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Old News Stories
Joseph Vann Forced From Home, 1835

From The Adams Sentinel
Gettysburg, Pa.
April 27, 1835


An atrocious outrage was lately perpetrated in the Cherokee Country, Georgia. A man by the name of Bishop, agent of the State, on the 2d of March, with about 20 armed men, went to the house of a Mr. Vann, a Cherokee, for the purpose of dispossessing him of the property which he held, and which had been drawn in the state lottery by another individual. After some conversation between Bishop on the one side, and Vann and a Mr. Riley on the other in regard to the legality of the processing, Bishop rushed in the house at the head of his guard, asking "where is that d----d rascal Riley?" Riley occupied a room on the second floor, towards which he retreated when they came in, and called out from the head of the stairs, that "there was no need of bloodshed, for if Bishop would acknowledge he had taken forcible possession of him, he might throw his things out of the windows," Upon this Bishop cried out "hear that rascal; present arms and march up stairs, and the first man who gets a glimpse of him shoot him down."

The men advanced up the steps and some of them fired, without effect. Riley returned the fire; a dozen of them then fired up at him without touching him, he being protected by the staircase. He put out the barrel of his gun to deter their nearer approach. One of the men fired, and the ball, splitting the gun, wounded Riley severely in the head with a splinter. He called out "Bear witness who shot that rifle, for I have been severely wounded." Bishop answered tauntingly "The State of Georgia fired that gun."

Riley went to his bed and laid down; the party of lawless ruffians went into his room , and after taking his papers and desk containing $110, carried him down, and without dressing his wounds, transported him forty-five miles through a snow storm, and lodged him in the dungeon of the jail at Cassville.

This monstrous transaction, the "Times and Chronicle" attribute to the act of the last assembly, "which prostrated the Judiciary in the Cherokee circuit at the foot of the Governor's creatures, and which has already brought so much disgrace on the state."

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