I have lately returned from Spring Place, formerly a Missionary Station of the Moravians, among the Cherokee Indians, who were removed by the government of the United States in 1838, west of the Mississippi.
Thinking it would be interesting to your people to have a description of the place as it now is, I herewith send you a sketch of it:
Spring Place is the County-seat of Murray County, Georgia, and is one of the handsomest villages in point of locality and scenery in upper Georgia; the village, though small, is prettily laid out, has some very handsome buildings, and has about it altogether an appearance of quiet, order and comfort, such as would impress the traveller as being a home place. It is situated on a gentle well of land, at the foot of which are a great many fine limestone springs issuing, which gave the place its appropriate name.
At a small distance from one of these delightful springs, is situated the old missionary house, which though built of logs over half a century ago, is likely to stand another half century, or more. It is a very antiquated looking building, and with the exception of the roof, which is "time worn," is in a wonderful state of preservation. The building with several acres of land around it, including the Missionary Spring, is the property of a Baptist minister by the name of FITZGERALD, who with his family occupies the missionary house as a dwelling, and teaches a flourishing school in a neat brick tenement, in a few rods of the spring. Opposite, and west of this, across the area of low ground constituting "Spring Place," is situated on another gentle swell of land, a handsome brick building, formerly the residence of one of the "head men" (a Chief I think by the name of VAN) of the Cherokee Nation. The present proprietor, Col. J. EDMUDSON, has built a handsome wing to the former building, which makes it altogether a princely looking establishment.
I have yet the most (to me) interesting spot to speak of: It is the "resting place" of one of the missionaries, situated about a hundred paces North-Easterly from the missionary house. The spot is marked by a stone about 15 by 24 inches, (such I believe as is universally used by your people,) having on it the following simple, but deeply affecting inscription:
This humble stone, with its still humbler inscription, I gazed upon with deep emotion. Here, sleeping the sleep of death, with many of the poor Cherokees buried around, whom she had come to teach the way to a "better country," was the female Missionary, far from the home of her early life, her friends all gone, and the remnant of the once mighty tribe of the Cherokees, gone to the far West. I visited this burial place just at the close of a calm, clear summer evening, when the sun was sending back his last golden rays on the towering heights of the Calcutta Mountains, which loom high up toward the heavens a few miles distant, eastward. The place is one of the prettiest I have seen anywhere, and is a monument to the sagacity of those who chose the location. I find by reference to a sketch which I have of the missionary stations of the United Brethren, commonly called Moravians, that the station of "Spring Place" was founded in 1801, the first Missionary being Abraham STEINER, and that the station was discontinued in 1834.
I will close this imperfect sketch by quoting the following poetic effusions, the force of which will be felt in this connection:
J. W. L.