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Answer the question posed using the documents for this week in a full paragraph.
After reading the Primary Source Packet and modern article on Indian Removal, think about the various points of view on the topic at the time. Your job is to select one of the following roles in this story and explain their arguments and perspectives:
a. A Cherokee national citizen; b. A U.S. Congressman in favor of removal; c. A non-indigenous American who sympathized with the Native Americans; d. An American interested in moving onto Indian lands in the South
You may choose any of the four positions you wish (it doesn’t need to be what your personal position would be on the issue) and explain their perspectives. The goal of this writing assignment is to be able to make logical arguments using the information you have access to in this week’s readings. this only has to be 5-6 sentence paragraph.
Answer the question posed using the documents for this week in a full paragraph. After reading the Primary Source Packet and modern article on Indian Removal, think about the various points of view on
Source Packet 10: Indian Removal 1 Introduction: The documents for this week comprise a small part of the source materials related to Indian Removal, one of the most important lasting legacies of the Jacksonian period. Most of them focus on the Cherokee story specifically. This collection incorporates bo th primary and secondary sources as you will see. 10.1 is a short history of Removal and the Trail of Tears provided by the Cherokee Nation, the largest of the three federally -recognized Cherokee groups today (the other two are the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee). It provides a good overview of this history. 10.2 Is the Indian Removal Act, which was passed by Congress in 1830. It provides the rules established to allow the President to “encourage” Indians to remov e west of the Mississippi River. This act was controversial at the time, and only passed in the House by a 102 -97 vote. 10.3 is the Cherokee Memorial drafted by leaders of the nation and cosigned by the vast majority of the Cherokee people . It gives insig ht into the will and desires of the Cherokee people to stay on their lands and to hold the United States to previous agreements between the two nations. 10.4 is an extended excerpt from the Supreme Court ruling in the Cherokee Nation v. Georgia case. Writ ten by Chief Justice John Marshall, the majority on the court argued that Indian tribes/nations such as the Cherokee were not (and never were considered by the U.S.) to be foreign nations. This is where the phrase “domestic dependent nations” originated, w hich has defined federal understanding of the status of Native Americans for nearly 200 years, and has been a basis of constant legal and political argument ever since. 10.5 is a summary of the second key Supreme Court case involving the Cherokee, Worceste r v. Georgia. As you can see, the case ruled that states like Georgia had no jurisdiction on Indian lands and upheld Cherokee sovereignty (under the federal umbrella). However, President Jackson (the Chief Executive of the law) Source Packet 10: Indian Removal 2 refused to enforce the rulin g, leaving Worcester in prison and the Cherokee with no legal recourse. 10.6 is an example of the public outcry against Cherokee removal in the wake of the Treaty of New Echota. This particular example comes from Ralph Waldo Emerson, the famous transcendentalist writer and philosopher. Emerson eloquently argues against removal , appealing to morality as a primary reason. Do note, however, that even many defenders of Indian rights believed Indians to be inferior peoples (just as some abolitionists believed slavery to be wrong but denied black equality). 10.1: The Cherokee Nati on: A Brief History of the Trail of Tears Trail of Tears by Brummett Echohawk (1957) . Image from: Gilcrease Museum digital archive Migration from the original Cherokee Nation began in the early 1800’s. Some Cherokees, wary of white encroachment, moved west on their own and settled in other areas of the country. A group known as the Old Settlers previously had voluntarily moved in 1817 to lands given them in Arkansas where they established a government Source Packet 10: Indian Removal 3 and a peaceful way of life. Later, however, they were forced to migrate to Indian Territory. White resentment of the Cherokee had been building and reached a pinnacle following the dis covery of gold in northern Georgia. This discovery was made just after the creation and passage of the original Cherokee Nation constitution and establishment of a Cherokee Supreme Court. Possessed by “gold fever” and a thirst for expansion, many white com munities turned on their Cherokee neighbors. The U.S. government ultimately decided it was time for the Cherokees to be “removed”; leaving behind their farms, their land and their homes. President Andrew Jackson’s military command and almost certainly his life were saved thanks to the aid of 500 Cherokee allies at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814. Unbelievably, it was Jackson who authorized the Indian Removal Act of 1830 following the recommendation of President James Monroe in his final address to Con gress in 1825. Jackson, as president, sanctioned an attitude that had persisted for many years among many white immigrants. Even Thomas Jefferson, who often cited the Great Law of Peace of the Iroquois Confederacy as the