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I. Context—U. S. and Indian peoples in Eastern U. S., Revolution-1820s II. Andrew Jackson and John Ross III. Roots of Removal—Ideology, Economics, and.

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Presentation on theme: "I. Context—U. S. and Indian peoples in Eastern U. S., Revolution-1820s II. Andrew Jackson and John Ross III. Roots of Removal—Ideology, Economics, and."— Presentation transcript:


2 I. Context—U. S. and Indian peoples in Eastern U. S., Revolution-1820s II. Andrew Jackson and John Ross III. Roots of Removal—Ideology, Economics, and Conflict IV. The Removal Crisis V. Trails of Tears


4 Most eastern Indians eventually sided with British Much of revolution fought in Indian country,--devastating consequences and lingering grievances Treaty of Paris, 1783—British sold out native allies, sign over lands east of Mississippi River US Constitution and subsequent laws declare federal supremacy over Indian affairs—government-to-government relationship Indian lands crucial for paying war debt, rewarding soldiers with promised bounties, fueling Jeffersonian expansion US tried to take Indian lands by right of conquest; Indian resistance intense and often successful US backs down, pursued treaty process and “civilization” instead Emerging divides: 1) federal vs. state; 2) reformers who wanted to “civilize” Indians in the East, and removal advocates who wanted to push them out to a permanent Indian territory beyond the Mississippi

5 1811—Tecumseh (Shawnee) unites northern and southern Indians in religiously-inspired, militant movement 1812-1815—US defeats British and native allies Native resistance broken in Old Northwest, but continues in Old Southwest

6 II. Jackson and Ross 1788—at 21, young lawyer moves to Nashville, becomes prosperous cotton planter Member of TN Const. Convention, first US Rep., but left after one year because of financial difficulties War of 1812—became war’s primary hero, defeating Creeks in Alabama and repulsing British at New Orleans “How lamentable it is that the path to peace should lead through blood & over the carcass of the slain!! But it is in the dispensations of that providence which inflicts partial evil, to produce general good.”--1814

7 1815-1820—treaty commissioner for US, persuades Indians to sell 1/5 of Ga., ½ of Mississippi, and most of Ala.; acquires tens of thousands of acres for self 1824—unsuccessful Dem. candidate for president 1828—assumes presidency, inaugural address calls for passage of Removal Act

8 “The fundamental impulse behind Jacksonian Democracy” was “the extension of white supremacy across the North American continent.” Daniel Walker Howe, What God Hath Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848.

9 Father—Scots Loyalist Mother—Cherokee Educated at white academy in TN, returned to Cherokees Fought with Jackson against Creeks in 1812 War Plantation and ferry owner— 300 acres, ca. 20 slaves Helps create Cherokee constitution, 1827 Major opponent of removal

10 “It is the fixed and unalterable determination of this nation never to cede one foot more of our land.”—Cherokee reply to US treaty commissioners, 1823

11 “We wish to draw them to agriculture, to spinning and weaving..., to the culture of a small piece of land. They will perceive how useless to them are their extensive forests, and will be willing to pare them off... in exchange for necessaries for their farms and families. To promote this disposition to exchange lands... we shall push our trading houses (Indian factories), and be glad to see the good and influential individuals among them run in debt, because we observe that when these debts get beyond what the individuals can pay, they become willing to lop them off by a cession of lands.” Sought constitutional amendment removing Indians to Louisiana Purchase land, personally urged Chickasaws to sell homeland and emigrate

12 Plan by Henry Knox, Washington’s Secretary of War Federal funds for education, agricultural training, seeds, implements Programs often run by Protestant missionaries Indians embraced programs and turned them toward own ends

13 Dramatic results Cherokee population grew “numberless herds of cattle,” “numerous flocks of sheep, goats, and swine” Extensive involvement in market agriculture, esp’ly cotton Sequoyah’s alphabet Constitutional government Gov’ts provided roads, public inns, and other services Cherokee—proclaimed selves “sovereign and independent” But also deeply divisive

14 1825—13,563 Cherokees, 1,277 black slaves in nation 1835—8% of Cherokees—mostly white-Cherokee--held slaves

15 Henry Bibb: “The Indians allow their slaves enough to eat and wear. They have no overseers to whip nor drive them. If a slave offends his master, he sometimes, in a heat of passion, undertakes to chastise him; but it is as often the case otherwise, that the slave gets the better of the fight, and even flogs his master; for which there is no law to punish him. … Neither do they separate husbands and wives, nor parents and children. All things considered, if I must be a slave, I had by far, rather be a slave to an Indian, than to a white man.” Key roles as translators, instructors in schools and churches But 1827 Cherokee Constitution racially discriminatory

16 “Removal made it clear that there was no room for a common world that included independent Indians living with whites.” Richard White, “It’s Your Misfortune and None of My Own: A New History of the American West (1991)

17 All I want in this creation Is a pretty little wife and A big plantation Away up yonder in the Cherokee nation. Fueled by rise of textile mills US cotton supplied half of world’s needs 500 acre cotton plantation could easily make $6,000 profit a year in 1830s Cotton rapidly degraded soil 1829 gold rush in Cherokee country—precursor to Calif. Jackson’s Dem. party became champion of expansion, agrarians, and white supremacy

