The Cherokee Nation and the Trail of Tears: The Penguin Library of American Indian History series

The Cherokee Nation and the Trail of Tears: The Penguin Library of American Indian History series

by Theda Perdue

Today, a fraction of the Cherokee people remains in their traditional homeland in the southern Appalachians. Most Cherokees were forcibly relocated to eastern Oklahoma in the early nineteenth century. In 1830 the U.S. government shifted its policy

  • Language: English
  • Category: History
  • Rating: 3.70
  • Pages: 208
  • Publish Date: July 5th 2007 by Viking
  • Isbn10: 067003150X
  • Isbn13: 9780670031504

Read the Book "The Cherokee Nation and the Trail of Tears: The Penguin Library of American Indian History series" Online

Even as someone who paid pretty close attention in history class, the specifics of the trail of tears were things I did not know of.

The problem with this view is that the authors use it to interpret events as the US government (and society) failing to protect members of its own citizenry/people as it was intended to do. A more accurate interpretation is that the US settler colonial state, representing the interests of settler colonists, use a mixture of violence, legal chicanery, and broken treaties to systematically strip the land holdings away from Native Peoples in what is one of the largest wealth transfers in history. US government and society never intended to respect or allow Native Peoples legal title to their land. The authors also pay insufficient attention to differences within the Cherokee community between large, landholding plantation owners, utilizing slave labor and conforming to Euro-American views of civilization and the majority of the Cheroke people who continued with older (productive) agricultural practices.

Green Publisher: Penguin Group Published In: New York City, NY Date: 2007 Pgs: 189 _________________________________________________ REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS Summary: The forced Native American diaspora which came to be known as The Trail of Tears brought an irreparable injustice onto the Cherokee Nation. But the post-Revolutionary War white settler engaging in continual confiscatory invasions of Indian lands made his job impossible. While the Feds were supposed to remove white settlers from Indian lands this may never have happened. This was one of those moments in history that gave truth to the axiom, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.the white settlers ant-mounded themselves westward, invading Indian land, fighting and killing Indians, and then, expecting state militias and the Federal government to protect them. Knox believed that the Indians would not surrender short of a long and bloody war that would give the United States a reputation for rapacity that would stain the future with blood. Sit still and watch Georgia give all that the Cherokee Nation had away to the white settlers piecemeal and destroy their culture besides. If the Treaty Party hadnt signed the Treaty of New Echota, Georgia would have still taken the Cherokee land in the lottery for white settlers. Its surprising with the way that history portrays Ross and the National Party having thorns in their sides in the persons of the Old Settlers and the Treaty Party that following Rosss passing in 1866, political parties in the Cherokee Nation began to develop along new lines and the animosity between groups began to moderate. The Georgia murder case against George Corn Tassell for an act taking place in the Cherokee Nation, the way Georgia used it to subvert Cherokee law, and the Georgia Legislature, Governor, and courts ignoring of a Supreme Court stay and subpoena in the case is one more slip on the long slow slide toward Civil War. Showed that the Feds only had the power that the states decided they had at that time instead of it codified and spelled out. After Tassells initial arrest, the judge in the case tossed it to an appellate tribunal who confirmed Georgias jurisdiction despite the Cherokee Nation having a treaty right of self jurisprudence. The governor and legislature chose to ignore SCOTUS and hanged him on Christmas Eve. The separation of families, the leaving behind of old people, the arresting and imprisoning, the gathering into forts/prisons/internment camps/concentration camps as a middle step in the ethnic cleansing of Georgia and the southern Appalachians; measles, cholera, dysentery, and whooping cough. Seen as traitors because of they signed and because of the words of John Ross and the National Party, the Treaty Party leaders, after the Cherokee began to settle in Indian Territory and the Treaty Party began to ally itself with the Old Settlers who preceded the Cherokee Nation to Indian Territory, were dragged from their new homes and killed. The convocation featured debate between the Old Settlers, the Treaty Party and their followers, and the Cherokee Nation group lead by John Ross. A secret meeting of the Cherokee Nation rulers after the bigger convocation rubberstamped the actions to be taken against the Treaty Party leaders. Meh / PFFT Moments: The United States, post-revolution, used a confiscatory policy in Indian lands despite signing concurrent treaties that presupposed the purchase of lands. The reason we mainly hear John Rosss version is because the opposition partys leaders were killed before they got down, collectively, to forming a new government in Indian Territory. The Treaty Party were pragmatists, better alive in Indian Territory and still Cherokee, than dead on Georgias bayonets. This did make me view the history through a different lens; Old Hickory vs Chicken Snake, Georgias actions and how their flaunting of Federal power was a waystation on the way to Civil War, the conflict between the Rosses, the Treaty Party, and the Old Settlers.

Efforts at civilization (which increased the density of Cherokee and allowed superfluous hunting grounds to be ceded) alternated with racist fears of intermarriage and efforts on the parts of many Southern states to give at best a second-class citizenship status to the Cherokee, and the result on the part of the Cherokees was splintering, eventually into four groups of people, "old Settlers" who voluntarily moved west at the beginning of the 19th century, Eastern band Cherokee and various other outlaws (like some of my own ancestors) who hid out in the mountains, treaty party Cherokee from Georgia whose signing of a contentious treaty at New Echota led their leaders to be butchered by other Cherokee in an act of political terrorism, and the majority led by the corrupt John Ross and his associates. The result was a tragedy, and this book certainly does a good job at framing the nature of that tragedy and pointing out what about removal led to such diffiuclties--like the breakdown of society, despair leading to immense alcoholism, and corrupt political dealing on all sides. It is striking that the book takes a pro-Ross slant, one that is increasingly tedious and irritating as the book goes on and the Ross group shows itself involved in a great deal of corrupt dealing, but to the authors' credit there is at least some attempt made to explain the motives of those who signed the treaty of New Echota, even though they realized (correctly) it would probably cost them their lives.

It gets more detailed as it discusses the lead up to Removal.