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Trail of Tears

Indian Removal

Matthew Cessna

on 21 March 2014

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Transcript of Trail of Tears

Who were the
Who do you think would live in a place like this?
Cherokee Alphabet
"We are aware that some persons
suppose it will be for our advantage to move beyond the Mississippi ..... Our people universally think otherwise ..... We wish to remain on the land of our fathers."
-Cherokee Nation
Gold was discovered on Cherokee land in 1829
•In the 1790s, the
Federal Government
recognized the Cherokee as a separate nation with its own

•However, Georgia refused to
these laws...
The Cherokee tried to find a
Cherokee Chief
John Ross
sued the Georgia state government and the case went before the
Supreme Court
Worcester v. Georgia
in 1832.
Indians primarily lived in northwest
. This area was full of beautiful mountains and fertile
The Cherokee were a civilized people who had their own schools, alphabet, and
developed the Cherokee alphabet
The Never Ending Trail...
This caused many
to trespass on their territory!
Fun Fact: John Ross's Cherokee name was Guwisguwi, which means "Rare Bird" in the Cherokee language.
With a Supreme Court vote of 5 to 1, Justice
John Marshall
ruled that Georgia had no right
to interfere with the Cherokee.
Only the
Federal Government
had authority because the Cherokee were their own
Andrew Jackson
supported the removal of Native Americans in the
and said, “John Marshall has made his decision. Now let him enforce it.”
As head of the
Branch, he was failing to fulfill his presidential duties.
The Cherokee were
into signing the
Treaty of New Echota
, a treaty that the majority of the Cherokee nation disagreed with.
Jackson sent
General Winfield Scott
and 7,000 troops to
remove the Cherokee
from their homes and
lead them west.......
To be continued....
What would be a logical
reason for Andrew Jackson to send soldiers?
Was the idea of independence new to Americans at this point?
The Trail of Tears
John G. Burnett’s description of the Cherokee Removal

On hunting trips I met and became acquainted with many of the Cherokee Indians, hunting with them by day and sleeping around their campfires at night. On one of my long hunts in the fall of 1829, I found a young Cherokee who had been shot… I nursed and protected him feeding him on chestnuts and toasted deer meat. When he was able to travel I accompanied him to the home of his people and remained so long that I was given up for lost. I learned to speak their language, and they taught me the arts of trailing and building traps and snares…

The removal of the Cherokee Indians from their life long homes in the year of 1838 found me a young man in the prime of life and a Private soldier in the American Army… Being acquainted with many of the Indians and able to fluently speak their language, I was sent as interpreter into the Smoky Mountain Country… I saw the helpless Cherokees arrested and dragged from their homes, and driven at the bayonet point into the stockades. And in the chill of a drizzling rain on an October morning I saw them loaded like cattle or sheep into six hundred and forty-five wagons and started toward the west….

One can never forget the sadness and solemnity of that morning…. Chief John Ross led in prayer and when the bugle sounded and the wagons started rolling many of the children rose to their feet and waved their little hands good-by to their mountain homes, knowing they were leaving them forever. Many of these helpless people did not have blankets and many of them had been driven from home barefooted. The trail of the exiles was a trail of death. They had to sleep in wagons and on the ground without fire. And I have know as many as twenty-two of them to die in one night of pneumonia due to ill treatment, cold, and exposure….

Future generations will read and condemn the removal of the Cherokee… I wish I could forget it all, but the picture of 645 wagons lumbering over the frozen ground with their cargo of suffering humanity still lingers in my memory…
Remember this?
Do YOU think this was a fair trade?
Well....this is what they got --->
The land the Native Americans were given in exchange for their Native lands makes what is the current state of
The land west of the Mississippi was dry and seemed
poor for farming
. At the time, it was undesirable.
Fun Fact: The name "Oklahoma" comes from the Choctaw language and means "the red people."
Congress passed the
Indian Removal Act
in 1830. The act allowed the Federal government to pay Native Americans to move West.
Most Native Americans felt
to accept payment for their lands.
In 1834 Congress created the
Indian Territory
for Native Americans from the Southeast.
President Andrew Jackson, who was a man of the frontier himself, strongly supported the settlers' demand for Native American land.
Between 1830-1840, the U.S. Government moved about
Native Americans to reservations.
In addition to the Cherokee, 4 other Southeast tribes were relocated. These were the
Creek, Seminole, Chicasaw, and Choctaw
. The tribes were collectively called the
Five Civilized Tribes
because they had established
farming societies
successful economies
out of the
Cherokee died on the Trail of Tears.
There were 3 ways Native Americans responded to the Indian Removal Act. They included
Accepting payment, suing the government, and resisting forcefully.
As we have learned, the Cherokee sued the government. So

what were the other tribes like?
The story of the Cherokee is one of many....
"Even the aged nearly ready to drop in the grave were traveling with heavy burdens attached to their back, sometimes on frozen ground and sometimes on muddy streets, with no covering on their feet."
-An account from Kentucky
Tribes that accepted payment...
Tribes that resisted forcefully...
• Were from what is now Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.
• Had actually HELPED Andrew Jackson in the
Battle of Horseshoe Bend
during the War of 1812!
• They signed the
Treaty of Rabbit Creek
, the first treaty of the Indian Removal Act.
• Unlike other tribes, the
chose to receive
financial compensation
for their lands east of the Mississippi. It took the US government
30 years
to finally pay them the
3 million
they had be promised.
• When the moved to the Indian Territory, they merged with the Choctaw.
• The Creek were the only Native American nation to have a treaty already ratified later nullified by the US government.
• In 1832 the Creek National Council signed the Treaty of Cusseta, ceding their remaining lands east of the Mississippi to the U.S.
• The Seminole were the only Native Americans to resist their removal with some success.
• They used
guerilla tactics
to wage war against white Americans.
• They would hide deep in the
Florida Everglades
• By 1842 more than 1,500 American soldiers had died in the Seminole wars. The government gave up and allowed some of the Seminoles to remain in Florida.
• Their leader,
, was captured and died in prison.
• Seminole means "run-away" or "wild-ones".
"Friends and Brothers – By permission of the Great Spirit above, and the voice of the people, I have been made President of the United States, and now speak to you as your Father and friend, and request you to listen. Your warriors have known me long You know I love my white and red children, and always speak with a straight, and not with a forked tongue; that I have always told you the truth ... Where you now are, you and my white children are too near to each other to live in harmony and peace. Your game is destroyed, and many of your people will not work and till the earth.
Beyond the great River Mississippi, where apart of your nation has gone, your Father has provided a country large enough for all of you, and he advises you to remove to it. There your white brothers will not trouble you; they will have no claim to the land, and you can live upon it you and all your children, as long as the grass grows or the water runs, in peace and plenty. It will be yours forever. For the improvements in the country where you now live, and for all the stock which you cannot take with you, your Father will pay you a fair price ...”

—President Andrew Jackson addressing the Creeks , 1829

“I fought through the War Between the States and have seen many men shot, but the Cherokee Removal was the cruelest work I ever knew.”
—- Georgia soldier who participated in the removal
"We too often love things and use people when we should be using things and loving people."
-Rueul Howe
Compare and Contrast
White Americans
Full transcript