Reading Comprehension - Passage; 'The Causes and Consequences of Indian Removal'

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This passage guides the reader in taking a critical look at America's past when the controversial Indian Removal Act of 1830 was passed and enacted by Congress and how it shaped modern public policy and divisive discourse that pits non-Whites against White people, despite the landmark legal victories of the Civil Rights era.
1. The Causes and Consequences of
Indian Removal
An Online Professional Development Seminar
Sponsored by the Library of Congress
Teaching with Primary Sources
Eastern Region Program,
coordinated by Waynesburg University.
We will begin promptly on the hour.
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images change, e-mail Caryn Koplik
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for assistance.
2. The Causes and Consequences of Indian Removal
 To appreciate American Indian voices in U.S. history
 To understand the complex reasons that the United States
forced many Native nations from their homelands in the
early 19th century
 To become aware of the legacy of Indian removal for
both Native peoples and U.S. law 2
3. The Causes and Consequences of Indian Removal
American Memory Timeline
The New Nation, 1783-1815
Government Policy Toward Native Americans
Primary Resource Sets
Westward Expansion: Encounters at a Cultural Crossroads
( 3
4. From the Forum
 What was the human impact of Indian removal?
 What did Native Americans lose as a result of removal?
What, if anything, did they gain?
 How are the consequences of Indian Removal felt today?
 How can we teach the history of Native Americans without
presenting them either as victims of white aggression or as
icons environmental wisdom? 4
5. The Causes and Consequences of Indian Removal
Theda Perdue
Atlanta Distinguished Professor Emerita of History
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
National Humanities Center Fellow
Race and the Atlanta Cotton States Exposition of 1895
North American Indians: A Very Short Introduction
[Co-authored with Michael D. Green]
The Cherokee Nation and the Trail of Tears
[Co-authored with Michael D. Green]
Cherokee Women: Gender and Culture Change, 1700-1835
(1998) 5
6. The Causes and Consequences of Indian Removal
Indian Removal raises troubling questions about the nature of American
democracy, especially indigenous rights, racial ideology, and the human
cost of national expansion. Although the United States forced tribes in the
Northeast and Midwest as well as the South to sell their lands and move
west, the best documented experience is that of the Cherokees, on which
this seminar will focus.
The documents in this seminar and others related to Cherokee Removal can be found in
The Cherokee Removal: A Brief History with Documents (Bedford Series in History and
Culture) by Theda Perdue and Michael D. Green. 6
7. The Causes and Consequences of Indian Removal
What does this
map tell us? 7
8. President Andrew Jackson’s Annual Address, 1830
The consequences of a speedy removal will be important to the United States,
to individual States, and to the Indians themselves. The pecuniary advantages
which it promises to the Government are the least of its recommendations. It
puts an end to all possible danger of collision between the authorities of the
General and State Governments on account of the Indians. It will place a
dense and civilized population in large tracts of country now occupied by a
few savage hunters. . . . It will separate the Indians from immediate contact
with settlements of whites; free them from the power of the States; enable
them to pursue happiness in their own way and under their own rude
institutions; will retard the progress of decay, which is lessening their
numbers, and perhaps cause them gradually, under the protection of the
Government and through the influence of good counsels, to cast off their
savage habits and become an interesting, civilized, and Christian community.
Discussion Questions
What are the limitations in using this primary document to write about Indian Removal?
What useful things can it tell us? 8
9. John Ridge, Letter to Albert Gallatin, Feb. 27, 1826
“I don’t want you to recommend these things to my people,” [a
Cherokee man told the U.S. agent in the 1790s.] “They may suit
white people, but will do [nothing] for the Indians. I am now going
to hunt & shall be gone six moons & when I return, I shall expect to
hear nothing of your talks made in [my] absence to induce my
people to take hold of your plan.” But in his absence the Agent
induced his wife & daughters to Spin & weave with so much
assiduity as to make more cloth in value, than the Chief’s Hunt of
six months amounted to. He was astonished & came to the Agent
with a smile, accusing him for making his wife & daughters better
hunters than he & requested to be furnished a plough & went to
John Ridge, Cherokee work on his farm.
