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Old News Stories
Chief Ross, John Howard Payne Arrested, 1835

From Tennessee Journal
Athens, Tenn.
Nov. 18, 1835


We have been informed that the Georgia Guard, who are little better than a lawless banditti, have lately come into the State of Tennessee and arrested John Ross, principal chief of the Cherokee nation, and some strange man who temporarily at Ross's, and carried them in custody to Spring Place, Georgia. We do not know under what pretence this has been done; but we do know it is an outrage upon the personal rights of Mr. Ross and his guest, and a contumelious insult to the authorities and citizens of Tennessee, for which the parties deserve, as we hope they will receive the severest chastisement of the law.
We care not what the charge against Mr. Ross and his guest may be; he is a citizen of Tennessee, under the protection of our law, as has been lately decided by the supreme Court of the State, secured in his rights of person and property by the constitution and laws of the land. If he has been guilty of any offence against the laws of Georgia, why was he not prosecuted in the usual form? Why has he been thus lawlessly seized, without authority, and in violation of the laws of the State, which promised him protection, and carried by force to Spring Place in the custody of the redoubtable Capt. Bishop.
"It was at first rumored that Major Currey, the agent of the Cherokees, had procured Mr. Ross's arrest, but upon inquiry, we can find no evidence that he was concerned; and we hope for the honor of our country he was not."
Extract of a Letter from Lewis Ross to a gentleman in Nashville, Tennessee.
"On the night of the 7th inst. The Georgia Guard, commanded by Col Bishop, and acting under the order of Maj. F. B. Carry, as it is understood, came to John Ross's residence, which is within the chartered limits of Tennessee, arrested him, and seized all the public documents belonging to the nation, and have taken them off into Georgia. A gentleman from the State of New York happened to be there, who had been engaged in collecting matter for publication, and who name is John Howard Payne, was also arrested, and his papers all taken–and they are both now prisoners in Georgia. What is to be done with them, I cannot pretend to say."

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