A look at the removal of the cherokee from their land in the 1830s
How long was the trail of tears
The Cherokee, on the other hand, were tricked with an illegitimate treaty. In the Cherokees adopted a written constitution, an act that further antagonized removal proponents in Georgia. The Cherokee took their case to the Supreme Court, which ruled against them. As head of the National Party that opposed removal he was shrewd enough to recognize immediately that the President would attempt to play one party off against the other. You have not listened to me, he scolded. The survivors of the journey to what is now Oklahoma would call it the Trail of Tears. From to , Jackson was instrumental in negotiating nine out of eleven treaties which divested the southern tribes of their eastern lands in exchange for lands in the west. Since he had fought with Jackson at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend during the Creek War he reckoned that his service during that battle would provide him with a degree of leverage in speaking with the President. At the same time, what historians would call the Cherokee Renaissance was bringing the tribe more fully into the 19th century. Not an adult person can be found, who has not an opinion on the subject, and if the people were to understand distinctly, that they could be protected against the laws of the neighboring states, there is probably not an adult person in the nation, who would think it best to remove; though possibly a few might emigrate individually. They started a newspaper, the Cherokee Phoenix. He left Washington an angry and bitter man.
They also ruled that the federal government, by treaty, had the authority to protect Indian tribes from state intrusions. He had become obsessed about removal.
But in the case of the Cherokees, their resistance and defeat were reflected as well in the rise and collapse of the extraordinary partnership between Ross and Ridge.
One by one the other major Southern tribes—the Chickasaws, the Choctaws, the Creeks and the Seminoles—signed treaties that required them to uproot to the far side of the Mississippi River.
Had they refused to comply with their engagements, there is no doubt the United States would have enforced a compliance.
Indian removal act
After Major Ridge Major Ridge signed away Cherokee land, Chief Ross gathered 16, Cherokee signatures against the treaty, proving that the majority of the tribe was not in agreement. Despite Sequoyah these efforts, white people in Georgia and other southern states that abutted the Cherokee Nation refused to accept the Cherokee people as social equals and urged their political representatives to seize the Cherokees' land. John Ross teamed up with Major Ridge to protect Cherokee holdings. As president, he continued this crusade. It was a not-so-subtle threat that also struck home. Jackson had been serving as a federal Indian commissioner when he launched his first effort to remove the Cherokees en masse. We urge them to bear in mind, that those who would now ask of them a cup of cold water, and a spot of earth, a portion of their own patrimonial possessions, on which to live and die in peace, are the descendants of those, whose origin, as inhabitants of North America, history and tradition are alike insufficient to reveal. In Andrew Jackson was elected president of the United States, and he immediately declared the removal of eastern tribes a national objective. Many sickened and died while they awaited transport to the west.
Ina small faction agreed to sign a removal agreement: the Treaty of New Echota. Just a month later, he would have to confront Andrew Jackson directly. You are now subject to the same laws which govern the citizens of Georgia and Alabama.
Why were the cherokee removed from their land
Instead the Principal Chief had simply filled the National Council with his henchmen — another indication, claimed Jackson, of an elitist clique who ruled the Nation and disregarded the interests of the majority of the people. Without the blessing of the other chiefs, Ridge said, Ross had no more power to make a treaty than his traitorous brother. He set out on a speaking tour intended to calm tribe members inclined to flee. Unfortunately, despite his many talents and keen intelligence, Ross was no match for the President. It gave the president power to negotiate removal treaties with Indian tribes living east of the Mississippi. As Jackson predicted, they escaped the fate of many extinct eastern tribes. There are doubtless many, who would flee to an unknown country, however beset with dangers, privations and sufferings, rather than be sentenced to spend six years in a Georgia prison for advising one of their neighbors not to betray his country. With little difficulty the cleric managed to arrange a draft removal treaty signed on March 14, , by Schermerhorn, John Ridge, Elias Boudinot, and a small delegation of Cherokees. They wanted to protect what remained of their land before it was too late. By the end of the Revolutionary War , the Cherokees had surrendered more than half of their original territory to state and federal governments. Then began the march known as the Trail of Tears, in which 4, Cherokee people died of cold, hunger, and disease on their way to the western lands.
Cherokees today have their tribal identity, a living language, and at least three governmental bodies to provide for their needs. After Georgia authorities sent a posse after the Cherokees, gunfire rang out through northern Georgia.
The law required the government to negotiate removal treaties fairly, voluntarily and peacefully: It did not permit the president or anyone else to coerce Native nations into giving up their land.
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