The Chickasaw Tribe was named after a Chickasaw Leader named Chikasha. The story is that two brothers Chata and Chickasha who were leaders and they split in different directions and the people that followed them was given the tribal name of Choctaw and Chickasaw.
Thousands of captives trudged through rain on a muddy road. The scent of rain combined with the stench of rotting bodies was unbearable. Children, raggedy and heartbroken, wailing for food and their home, forcefully taken from them. Parents lamenting in anguish for their home-deprived children. The sadness hung in the air like a branch above the hostages’ heads. Bodies, bruised and broken, lying on the side of the road, hurriedly thrown down without a proper burial. Birds mocking the prisoners from their hiding places. Soldiers shrieked at the convicts, the words coming out of their mouths, tasting like eternal bondage to the native people. A death trail stretching toward the unknown west, not telling what it leads to. The Trail of Tears is a cloud over American history. The Cherokee Trail of Tears led to effects in the Nation and was a discouraging time in the history of Native Americans.
Having little knowledge of the Cherokee removal and the history that took place in this moment in America’s past, the book Trail of Tears: Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation by John Ehle, offers an insight to the politics, social dynamics and class struggles the Cherokee Nation faced in the late 1830s. The book was very comprehensive and the scope of the book covers nearly 100 years of Native American History. Ehle captures the history of the Native American people by showing the readers what led to the events infamously known as the Trail of Tears. The author uses real military orders, journals, and letters which aid in creating a book that keeps
The Choctaw Indians were an important tribe, and the largest of the Muskogean tribes. The Choctaws have two stories about their origins in their traditional homeland in central Mississippi. One is that their ancestors came from west of the Mississippi River and settled in what is now the homeland. The other is that the tribe is descended from ancestors who were formed by a spirit from the damp earth of Nanih Waiyah, a large mound in northeastern Mississippi. Either way, the Choctaws resided in places, holding most of Southern Alabama and Mississippi with adjoining parts of Louisiana.
In the early 1830s, approximately 125,000 Native Americans thrived on millions of acres of land in Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, and Alabama. In the next 10 years, a scarce number of natives lingered anyplace in the Southeastern United States. In 1838 and 1839, the Cherokee nation was brutally forced to give up its rightful land and travel on foot to designated “Indian Territory” in modern-day Oklahoma. Upon this involuntary journey, thousands of Indians faced exhaustion, disease, and famine. This heartbreaking event became known as the Trail of Tears. The Trail of Tears is important to the history of the United States because it is the wickedest human civil rights tragedy to ever fall upon the Native American population, and it was the beginning of the destruction of an entire people.
With the discovery of the New World came a whole lot of new problems. Native American Indians lived in peace and harmony until European explorers interrupted that bliss with the quest for money and power. The European explorers brought with them more people. These people and their descendants starting pushing the natives out of their homes, out of their land, far before the 1800s. However, in the 1800s, the driving force behind the removal of the natives intensified. Thousands of indians during this time were moved along the trail known as Nunna dual Tsung, meaning “The Trail Where They Cried” (“Cherokee Trail of Tears”). The Trail of Tears was not only unjust and unconstitutional, but it also left many indians sick, heartbroken, and dead.
Most Americans have at least some vague image of the Trail of Tears, but not very many know of the events that led to that tragic removal of several thousand Indians from their homeland. Indian lands were held hostage by the states and the federal government, and Indians had to agree to removal to preserve their identity as tribes. Trail of Tears is an excellent snapshot of a particular situation and will be eye opening to those who are not familiar with the story of the southern tribes and their interactions with the burgeoning American population. The Trail of Tears has become the symbol in American history that signifies the callousness of American policy makers toward American Indians in 1839 and 1839.
The Cherokee are an indigenous people of the Southeastern Woodlands. Although they were not considered states at this time, they would have been in present day Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. However, in 1938 the Cherokees found an abundant amount of gold which left the United States in a scramble. Thus, President Johnson signed the removal act, which forced the Cherokees East of the Mississippi into the Great Plains and then went into dig up gold. The Cherokees thrived in the Great Plains, becoming farmers and excellent hunters. They settled along the Arkansas River, becoming fisherman. Just as it happened in 1938 the Cherokees were eventually forced off their lands and into the Oregon Territory. This trail they walked along was called the trail of tears, many Cherokees died because of food deprivation or various diseases. Today, this Trail of Tears is seen as the worst displays of discrimination in the history of the United States. Thus, we gave the Cherokees Reservations to live on in the Western United States. This journey they faced is arguably the hardest journey any tribe has ever faced and the way the Cherokees overcame this and turned their tribe into what it is today is what makes it special.
The Trail of Tears played a part in what is known as the Manifest Destiny, which was the expansion of the colonists to the west. Gold was found on the Cherokee land during the Georgia Gold Rush. The greed that it created was one of the leading causes of the Trail of Tears where thousands of Native Americans were forcibly relocated from their native lands (Cherokee.org). Little did the Native Americans realize that the new nation that was going to be forming around them would affect not only their lives but the lives of their descendants. Even though the Cherokee made efforts to keep their land through the court system and even attempted to assimilate to the American way of life it was to no avail. They tried to agree to treaties with the United States Government. Even though, they were eventually forced to leave their lands. By forcing the Native Americans to abandon their homes, robbing their lands, taking their freedom, and forcing them to adapt and to assimilate into a new land and culture showed how vindictive President Andrew Jackson was regarding the Native Americans. The Trail of Tears was an instance of the United States Government committing genocide against the Native Americans
Tecumseh’s biggest concerns were that his people would not live according to the Prophet which was casting off all elements of the Euro-American society. He believed that his people would turn to alcohol, firearms, and trade goods set out by English ways, which was what the Prophet said, would be detrimental to their ways. No matter what, Tecumseh was going to make sure the Indian way of life would continue forever. He led a revolution of young men who thought the leadership structure needed to be looked over again in order to survive. They fought to make sure The Indians East of the Mississippi to keep control over their home land. Tecumseh tried to visit neighboring tribes to form an alliance to protect the lands held by the Natives. He was successful in the way the Southern tribes would accept the alliance, but unsuccessful with others when some refused to join the reliance, such as the Iroquois tribe.
Most Americans have at least some vague understanding of the Trail of Tears, but not many know about the events that led to that tragic removal of thousands of Indians from their homeland. Indian lands were held hostage by the states and the federal government. The Indians had to agree to removal to maintain their tribe identities. Trail of Tears is an excellent example of a particular situation and will be eye opening to those who are not familiar with the story of the southern tribes and their interactions with the rapidly growing American population. The Trail of Tears has become the symbol in American history that indicates the callousness, insensitivity, and cruelty of American government toward American Indians in 1839 and 1839.
Thornton, Russell “Cherokee Population Losses During Trail of Tears: A New Perspective and a New Estimate.” Ethnohistory, Vol. 31, No. 4 (Autumn, 1984): 289-300
“Our nation was born in genocide when it embraced the doctrine that the original American, the Indian, was an inferior race.”