Trott informed Campbell that he was born in North Carolina in 1800. Around the year 1815, he moved with his family to Tennessee. There, in 1821, he joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, and two years later became one of their circuit riders. His career with the Methodist "travelling connexion" soon took him to Georgia where for five years he had worked among the Indians. His devotion to what was right and his commitment to the Cherokees brought him into direct conflict with the government.
As historian Tim Alan Garrison explains, in the late 1820s, Georgia required missionaries living in Creek or Cherokee territory within the state's assumed borders to swear an oath of allegiance to the state. What few sources acknowledge is that taking this oath implied that the missionaries were repudiating the Indians' legal claim to land in Georgia. The missionaries' only alternative was to leave the state. Otherwise, they were violating state law. This background helps to explain a remarkable passage in Trott's letter to Campbell:
This year I have had some difficulties with the Georgians. I have been arrested, chained, imprisoned, condemned, reprieved, and banished the territory of the state, because I refused to take, what I believe to be, an unconstitutional and impious oath!Then, he revealed an even greater source of heartbreak and sorrow:
My affliction has been increased by the loss of a pious Cherokee wife, who died not long since, leaving behind her two little ones, Benjamin and Mary.Nevertheless, during his confinement in Georgia, Trott had had the good fortune of reading some of the works of Campbell. He expressed his gratitude to the Lord that "the ancient gospel, like the sun of a cloudless morning," had risen upon the eyes of his understanding.
He reported that on recent trip to visit his family in Tennessee, he was "immersed into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." Now, he had returned to the Cherokee Nation where was "on a tour, proclaiming the glad tidings."
Trott closed his letter affirming that whatever the destiny of the Cherokees, he expected to live and die with them. He stated that his "heart's desire and prayer to God" was that the "primitive gospel" would triumph among the Cherokees.
 Tim Alan Garrison, The Legal Ideology of Removal: The Southern Judiciary and the Sovereignty of Native American Nations (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2002), 169-97.
 Trott, James J. "To the Editor of the Millennial Harbinger." Millennial Harbinger (February 6, 1832), 85.