Old News Stories
Indian Massacre! 1833
From The Sandusky Clarion
Feb. 13, 1833
From the Georgia Journal.
The following letter from Major Brooks gives more of the particulars of the late massacre in the Cherokee territory than the public has heretofore received. It would seem that not one escaped alive to tell the tale. Mr. Benjamin Boman, who brought the news to Major Wofford's settlement, on Sunday night, was obviously uninformed of the time at which the appalling tragedy was wrought on the previous night; a fact that may be very important, and which Major Brooks, and those who were with him, clearly ascertained by a careful and judicious examination of the remains.
De Kalb county, 22d Dec. 1832.
Dear Sir. I have just arrived at home from Saloo-quo-yeh settlement, where I witnessed the Indian outrage, (or its effects,) and inasmuch as the report we drew up was drawn in a hurry, and under excited feelings, I now sit down calmly, to give you, and through the medium of your paper, the people of Georgia, a correct statement of the circumstances attending that truly horrible case.
On Sunday night, the 16th inst. I tarried at the house of Major Nat. Wofford, Pine Log. Some time after dark, the family was thrown in confusion by the arrival of Benjamin Boman, with the account of the murder of his brother and family, and requesting every white man in that section of the country to assemble, and proceed to the residence of the deceased. Accordingly every man at Wofford's proceeded early on Monday morning to the fatal spot; and owing to the alarm and confusion amongst the few scattering whites, and their extreme anxiety to defend, & if possible, to save their wives and children, but eleven white men appeared; and from the causes just stated, no one could be prevailed upon to go for the coroner (a distance of 60 or 70 miles). In fact, the whole company deemed an inquest unnecessary, as the bodies were so completely consumed as not to leave a vestige for a jury to act on. The house of the deceased had been several times waylaid, by said Indians, and they ran from the very doors; frequent threats had been made against him, and family also; but up to the fatal day no serious attempt was made. The Indians of this town (report says) held a war dance recently, when a proposal was made to commence an indiscriminate slaughter of the white families in the nation which was overruled by the peace party present. The chiefs of the nation had kept the Indians quiet by persuading them that Clay would be elected president, who would drive the whites all out of their country, and restore their former laws to them. But the news of the election of General Jackson came on them like a clap of thunder on a clear day, which was one cause of the outrage I am now relating, as they had just heard the news.
On Saturday evening, 15th, William Grant and two men from Hall county, passed the house of the deceased just before night; the house was then standing, and the door open. We ascertained the outrage was perpetrated early in the night, by examining the bones. We found and identified Mr. Boman's by his coat and pantaloons buttons, and suspender buckle and key, which pointed out his bones and showed his clothes were on, and he had not been in bed. Another reason was this, their little infant daughter's heart, liver, lights and stomach were nearly entire, and its little stomach distended with food, as if just masticated, which showed it had not slept, nor the food been acted on by way of digestion, consequently it must have just supped. We identified Mrs. Boman by the remains of the unborn infant which has preserved a small part of the back bone of its lovely mother, from the devouring flames. The old lady, Mrs. Boman's mother, was old and blind for several years. James Lawson Boman was 21 years old, was an honest, honorable, and industrious young man, and had committed no crime, but that of being a Georgian, and having rented an emigrated place, where he wished to settle. His bones gave evidence of his bravery; as his rifle barrel was lying across his bones near his knees, and it was bent to a considerable curve to the right, and the breech turned square down, where the screw pin went through. The rifle lock lay six feet or more from the barrel, and the guard at least three feet in a contrary direction, which showed he gallantly resisted. Barsheba Boman was a beautiful woman, 18 years old, and was the mother of a lovely infant a little over a year old, Mary Ann Boman, by name; and was towards another. They had in the house two feather beds, three blankets, three coverlids, a new black walnut chest, containing a nice change of clothes, not a vestige of which remained; from which we concluded the house had been robbed, as it is well known that a feather bed will not burn up so as to leave no sign.
It is just two years since a traveller was robbed, murdered and burnt by these same Indians. I think they should alter the name of the creek from Saloo-quo-yeh (Bear Grass) to Keekuh-soyeh (Bloody Water).
People of Georgia, gallant, generous and brave, will you? Can you? Suffer your people murdered with impunity. No. Yours with respect.
JACOB R. BROOKS.
P.S. I do not believe it was a systematic arrangement or commencement of hostilities; but confined to that section of country. Those white men who had Indian families, behaved scandalously in that section, as none of them came near the shocking scene.
Old News Stories
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