Old News Stories
Georgia Claims Cherokee's Gold, 1830
From The Cherokee Phoenix
New Echota, Ga.
June 26, 1830
The other proclamation relates to the gold mines. What now becomes of the old plea that force is not meditated? If Georgia can drive the Cherokees from their gold mines, she may with equal propriety drive them from their other possessions. Well, as we have no more a father to protect us, we can but look on and watch the progress of injustice and high-handed oppression.
GEORGIA---By His Excellency GEO. R. GILMER, Governor and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of this State and of the Militia thereof.
Whereas it has been discovered that the lands in the territory now occupied by the Cherokee Indians within the limits of this, abound with valuable minerals, and especially gold-- And whereas the State of Georgia has the fee simple title to said lands, and the entire and exclusive property in the gold and silver therein: And whereas numerous persons, citizens of this and other States, together with the Indian occupants of said territory, taking advantage of the law of this State, by which its jurisdiction over said territory was not assumed until the first day of June last past, have been engaged in digging for gold in said land, and taking therefrom great amounts in value, thereby appropriating riches to themselves when of right equally belonged to every other citizen of the State, and in violation of the rights of the State, & to the injury of its public resources--And whereas the absence of legal restraint and the nature of their pursuit, have caused a state of society to exist among said persons, too disorderly to be permitted to continue--And whereas the by the act of the last Legislature to add the territory within the occupancy of the Cherokee Indians, included in the limits of this State, to the counties of Carroll, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Hall and Habersham, and to render void and disannul all Cherokee laws, the jurisdiction of this State is now extended over said territory, and all persons therein made subject thereto:--Now for the purpose of removing all persons from the lands of this State in the territory aforesaid, except such as are permitted by the laws or assent of this State to occupy the same; to secure to the State its property n the minerals therein, and to put an end to the lawless state of society which has hitherto existed among the gold diggers in said territory, I have thought proper to issue this my Proclamation, notifying all persons whom it may concern, that the jurisdiction of this territory in the occupancy of the Cherokees, included within the limits of this State, and which was by an act passed by the last Legislature of this State, made a part of the counties of Carroll, Dekalb, Gwinnett, Hall or Habersham, and that all persons residing therein, are subject to the said jurisdiction; and to warn all persons whether citizens of this or other States, or Indian occupants, from all further trespass upon the property of this State, and especially from taking any gold or silver from the lands included within the territory occupied by the Cherokee Indians, and so as aforesaid added to the counties aforesaid, and to direct all persons to quit possession of said lands and depart from said territory without delay, except such as by law of the assent of the State are permitted to occupy the same, and to require all officers of the State within the counties aforesaid to be vigilant in enforcing the laws for the protection of public property, and especially to prevent any further trespass upon the lands of the State, or the taking any gold or silver therefrom.
Giver under my hand; and the Great Seal of the State-House in Milledgeville, this third day of June, in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and thirty, and of American Independence the fifty-fourth.
GEORGE R. GILMER.
By the Governor:
Everard Hamilton, Sec'ry of State.
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