Discussion Question
What conflicting views of human difference does this anecdote reveal?
How does this anecdote challenge Jackson’s view of Indians? 9
10. Nancy Reece (Cherokee Student at Brainerd Mission),
Letter to Reverend Fayette Shepherd, Dec. 25, 1828
I do not think that all people are friends to the Cherokees. Miss. Ames has been
reading a part of the Presid. message. Perhaps he does not like the laws of the
Indian tribes for he says, “This state of things requires that a remedy should be
provided.” . . . I have been talking to the children about it and one says “if white
people want more land let them go back to the country they came from,” another
says “they have got more land than they use, what do they want to get ours for?”
Discussion Questions
 How does this young girl understand the effort
to remove the Cherokees?
 What does she regard as the motivations of
Georgia and the federal government?
 How does her view challenge Jackson?
Brainerd Mission Cemetery, Chattanooga, TN 10
11. Georgia State Assembly, Laws Extending Jurisdiction
Over the Cherokees, Dec. 19, 1829 and Dec. 22, 1830
An act to add the Territory lying within the chartered limits of
Georgia, and now in the occupancy of the Cherokee Indians, to
the counties of Carroll, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Hall and Habersham,
and to extend the laws of this State over the same, and to annul
all laws and ordinances made by the Cherokee nation of Indians.
Discussion Question
What was the impact of this law
on the Cherokee Nation? 11
12. US Congress, Indian Removal Act, May 28, 1830
Sec. 2 And be it further enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for the
President to exchange any or all of such districts, so to be laid off and described,
with any tribe or nation of Indians now residing within the limits of any of the
states or territories, and with which the United States have existing treaties, for
the whole or any part or portion of the territory claimed and occupied by such
tribe or nation, within the bounds of any one or more of the states or territories,
where the land claimed and occupied by the Indians, is owned by the United
States, or the United States are bound to the state within which it lies to
extinguish the Indian claim thereto.
Discussion Questions
 How does this act propose that the president resolve the conflict between
Georgia and the Cherokee Nation?
 What difficulties were likely to arise? 12
13. Cherokee Women, Petition, Oct. 17, 1821 [1831?]
We the females, residing in Salequoree and Pine
Log, believing that the present difficulties and
embarrassments under which this nation is placed
demands a full expression of the mind of every
individual, on the subject of emigrating to
Arkansas, would take upon ourselves to address
you. Although it is not common for our sex to take
part in public measures, we nevertheless feel
justified in expressing our sentiments on any
subject where our interest is as much at stake as
any other part of the community.
The Cherokee women who submitted
this petition may have looked much Discussion Question
like the Cherokee woman in this drawing
by George Catlin from the 1830s What was the impact of the removal
crisis on Cherokee women? 13
14. Elias Boudinot, Editorial from the Cherokee Phoenix,
November 12, 1831
It has been customary to charge the failure of attempts
heretofore made to civilize and christianize the aborigines to
the Indians themselves. Whence originated the common
saying, “An Indian will still be and Indian.” . . .
On the contrary we have instances of nations, originally as
ignorant and barbarous as the American natives, having risen
from their degraded state to a high pitch of refinement – from
the worst kind of paganism to the knowledge of the true God.
Discussion Questions
Editor of the weekly,
 What view of human difference is Boudinot attributing to
bilingual newspaper
the enemies of the Cherokee Nation? What evidence to the
contrary does he cite? 14
15. US Supreme Court, Worcester v. Georgia, March 1832
The Indian nations had always been considered as distinct, independent political
communities, retaining their original natural rights, as the undisputed possessors of
the soil, from time immemorial, with the single exception of that imposed by
irresistible power, which excluded them from intercourse with any other European
potentate than the first discoverer of the coast of the particular region claimed; and
this was a restriction which those European potentates imposed on themselves, as
well as on the Indians. The very term “nation,” so generally applied to them, means
“a people distinct from others.” The Constitution, by declaring treaties already made,
as well as those to be made, to be the supreme law of the land, has adopted and
sanctioned the previous treaties with the Indian nations, and consequently admits
their rank among those powers who are capable of making treaties. The word “treaty”
and “nation” are words of our own language, selected in our diplomatic and
legislative proceedings, by ourselves, having each a definite and well understood
meaning. We have applied them to Indians, as we have applied them to the other
nations of the earth. They are applied to all in the same sense.
