The sale of Cherokee articles left behind – Trail of Tears


Gold was discovered near Dahlonega, Georgia within the Cherokee lands in 1829. President Andrew Jackson wanted the Cherokee moved East. Congress passed the Indian Removal Bill in May 1830. The Cherokees appealed to the United States Supreme Court without satisfaction, the Court ruling that they had no legal right to bring suit against Georgia laws. The result was widespread plunder and seizure of Cherokee villages, farms, and lands.

In May and June of 1838, James Hemphill and Joseph Watters sold Cherokee property in Hightower River [Etowah], Floyd County. A notebook was kept listing the Cherokee owner, description of the property and amount it was sold for. Below is a receipt made out to him.

Ending note 2 Cherokee sales

Sample of amounts listed – Buffalow Fish Property

Amt. Brot. Over            27.93

1 Spinning Wheel           1.50

5 Old Chairs                  .50

6 Pot pigs                      .75

1 Basket Tools              1.37

8 Head Stock Cattle      52.25

8  [ditto] Sheep         11.50

6 “ Geese                      1.87

Claim of [? ?]                10.00

On page 1 of his notebook Hemphill writes:

“Hightower river, Floyd County, Georgia.  1837 May 30 Chunoluska property”

Page 1 and 2 cherokee sales

A final page lists the names of the properties from which items were taken:

names Cherokee sales