioners with me was a usurpation as unwarrantable as it was. indecorous. 2d. That their report is tainted with misrepresentation and perfidy. 3d. That the real object of your commissioners was to thwart my efforts to restore peace among the Indians, notwithstanding their professed desire to cooperate with me in the development of truth, and the restoration of peace and harmony.
If I do not in my next letter establish these three points, then will I agree to submit it to the denunciation of your excellency, and the whole tribe of your servile newspaper slanderers, during the remaining period of my life.
I have the honor to be,
Edmund Pendleton Gaines,
Major General Commanding.
To His Excellency governor troup.
Taken from the Georgia Patriot of the 13th September, 1825.
Milledgeville, September 12, 1825.
The editor of the " Patriot" is respectfully requested to suspend, for the present, the publication of my letter of the 6th instant, promised in mine of the 29th August, to his excellency Governor Troup. I have been charged with having attempted to break the late treaty, and of having connected myself with a political party of this State. I take this occasion to pronounce these charges to be wholly destitute of truth. I have frankly and candidly-answered every civil question asked me by men of all parties in reference to the treaty. I have exerted myself to convince the principal chiefs of the nation opposed to the treaty of the expediency of acquiescing in it. I have, indeed, cordially accepted the civilities of many much-respected citizens of Georgia, without knowing, or making any effort to know, to what parties they belonged; and I have since ascertained that they belonged to different parties. I had no knowledge of the political views of Mr. Varner at the time I replied to his inquiry respecting the "emigrating party." I have never deemed it proper to insult a citizen of any State, or any party, in consequence of his being civil to me. I have never, to my knowledge, endeavored to influence the vote or the political opinion of any man in the State of Georgia, in regard to the ensuing election. And, although I am not aware that my letter of the 6th will produce this effect, as it tends to expose the conduct of some men of both parties, who have advocated a violation of the eighth article of the treaty, yet, as I have been charged, however falsely, with an attempt to meddle with the political affairs of the State, with a view to the ensuing election, I have determined to suspend the publication of my promised exposition until after the election.
Edmund Pendleton Gaines,
Major General Commanding.
Reply of Major T. P. Andrews to the reports of the Georgia Commissioners. Taken from the National Intelligencer of September 22, 1825.
Washington, September 17, 1825.
The reports of the Georgia commissioners, which contain numerous calumnies against me as an officer of the Government and as a gentleman, were some time since published in your paper. I was, at the time, confined to my bed with a severe fever, or should otherwise have asked you to publish an original reply to those reports in the Intelligencer. They have lately been published in the National Journal, and replied to through that paper. I send you a copy of the reply, and would thank you to give it the same circulation through your paper which was given to the aspersions which gave rise to it.
Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
T. P. Andrews.
To Messrs. Gales & Seaton,
Editors of the National Intelligencer.
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