18 Many eastern Indians chose to move West in response to worsening situation; Miccosukees move to Florida 1790s—Chief Bowl’s band of Cherokee leave for Missouri; relocate to Arkansas, then to Texas by 1820s 1817—6,000 Cherokee sign treaty with AJ, move to Ark. Some Chickasaws and Choctaws also removed in late 1810s

19 Pass Removal Act, force Indians to choose between maintaining homeland and preserving sovereignty Subject Indians to state law; would quickly decide to leave Exploit factions within Indian nations to secure acquiescence Transport Five Civilized Tribes to Indian Territory Gain political support of grateful frontier farmers and southern grandees

20 States’ rights vs. federal prerogatives Christian charity and national honor vs. greed and expansion Sectional dimensions of these

21 Opposition widespread among missionary community, moral reformers (including women such as Catharine Beecher), and northern advocates of internal improvement


23 Sen. Theodore Frelinghuysen, Whig-NJ: “Sir, if we abandon these aboriginal proprietors of our soil, these early allies and adopted children of our forefathers, how shall we justify it to our country? … How shall we justify this trespass to ourselves? … Let us beware how, by oppressive encroachments upon the sacred privileges of our Indian neighbors, we minister to the agonies of future remorse.”

24 Senate efforts to hobble removal via amendments failed 3 times by a single vote Senate margin: 28 to 19; House margin: 102 to 97 Among “no” voters: Davy Crockett, who called bill “oppression with a vengeance”

25 Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, 1831— Indians “domestic dependent nations,” but no standing Worcester v. Georgia, 1832— Indians exempt from state laws, Georgia lacked jurisdiction over them Vindicated Indian sovereignty, but also stressed weakness of Indians and dependence on federal government

26 Southern states passed legislation outlawing tribal assemblies, subjecting Indians to taxes, militia duty, etc., while denying legal and property rights Superintendent of Indian Office Thomas McKenney replaced for reluctance to execute Jackson’s plan fully Roughly ½ of Indian agents under McKinney also replaced by Jackson loyalists Creeks and Choctaws emigrated by end of 1836 Chickasaws moved by 1837 Cherokees not forced out until 1839 Seminoles only removed in 1842, after bloody, unpopular, 25- year-long war Northeastern Indians removed 1830s-1850s, most disastroutly in Potawatomie Trail of Sorrows


28 “ In the whole scene there was an air of ruin and destruction, something which betrayed a final and irrevocable adieu; one couldn't watch without feeling one's heart wrung. The Indians were tranquil, but sombre and taciturn. There was one who could speak English and of whom I asked why the Chactas were leaving their country. "To be free," he answered. We could never get any other reason out of him. We... watch the expulsion... of one of the most celebrated and ancient American peoples. ” --Democracy in America

29 Factionalism and corruption Winters of 1830-’31 and 1831-’32 incredibly bad, summer travel hampered by cholera outbreak of 1832-’33 Steamboat explosions killed many Government contracting systems poor, much of country covered undeveloped, distances vast Result: thousands dead, cost $5 million instead of $3 million budgeted


31 Ceded all tribal lands Individuals given allotments and subjected to state law But fraud on a massive scale and totally inadequate protection by government led to near-total land loss Refugees straggled to Oklahoma, suffering high death rates Creek War of 1836 followed by forced emigration—up to 10,000 die


33 Jackson ignores Supreme Court Bitter factionalism “Treaty party” signs Treaty of New Echota, obligate nation to relocate “Anti-Treaty party,” led by John Ross, resists 1838—forced removal starts, led by Winfield Scott Cherokees rounded up, placed in stockades Most eventually made journey on own Estimated 20-25% die

34 “Such a dereliction of all faith and virtue, such a denial of justice, and such deafness to screams for mercy were never heard of in times of peace and in the dealing of a nation with its own allies and wards, since the earth was made. Sir, does this government think that the people of the United States are become savage and mad? From their mind are the sentiments of love and a good nature wiped clean out? The soul of man, the justice, the mercy that is the heart in all men, from Maine to Georgia, does abhor this business.”

35 1834—removal begins 1835—Second Seminole War commences US wins in 1842, at cost of $20 million Less than 500 Seminoles remained in Everglades

36 Massive economic losses to Indians, challenge of rebuilding Removed Indians bring American institutions to Ind. Terr., adapt old ways to new ecologies Tensions w/ plains natives, increased strain on bison and other plains resources Slaveholding continues Violent factionalism deepens Settlers eventually set sights on Indian Territory; KS and NE Indians removed again in 1850s Eastern Indians went on to play important roles in history of trans-Mississippi West—Cherokee gold miners, Delaware guides, etc. Opposition to Jackson’s Indian policy helped forge Whig Party Indian Territory eliminated with Oklahoma statehood

37 “As a rule, the red man disappears before the superior moral and physical influence of the white, just as I believe the black man will eventually do the same thing, unless he shall seek shelter in some other region. In nine cases in ten, the tribes have gradually removed west; and there is now a confused assemblage of nations and languages collected on the immense hunting grounds of the Prairies. […] The ordinary manner of the disappearance of the Indian, is by a removal deeper into the forest. Still, many linger near the graves of their fathers, to which their superstitions, no less than a fine natural feeling, lend a deeper interest. The fate of the latter is inevitable; they become victims to the abuses of civilization, without ever attaining to any of its moral elevation.” -- James Fenimore Cooper, Notions of the Americans: The Indians

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