FILE REFLECTION #3
TRAIL OF TEARS: WE SHALL REMAIN – AMERICA THROUGH NATIVE EYES
Before I took American History, movies about Indians and US Cavalry Troops influenced my childhood years. I even pretended as a US Cavalry trooper chasing Indians away and rescuing the settlers. The Cavalry represented strength, gallantry, and savior of the oppressed. However, after the lectures and the film, Trail of Tears, they provided me a new perception of the US Cavalry troops. The removal of Indians from their land east of the Mississippi river cast a dark shadow in the American history. Although the Indians reach their new home west of the Mississippi river, the abuse, hardship, and death marked their experience. The government under President Andrew Jackson, exercised abuse of power to remove the Indians from east of the Mississippi river. The Indians tried to fight the legislature signed by the president to remove them from their ancestral land. The land that has been with them for generations. Tribal leaders voiced their disagreement regarding the removal, but some of them favored selling their lands rather than fight the government. John Ross emerged as the tribal representative who fearlessly fought the order of the President Jackson. At one point, it seems they may have the upper point when the Supreme court ruled for the Indians to stay. However, President Jackson ignored the Supreme court ruling and pressed on with his decision. He claims that his goal for
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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.
In Jackson’s mind, he expected the Indians to thrive as they did in their current home, except there would be no white men. Three chiefs, each one from the Chippewa, Potawatomi, and Ottawa tribes, came forward to the White House and told about their suffering. They said they were promised land as fertile as Illinois, but received land that a snake couldn’t live on. They could not live in the prairie when they were from the woods. Thousands of Indian people suffered because Jackson heard what they said
opinion. jackson believes that seizing the land of the indians is a natural obligation for
Jackson declared his first statement of removal on December 8, 1829. His motivation behind this was to persuade Congress to pass the act to start his plan to remove all Indians from the white pioneers desired territory. In this, he addressed that the movement of Indians from this land must only be by their own personal choice because, “it would be as cruel as unjust to compel the aborigines to abandon the graves of their fathers, and seek a home in a distant land”. Although, Jackson’s own draft of of his 1829 message to congress contains no reference to voluntary removal, this would not be the first time he lied to the Native Americans. The Jackson administration concluded that the treaties that Jackson previously made with the Indians were merely “a stately form of intercourse” that were most useful in gaining their agreement without opposition. These treaties mainly entailed regulations on peacemaking and the ownership of land. While they were viewed as vital to the indians, but to Jackson and his colleagues they were nothing more than meaningless documents. He only created these treaties to trick the Indians into thinking they have power in the United States government just so that he can later manipulate them into
Andrew Jackson, The United States seventh president, was possibly one of the worst human beings to be president and treated the Native Indians horribly. He, was a bully and used his position to get acts and petitions like the Indian Removal Act passed, to help push Native Indians around so he could get his own way. The Indian Removal Act in and of itself seemingly doesn’t contain that much power, however it was all the power Jackson needed. The circumstances of Jackson’s character and the debates surrounding the Act also lend and interesting lens to examine what Jackson intentions were. When looking at Jackson and how he managed to relocate the Native it becomes substantially more integral to examine all the documents with a wide scope to see how he even managed the relocation of Natives.
Surprisingly, even though many Americans wanted the Indians’ land, some Americans disagreed with the government’s decision over the Indians removal. This can be seen though an account made by John G. Burnett, “I saw helpless Cherokees arrested and dragged from their homes, and driven at the bayonet point into the stockades. And in the chill of drizzling rain…. loaded like cattle or sheep into… wagons and started toward the west. One can never forget the sadness and solemnity of that morning,” (Doc. M). This was considered the lowest point of Jackson’s career (Shi and Tindall, 330). Jackson’s administration completely ignored the Indians’ rights as people and forced them to leave everything they’ve ever known, which completely ignores basic human rights much less the basics of a democracy.
They were bent on acquiring the valuable lands occupied by the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee (Creek), and Seminole Indians. After the Louisiana purchase (an enormous acquisition of land west of the Mississippi in 1803), President Jefferson presumed that these Indians could be persuaded to give up their homes in exchange for land further west. Following Jefferson's lead, President Andrew Jackson pushed for the passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The act provided funds for the United States government to negotiate removal treaties with the Indians. The federal government forced tribal leaders to sign these treaties. Factions arose within the tribes, as many opposed giving up their land. Cherokee Principal Chief John Ross even traveled to Washington to negotiate alternatives to removal and pleaded for the government to redress the injustices of these treaties. The United States government listened, but did not deviate from its policy. Although President Jackson negotiated the removal treaties, President Martin Van Buren enforced them. The impact of the removal was first felt by the
Jackson had been fighting Native Americans for their land before he became a president. In 1788, Jackson and several white settlers tried to force the Cherokee Indians off their homeland in Georgia.2 The Cherokees fought to keep their land from white settlers and they even brought their case to the Supreme Court. Under the Constitution, the United States government must negotiate with the tribe leaders before seizing their land. Many political figures tried to bribe, threaten, or use military force to make tribe leaders sign the treaty so they would leave, however some of them would not budge so easily. Some political
When Americans expanded their country west, they interfered with many American Indian Tribes. In a letter he wrote to congress, he explained “This emigration should be voluntary… (but) if they remain within the limits of the states they must be subject to their laws” (Andrew Jackson’s Message to Congress December 7, 1829). Andrew Jackson offered to let the American Indians stay if they followed their laws. But in 1831, Jackson forced the Native Americans out of their homelands starting the Indian Removal. According to a reprinted in Niles Weekly Register, the Cherokee’s said “We wish to remain on the land of our fathers. We have a perfect and original right to remain without interruption or molestation”. Jackson lied to the American Indians about allowing them to stay. Jackson did not act democratically because he did not allow the American Indians to stay and forced them to move west. Jackson was fair to his supporters, but not to
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
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
In the 1830’s America was expanding its border and completing manifest destiny. The one thing standing in the way of Americans moving west was the Native Americans. President Andrew Jackson had a dilemma on his hands. Jackson wanted to create a plan that would make everyone happy. But in the end, Jackson had the Native American removed from their land and led to the “Trail of Tears” where many Native Americans would lose their lives. Looking at the articles by F.P Prucha, Mary E. Young and Alfred A. Cave each one says that the Indians needed to be removed from their land for a different reason.
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.
In 1830, congress passed The Indian Removal Act, which became a law 2 days later by President Andrew Jackson. The law was to reach a fairly, voluntarily, and peacefully agreement for the Indians to move. It didn’t permit the president to persuade them unwillingly to give up their land by using force. But, “President Jackson and his government
The Indian Removal Act was supposed to give Native Americans the option to stay on their sacred land, but they were driven out involuntarily anyway. Jackson did not abide by the Indian Removal Act passed through congress, which exemplified absolute abuse of his power as president. “ In both houses of Congress, a substantial block of legislators