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Sun May 27, 2012, 02:30 PM

Bruce's History: The Removal Acts of 1830

"We got off the boat and murdered a civilization."

Jim Harrison

President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act this week (May 28) in 1830, which led to a number of "treaties" that accommodated land-hungry white settlers by "removing" Native-Americans, in particular The Five Civilized Tribes the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole from their native lands in the Southeast through forced emigration and resettlement. I say "forced" because most of the affected tribes never even saw, let alone signed, these "treaties."

The Cherokee are a case in point. Ordered to leave their homeland of Georgia and resettle in what is now Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska, the Cherokee appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and to everyone's surprise the court sided with them, ruling that Cherokee Nation was, legally, a sovereign nation, meaning that U.S. laws, including treaties, did not apply.

Unfortunately, President Andrew Jackson (for all his populist virtues, a racist and rabid Indian hater) ignored the court's ruling, and his chosen successor, Martin van Buren, used the U.S. Army to initiate a series of forced marches that "removed" the Cherokee to the Midwest. One particularly perilous march along the famous "Trail of Tears" caused the deaths of nearly 5,000 Cherokee out of a total of approximately 14,000, and when they finally reached their destination present-day Kansas and Nebraska they found it so cold and inhospitable (have you ever weathered a Nebraska winter?) that many more died in the first year alone.

Other tribes with less faith in the sanctity of America's legal system fought a series of wars against this white encroachment. The Seminoles in particular, helped by the fact that much of their homeland was mosquito-infested Florida swamp, held out until the early 1840s, but eventually they too succumbed to the sheer numbers and power of the U.S. Army.



http://www.appeal-democrat.com/articles/bruce-116542-civilization-history.html


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Reply Bruce's History: The Removal Acts of 1830 (Original post)
MindMover May 2012 OP
flyingfysh May 2012 #1
MindMover May 2012 #2
txoctodem May 2012 #5
txoctodem May 2012 #3
MindMover May 2012 #4

Response to MindMover (Original post)

Sun May 27, 2012, 02:39 PM

1. I have ancestors who survived the Trail of Tears

I have traced part of my ancestry back to Choctaw great-great-grandparents who lived in southern Oklahoma. Choctaws lived in Mississippi and Alabama, so and most were forced to go to Oklahoma. The name Oklahoma comes from the Choctaw words for "red people".

A family member in another branch of my family was in Congress, and tried hard to stop the Removal acts. He lost his seat in Congress as a result, and was later executed in Texas by the Mexican Army. His name was Davy Crockett.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, of Concord, Massachusetts, strongly protested the removal.

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Response to flyingfysh (Reply #1)

Sun May 27, 2012, 02:43 PM

2. Wow, Davy Crockett....that is quite a name...fantastic...

and I like your flyingfysh name....

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Response to flyingfysh (Reply #1)

Sun May 27, 2012, 04:09 PM

5. Trail of Tears, etc.

I am a family history buff also. I have trace parts of my family back to 'native Americans' in the 17th and 18th centuries. I have also traced back to an ancestor who, family lore suggests, participated in the removal of Choctows from MS (that's how he first saw TX and later brought his family here. I can't help wondering then why his nickname was Cherokee Jack and the family belief that he was at least 1/4 Choctow. Again arises the mixed feelings of pride and shame in the actions of my forebearers!

Some years ago we visited the Cherokee museum in Tahlequah, OK It was small, but one of the most impressive museum's We've ever visited.

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Response to MindMover (Original post)

Sun May 27, 2012, 03:39 PM

3. Removal Acts

I read this post with mixed emotions: Pride in our ancestors who overcame incredible hardship to found this country and shame in the decimation of native peoples -- both intentionally by taking their lands and unintentionally through exposure to diseases they had no immunity to withstand. Both civilizations were totally unprepared to come to peaceful resolution. Many of the new arrivals were fleeing persecution and a system stacked against them; The natives were equally unable to envision a life other than the one they knew--so they fought.

The problems in exclusion and assimilation are with us today (e.g., AZ law against illegal immigrants) -- how are we going to resolve them? Will our descendants be ashamed of our actions -- or can we break new ground and find new ways to live as brothers and sisters?

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Response to txoctodem (Reply #3)

Sun May 27, 2012, 04:03 PM

4. Many are still "unable to envision a life other than the one they knew"....

and it is still very difficult to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps when you do not own a pair of boots......

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