Trail Of Tears Within United States History, there has been some horrible discrimination upon certain races of people. At the trail of tears native Americans were persecuted against heavily. Until 1828 the federal government had Cherokee rights to their land and in that same year Andrew Jackson was elected president and this all ended. On September 15, 1830, at Little Dancing Rabbit Creek, the Chiefs of tribes and representatives of the United States met to discuss a bill recently passed by the Congress. This day started with all the same good intentions of those today but ended with only a few Native Americans signing the treaty which allowing for the removal of all Indian peoples to the west of the Mississippi River.
( Brill, The Trail of tears: The Cherokee journey from home.) The Choctaw were told that the Americans in Washington cared little for the situation. They wanted the Choctaw moved on their own, or by military force. The Indians were believed to be ignorant savages, but they were industrious farmers, merchants, and businessmen of all types. Some were educated people, many were Christians. They even had an organized system of government and a codified body of law.
Some of these people were not even Indians, some were strangers and orphans had been taken in over the years. These were people who did not deserve what they went through. When the Chiefs and Warriors signed the treaty, they had come to the realization that they had no option. For doing this the government officials guaranteed to the Indians the body of the treaty, safe conveyance to our new homes. (You cannot forget that in this treaty, the Choctaw traded 10.3 million acres of land east of the Mississippi for 10.3 acres in Oklahoma and Arkansas that we already owned under previous treaties.) Further, it included provisions and monetary annuities, to assist the people to make a new start.
One half of the people were to depart almost immediately, the rest the next year. On March 27, 1838, congress did not accept the request for the relief of the Cherokee. Many then saw their land and property sold before their own eyes. The conveyances promised turn out to be a forced march. it was said that ..seven thousand soldiers swooped over the nation causing the Cherokees to suffer greatly and also the troops were ordered To use guns and swords if necessary to punish any Cherokee who tried to hide. (Brill, 43) At the point of a gun, the pace killed many of the old, exposure and bad food killed most.
Spoiled beef and vegetables are poor provisions, Many walked the entire distance without shoes, barely clothed. It is told that, Hateful soldiers prodded and kicked the old and sick on their march to the camps. Those who were too weak to keep up were left by the road without food to recover or die. Soldiers pricked friends and family with bayonets to keep them from turning back to help (Brill, 45). These horrid conditions are what the Indians had to deal with.
The supplies that were given had been rejected by the Americans. One person complained my feet are blistered and on my back is a read and blue backpack of fifty pounds (Ellis). The government cannot be blamed fully, nearly all of this was done by men that were interested only in making profits. They government’s really is just wrong for not watching over the whole deal. Many of the old and the children died on the road.
At each allowed stop, the dead were buried. Hearing of this many escaped. They knew that as they signed the rolls, to be removed, that they were signing their own death warrants( Brill, 42) . They hid in places that no one would travel to look for them (i.e., Swamps, hills). But as this horror occurred those in charge just reported their peaceful progress.
(Ellis, walking the trial: one man’s journey along the Cherokee trail of tears.) Some marching claimed to be Black Dutch, Spanish, Creole, or Black. These people were accepted by neither the Americans or the papered. Many others who had to march fled to Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana. The fertile lands, alive with game, lush with forests turned out to be bone-dry and covered in alkali pits. To the Indians the summer was more than hot, in the winter it was freezing.
The Americans decided they needed more land. Again, pressure was brought to bear on the Choctaw. When this happened the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Kickapoo, Seminole, Wyandotte, Lenapi, Mohawk, and others had their reservations shrunk around them. The Choctaw were the first to be removed, the government’s power and in fit for land, had removed nearly all of the Indians. The Mississippi Band of the Choctaw had escaped being removed, but had their land stripped down to 500 acres, and in five years none of that land was in Indian hands.
Americans moved into Arkansas They ignored the treaties. The Indians who fled to California were being displaced by miners, farmers and ranchers. The discovery of gold g forming around the Indian people, so that expansion from the East was equaled by expansion from the West. ( Brill, The Trail of tears: The Cherokee journey from home.) The Lakota watched their lands, cut to almost a third and then again until nearly all was gone. The gold prospect was a delight to the Americans along the way.
Then In the 1880s, came Wovoka, who offered a message of hope and peace. With him he brought the Ghost Dance and all tribes listened to that Siren song. At the peak of this frenzy came Wounded Knee. There, unarmed and innocent men, women, and children were murdered by scared soldiers, who never took the time to find out what this was all about. Then what is ironic is that Medals of Honor were given to these men .. killing without even knowing why .. Not necessary death is honorable then.
And then all American children know that The only good Indian is a dead Indian. George hicks complained Our property has been stolen and robbed from us by the white men. Why are they so bold? They know that we are in a defenseless situation, dependent on the Government for protection. (Brill, 51) Andrew Jackson was a sly fellow indeed. It is very Ironic that a chief saved Andrew Jackson’s life during battle, yet Jackson never saw the Cherokees as having equal rights. The chief said If I had known Jackson would drive is from out homes I would have killed him that day. Jackson believed that in his case for the Indian removal, he believed that The consequences of a speedy removal will be important to the United States, to individual States, and to the Indians themselves.
Jackson said he wanted this only for the good of the Indians. In the provisions made two important tribes agreed to it and felt that the rest would follow. Manifest destiny had to be a real strong belief of Jackson because he said What good man would prefer a country covered with forests and ranged by a few thousand savages to our extensive Republic, studded with cities, towns, and prosperous farms, embellished with all the improvements which art can devise or industry execute, occupied by more than 12,000,000 happy people, and filled with all the blessings of liberty, civilization, and religion? A little foolish statement I believe because the Indians liked everything how it was. Nevertheless Jackson allowed this horrid deed to occur. He says he wanted to do this for the benefit of the Indian but did any Indians benefit from this or was their land truly stolen and then were treated unfairly by the government. Jackson spiced everything up for the people in his speeches but in real life ironically forgot that if it were not for an Indian he would be dead himself.
(Andrew Jackson’s case for removal of the Indians). Really the only thing that Jackson wanted was manifest destiny and more land for America. He was simply an opportunist given a chance and he took it. Everyone believed that the trail of tears, the Indian removal or whatever other name that you can give to it was something good for America. A land based on freedom and equality but something like this can happen.
For the good of the Indians, Andrew Jackson humbly believed, but was it truly for the profit of himself and the country first before the good of the Indians (Andrew Jackson’s case for removal of the Indians). American History.