model for the U.S. Constitution, su pported Indian Removal as early as 1802. The displacement of native people was not wanting for eloquent opposition. Senators Daniel Webster and Henry Clay spoke out against removal. The Reverend Samuel Worcester, missionary to the Cherokees, challenged G eorgia’s attempt to extinguish Indian title to land in the state, actually winning his case before the Supreme Court. Worcester vs. Georgia, 1832 and Cherokee Nation vs. Georgia, 1831 are considered the two most influential legal decisions in Indian law. T he U.S. Supreme Court ruled for Georgia in the 1831 case, but in Worcester vs. Georgia, the court affirmed Cherokee sovereignty. President Andrew Jackson arrogantly defied the decision of the court and ordered the removal, an act that established the U.S. government’s precedent for the future removal of many Native Americans from their ancestral homelands. The U.S. government used the Treaty of New Echota in 1835 to justify the removal. The treaty, signed by about 100 Cherokees known as the Treaty Party, re linquished all lands east of the Mississippi River in exchange for land in Indian Territory and the promise of Source Packet 10: Indian Removal 4 money, livestock, various provisions, tools and other benefits. When these pro -removal Cherokee leaders signed the Treaty of New Echota, they als o signed their own death warrants, since the Cherokee Nation Council had earlier passed a law calling for the death of anyone agreeing to give up tribal land. The signing and the removal led to bitter factionalism and ultimately to the deaths of most of th e Treaty Party leaders once the Cherokee arrived in Indian Territory. Opposition to the removal was led by Chief John Ross, a mixed -blood of Scottish and one -eighth Cherokee descent. The Ross party and most Cherokees opposed the New Echota Treaty, but G eorgia and the U.S. government prevailed and used it as justification to force almost all of the 17,000 Cherokees from their southeastern homeland. Under orders from President Jackson the U.S. Army began enforcement of the Removal Act. The Cherokee were rounded up in the summer of 1838 and loaded onto boats that traveled the Tennessee, Ohio, Mississippi and Arkansas Rivers into Indian Territory. Many were held in prison camps awaiting their fate. An estimated 4,000 died from hunger, exposure and diseas e. The journey became a cultural memory as the “trail where they cried” for the Cherokees and other removed tribes. Today it is widely remembered by the general public as the “Trail of Tears”. The Oklahoma chapter of the Trail of Tears Association has begu n the task of marking the graves of Trail survivors with bronze memorials. This Information is provided by the Cherokee Nation Cultural Resource Center. For information regarding culture and language, please contact: [email protected] Source Packet 10: Indian Removal 5 10. 2: Congress of the United States: The Removal Act, 28 May 1830 A period depiction of Andrew Jackson as the “benevolent father” to the “Indian children.” Remember that Jackson tried to frame Indian Removal as a humanitarian measure. Thomas Nast illustra tion, Harper’s Weekly (1830s) (University of Michigan, William Clements Library digital images). An Act to provide for an exchange of lands with the Indians residing in any of the states or territories, and for their removal west of the river Mississippi. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Co ngress assembled, that it shall and may be lawful for the President of the United States to cause so much of any territory belonging to the United States, west of the river Mississippi, not included in any state or organized territory, and to which the Indian title has been extinguished, as he may judge necessary, to be divided into a suitable number of districts, for the reception of such tribes or nations of Indians as may choose to exchange the lands where they now reside, and remove there; and to c ause each of said districts to be so described by natural or artificial marks, as to be easily distinguished from every other. Source Packet 10: Indian Removal 6 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 exti nguish the Indian claim thereto. And be it further enacted, that in the making of any such exchange or exchanges, it shall and may be lawful for the President solemnly to assure the tribe or nation with which the exchange is made, that the United States will forever secure and guaranty to them, and their heirs or successors, the country so exchanged with them; and if they prefer it, that the United States will cause a patent or grant to be made and executed to them for the same: Provided always, that such lands shall revert to the United States, if the Indians become extinct, or abandon the same. And be it further enacted, that if, upon any of the lands now occupied by the Indians, and to be exchanged for, there should be such improvements as add v alue to the land claimed by any individual or individuals of such tribes or nations, it shall and may be lawful for the President to cause such value to be ascertained by appraisement or otherwise, and to cause such ascertained value to be paid to the pe rson or persons rightfully claiming such improvements. And upon the payment of such valuation, the improvements so valued and paid for, shall pass to the United States, and possession shall not afterwards be permitted to any of the same tribe. And be it further enacted, that upon the making of any such exchange as