Discussion Question
On what grounds does the U.S. Supreme Court find in favor of the missionary who was arrested
for violating Georgia law (and indirectly in favor of the sovereignty of the Cherokee Nation)? 15
16. Treaty with the Cherokees, 1835
…since our difficulties are daily increasing and our
situation is rendered more and more precarious
uncertain and insecure in consequence of the legislation
of the United States; and seeing no effectual way of
relief, but in accepting the liberal overtures of the
United States…
And whereas the said commissioners did appoint
and notify a general council of the nation to convene at
New Echota on the 21st day of December 1835; and
informed them that the commissioners would be
prepared to make a treaty with the Cherokee people
who should assemble there and those who did not come
they should be transacted at this council and the people
having met in council according to said notice. Major Ridge, Treaty Signer
Discussion Questions
 What does treaty-making imply?
 Does this passage raise questions about the legitimacy of the treaty? 16
17. Memorial of Protest of the Cherokee Nation,
June 22, 1836
…owing to the intelligence of the Cherokee people, they
have a correct knowledge of their own rights, and they
well know the illegality of those oppressive measures
which have been adopted for their expulsion, by State
authority. Their devoted attachment to their native
country has not been, nor ever can be, eradicated from
their breast. This, together with the implicit confidence,
they have been taught to cherish, in the justice, good
faith, and magnanimity of the United States, also, their
firm reliance on the generosity and friendship of the
American people, have formed the anchor of their hope
and upon which alone they have been induced and
influenced to shape their peaceful and manly course,
Principal Chief John Ross under some of the most trying circumstances any people
ever have been called to witness and endure.
Discussion Question
How does this view differ from that expressed by Andrew Jackson in the first document? 17
18. Evan Jones, Letter, Camp Hetzel, Near Cleveland
[Tenn.], June 16, 1838
The Cherokees are nearly all prisoners.
They have been dragged from their
houses, and encamped at the forts and
military posts, all over the nation. In
Georgia, especially, multitudes were
allowed no time to take any thing with
them, except the clothes they had on. . . .
These savages, prisoners of Christians,
are now all hands busy, some cutting and
some carrying posts, and plates, and
rafters – some digging holes for posts,
Corner blockhouse of Fort Marr, near and some preparing seats, for a
Cleveland, TN, the only surviving part of temporary place for preaching tomorrow.
a removal stockade
Discussion Question
The author, whose outrage is palpable, was a white missionary to the Cherokees.
What is his attitude about racial difference? 18
19. Rebecca Neugin, Recollections of Removal, 1932
My father had a wagon pulled by two spans of
oxen to haul us in. Eight of my brothers and
sisters and two or three widow women and
children rode with us. My brother Dick who
was a good deal older than I was walked along
with a long whip which he popped over the
backs of the oxen and drove them all the way.
My father and mother walked all the way
also… Other emigrants who had been driven
from their homes without opportunity to secure
cooking utensils came to our camp to use our
pots an kettles. There was much sickness
among the emigrants and a great many little
children died of whooping cough.
Discussion Question
What does this elderly woman’s recollection tell us about the Cherokees? 19
20. Wilma Mankiller, Reflections on Removal, 1993
We had already settled this land for many
years before the whites even arrived.
Although it is so crucial for us to focus on
the good things – our tenacity, our
language and culture, the revitalization of
tribal communities – it is also important
that we never forget what happened to our
people on the Trail of Tears. It was indeed
our holocaust.
Wilma Mankiller, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, 1985-1995
Discussion Questions
 Why does the former chief of the Cherokee Nation think that it is important for
Cherokees to remember removal? Why should all Americans remember removal? 20
21. Final Slide
Thank You.
This seminar is sponsored in part by the Library of Congress
Teaching with Primary Sources Eastern Region Program,
coordinated by Waynesburg University. 21