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Sequoyah Research Center

Extracts from the Journal of David B. Rollin — Creek Removal, 1836

Extracts from the Journal of David B.Rollin, Baptist Missionary to the Western Creeks, 1836

September 12 [1836]. Twenty-three hundred Indians arrived in this country recently from the old nation.  They are hostiles.  Before they started from their old home they were coupled together with chains.  Chiefs and warriors, old and young, down to boys, wore those chains till they reached this side of the Mississippi.

Two prominent chiefs, Ne-ar-marthlar, and Ne-ar-me-co, headed this company.  Ne-ar-mar-hlar is a great warrior:  he fought desperately in a previous war; but begins to feel the influence of old age.

A part of this company are the Uches, who are noted for thefts, robberies, and murders.  Even after this company left for this country, there has been much excitement among all classes here.

Probably you are aware that the M’Intosh family have had the controlling influence over this western nation, from the first.  Such is the fact.  And they have watched with a jealous eye, all emigration to this country; indeed they say that this last company and others that are on their way, have no business here.

It is reported that not long since the Cherokees and the M’Intosh party held a secret council, when the Cherokees pledged themselves to support Rolly M’Intosh, as principal chief, against the claims of all emigrants.  Rolly is brother to the late General M’Intosh.

The last week Rolly M’Intosh and Ne-ar-mar-hlar, held a talk in presence of Gen. Arbuckle, at Fort Gibson.  Ne-ar-mar-hlar said, “It belongs to me of right to be chief, and I will be chief.”  Rolly replied with warmth, “You shall not be chief.  I will take the sword first.”

Gen. Arbuckle has anticipated differently, and several weeks ago sent an express to the Gov. of Arkansas, for a reinforcement of troops.

Upothleholar is the chief that ordered Gen. M’Intosh’s death.  It is said that he is on his way to this country, with a party of eight thousand.  The sons of Gen. M’Intosh say, he shall not live twenty-four hours after his arrival here.  They seem fully determined to revenge the death of their father.  The company that have last arrived, say that the Indians that were friendly to the whites, and assisted in chaining them, robbed them of their horses and flocks, and other property, and when they arrive here, which will be in a few months, they are determined to have satisfaction.  In short, such is the state of things among themselves, according to human probability there must be a revolution ere long.

The excitement that now exists, and that will exist for a time to come, is very unfavorable to all missionary operations.  There is at this time much prejudice in the minds of some in the nation, against missionaries.  Before the late emigrants arrived, the Indians held a council, Gen. Arbuckle present, when some of the chiefs requested him to remove all missionaries from among them.  They brought certain accusations against all on the ground.  What the specific charges against me were, I have not yet ascertained.  When my health is sufficiently good, I design to know and forward the same to you.

September 18. The assembly at worship was large and solemn, while I endeavored to point them to the day of judgment, and bring its awfully interesting scenes to view.

21. From Jan. 1, 1836, to this date, eight have been baptized; six have been received by letter; two have been excluded; one has died in the faith of the gospel.

25. This day, preached to a full assembly, probably for the last time in this nation.  I addressed the disciples and the congregation to whom I haven accustomed to speak, in the name of my Master, for nearly two years past.  My own heart was dissolved, and the assembly were melted into tears, as I bade them adieu.  An order from the agent, Wm. Armstrong, bids me depart, and I feel it duty to obey.  And while I regret leaving these dear sheep and lambs of Christ’s flock here in this wilderness, in the midst of wolves, for whom the sympathies of my soul have often been drawn forth,–I rejoice that the great Shepherd still cares for them, and will preserve them safe unto his heavenly kingdom.

Source: Baptist Missionary Magazine, 17 (January 1837), 23; 17 (February 1837), 46.

Updated 12.17.2009