is contemplated by this act, it shall and may be lawful for the President to cause such aid and assistance to be furnished to the emigrants as may be necessary and proper to enable them to re move to, and settle in, the country for which they may have exchanged; and also, to give them such aid and assistance as may be necessary for their support and subsistence for the first year after their removal. Source Packet 10: Indian Removal 7 And be it further enacted, that it shall and may be lawful for the President to cause such tribe or nation to be protected, at their new residence, against all interruption or disturbance from any other tribe or nation of Indians, or from any other person or persons whatever. And be it further enacted, that it shall and may be lawful for the President to have the same superintendence and care over any tribe or nation in the country to which they may remove, as contemplated by this act, that he is now authorized to have over t hem at their present places of residence: Provided, that nothing in this act contained shall be construed as authorizing or directing the violation of any existing treaty between the United States and any of the Indian tribes. And be it further enacted, that for the purpose of giving effect to the Provisions of this act, the sum of five hundred thousand dollars is hereby appropriated, to be paid out of any money in the treasury, not otherwise appropriated. 10.3: Memorial of the Cherokee Nation, 1830 Cherokee Woman by Edward Troye (mid 19 th century) Image from: Gilcrease Museum digital archive Source Packet 10: Indian Removal 8 We are aware that some persons suppose it will be for our advantage to remove beyond the Mississippi. We think otherwise. Our people universally think otherwise. Thinking that it would be fatal to their interests, they have almost to a man sent their memo rial to Congress, deprecating the necessity of a removal … It is incredible that Georgia should ever have enacted the oppressive laws to which reference is here made, unless she had supposed that something extremely terrific in its character was necessar y in order to make the Cherokees willing to remove. We are not willing to remove; and if we could be brought to this extremity, it would be not by argument, nor because our judgment was satisfied, not because our condition will be improved; but only beca use we cannot endure to be deprived of our national and individual rights and subjected to a process of intolerable oppression. We wish to remain on the land of our fathers. We have a perfect and original right to remain without interruption or molestat ion. The treaties with us, and laws of the United States made in pursuance of treaties, guaranty our residence and our privileges, and secure us against intruders. Our only request is, that these treaties may be fulfilled, and these laws executed. But if w e are compelled to leave our country, we see nothing but ruin before us. The country west of the Arkansas territory is unknown to us. From what we can learn of it, we have no prepossessions in its favor. All the inviting parts of it, as we believe, are preoccupied by various Indian nations, to which it has been assigned. They would regard us as intruders … The far greater part of that region is, beyond all controversy, badly supplied with wood and water; and no Indian tribe can live as agriculturists wit hout these articles. All our neighbors … would speak a language totally different from ours, and practice different customs. The original possessors of that region are now wandering savages lurking for prey in the neighborhood … Were the country to which we are urged much better than it is represented to be, … still it is not the land of our birth, nor of our affections. It contains neither the scenes of our childhood, nor the graves of our fathers … Source Packet 10: Indian Removal 9 We have been called a poor, ignorant, and degraded peop le. We certainly are not rich; nor have we ever boasted of our knowledge, or our moral or intellectual elevation. But there is not a man within our limits so ignorant as not to know that he has a right to live on the land of his fathers, in the possession of his immemorial privileges, and that this right has been acknowledged by the United States; nor is there a man so degraded as not to feel a keen sense of injury, on being deprived of his right and driven into exile … Reprinted from “Memorial of the Ch erokee Nation,” in Nile’s Weekly Register, 1830 . 10.4: Excerpt: Cherokee Nation v. Georgia (1831) George Lowrey , assistant Principal Chief at the time of Removal. He had been a political leader since the Washington presidency. He was also a cousin of Sequoyah, inventor of the Cherokee syllabary. Image from: Gilcrease Museum digital archive John Marshall’s majority decision in the case The Indian Territory is admitted to compose part of the United States. In all our maps, geographical treatises, histories, and laws, it is so considered. In all our intercourse with foreign nations, in our co mmercial regulations, in any attempt at intercourse between Source Packet 10: Indian Removal 10 Indians and foreign nations, they are considered as within the jurisdictional limits of the United States, subject to many of those restraints which are imposed upon our own citizens. They acknowl edge themselves in their treaties to be under the protection of the United States; they admit that the United States shall have the sole and exclusive right of regulating the trade with them and managing all their affairs as they think proper; and the Ch erokees in particular were allowed by the Treaty of Hopewell, which preceded the Constitution, to send a deputy of their choice, whenever they think fit, to Congress. Treaties were made with some tribes by the state of New York under a then unsettled con struction of the Confederation, by which they ceded all their lands to that state, taking back a limited grant to themselves in which they admit their dependence. Though the Indians are acknowledged to have an unquestionable and, heretofore, unquestione d right to the lands they occupy until that right shall be extinguished by a voluntary cession to our government, yet it may well be doubted whether those tribes which reside within the acknowledged boundaries of the United States can, with strict accura cy, be denominated foreign nations. They may more correctly, perhaps, be denominated domestic dependent nations. They occupy a territory to which we assert a title independent of their will, which must take effect in point of possession when their right of possession ceases. Meanwhile, they are in a state of pupilage. Their relation to the United States resembles that of a ward to his guardian. They look to our government for protection; rely upon its kindness and its power; appeal to it for relief to t heir wants; and address the President as their great father. They and their country are considered by foreign nations, as well as by ourselves, as being so completely under the sovereignty and dominion of the United States that any attempt to acquire their lands or to form a political connection with them would be considered by all as an invasion of our territory and an act of hostility. These considerations go far to support the opinion that the framers of our Constitution had not the Indian tribes in vie w when they opened the courts of the Union to controversies between a state or the citizens thereof and foreign states. In considering this subject, the habits and usages of the Indians in their intercourse with their white neighbors ought not to be enti rely disregarded. At the time the Constitution Source Packet 10: Indian Removal 11 was framed, the idea of appealing to an American court of justice for an assertion of right or a redress of wrong had perhaps never entered the mind of an Indian or of his tribe. Their appeal was to the tomaha wk, or to the government. This was well understood by the statesmen who framed the Constitution of the United States, and might furnish some reason for omitting to enumerate them among the parties who might sue in the courts of the Union. Be this as it may , the peculiar relations between the United States and the Indians occupying our territory are such that we should feel much difficulty in considering them as designated by the term foreign state were there no other part of the Constitution which might sh ed light on the meaning of these words. But we think that in construing them, considerable aid is furnished by that clause in the 8th Section of the 3rd Article, which empowers Congress to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several state s, and with the Indian tribes. In this clause they are as clearly contradistinguished by a name appropriate to themselves from foreign nations as from the several states composing the Union. They are designated by a distinct appellation; and as this app ellation can be applied to neither of the others, neither can the appellation distinguishing either of the others be in fair construction applied to them. The objects to which the power of regulating commerce might be directed are divided into three distin ct classes: foreign nations, the several states, and Indian tribes. When forming this article, the Convention considered them as entirely distinct. We cannot assume that the distinction was lost in framing a subsequent article, unless there be something in its language to authorize the assumption. Foreign nations is a general term, the application of which to Indian tribes, when used in the American Constitution, is at best extremely questionable … The Court has bestowed its best attention on this questio n and, after mature deliberation, the majority is of opinion that an Indian tribe or nation within the United States is not a foreign state in the sense of the Constitution, and cannot maintain an action in the courts of the United States. Source Packet 10: Indian Removal 12 10.5: Case Summary: Worcester v. Georgia (1832) Title page of Samuel Worcester and Elias Boudinot’s translation of the Gospel of John into Cherokee, 1841 (Boston Athenaeum digital collections ). Facts of the case In September 1831, Samuel A. Worcester and others, all non -Native Americans, were indicted in the supreme court for the county of Gwinnett in the state of Georgia for “residing within the limits of the Cherokee nation without a license” and “without having Source Packet 10: Indian Removal 13 taken the oath to support and defend the constitution and laws of the state of Georgia.” They were indicted under an 1830 act of the Georgia legislature entitled “an act to prevent the exercise of assumed and arbitrary power by all persons, under pretext of authority from the Cherokee Indians .” Among other things, Worcester argued that the state could not maintain the prosecution because the statute violated the Constitution, treaties between the United States and the Cherokee nation, and an act of Congress entitled “an act to regulate trade a nd intercourse with the Indian tribes.” Worcester was convicted and sentenced to “hard labour in the penitentiary for four years.” The U.S. Supreme Court received the case on a writ of error. Question Does the state of Georgia have the authority to regulate the intercourse between citizens of its state and members of the Cherokee Nation? Conclusion 5 –1 decision for Worcester No. In an opinion delivered by Chief Justice John Marshall, the Cou rt held that the Georgia act, under which Worcester was prosecuted, violated the Constitution, treaties, and laws of the United States. Noting that the “treaties and laws of the United States contemplate the Indian territory as completely separated from th at of the states; and provide that all intercourse with them shall be carried on exclusively by the government of the union,” Chief Justice Marshall argued, “The Cherokee nation, then, is a distinct community occupying its own territory in which the laws o f Georgia can have no force. The whole intercourse between the United States and this nation, is, by our constitution and laws, vested in the government of the United States.” The Georgia act thus interfered with the federal government’s authority and was unconstitutional. Justice Henry Baldwin dissented for procedural reasons and on the merits. Source: “Worcester v. Georgia.” Oyez, 3 Aug. 2018, www.oyez.org/cases/1789 -1850/31us515. Source Packet 10: Indian Removal 14 10.6: Ralph Waldo Emerson: Letter to Martin Van Buren President of the United States (1836) Ralph Waldo Emerson, from Poems by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1866) Image from: American Philosophical Society digital archive Sir: The seat you fill places you in a relation of credit and nearness to every citizen. By right and natural position, every citizen is your friend. Before any acts contrary to his own judgment or interest have repelled the affections of any man, each ma y look with trust and living anticipation to your government. Each has the highest right to call your attention to such subjects as are of a public nature, and properly belong to the chief magistrate; and the good magistrate will feel a joy in meeting such confidence. In this belief and at the instance of a few of my friends and neighbors, I crave of your patience a short hearing for their sentiments and my own: and the circumstances that my name will be utterly unknown to you will only give the fairer cha nce to your equitable construction of what I have to say. Sir, my communication respects the sinister rumors that fill this part of the country concerning the Cherokee people. The interest always felt in the aboriginal population – Source Packet 10: Indian Removal 15 an interest naturall y growing as that decays – has been heightened in regard to this tribe. Even in our distant State some good rumor of their worth and civility has arrived. We have learned with joy their improvement in the social arts. We have read their newspapers. We have seen some of them in our schools and colleges. In common with the great body of the American people, we have witnessed with sympathy the painful labors of these red men to redeem their own race from the doom of eternal inferiority, and to borrow and domes ticate in the tribe the arts and customs of the Caucasian race. And notwithstanding the unaccountable apathy with which of late years the Indians have been sometimes abandoned to their enemies, it is not to be doubted that it is the good pleasure and the understanding of all humane persons in the Republic, of the men and the matrons sitting in the thriving independent families all over the land, that they shall be duly cared for; that they shall taste justice and love from all to whom we have delegated the office of dealing with them. The newspapers now inform us that, in December, 1835, a treaty contracting for the exchange of all the Cherokee territory was pretended to be made by an agent on the part of the United States with some persons appeari ng on the part of the Cherokees; that the fact afterwards transpired that these deputies did by no means represent the will of the nation; and that, out of eighteen thousand souls composing the nation, fifteen thousand six hundred and sixty -eight have pro tested against the so -called treaty. It now appears that the government of the United States choose to hold the Cherokees to this sham treaty, and are proceeding to execute the same. Almost the entire Cherokee Nation stand up and say, “This is not our act . Behold us. Here are we. Do not mistake that handful of deserters for us;” and the American President and the Cabinet, the Senate and the House of Representatives, neither hear these men nor see them, and are contracting to put this active nation into car ts and boats, and to drag them over mountains and rivers to a wilderness at a vast distance beyond the Mississippi. As a paper purporting to be an army order fixes a month from this day as the hour for this doleful removal. In the name of God, sir, we ask you if this be so. Do the newspapers rightly inform us? Man and women with pale and perplexed faces meet one another in the streets and Source Packet 10: Indian Removal 16 churches here, and ask if this be so. We have inquired if this be a gross misrepresentation from the party opposed t o the government and anxious to blacken it with the people. We have looked at the newspapers of different parties and find a horrid confirmation of the tale. We are slow to believe it. We hoped the Indians were misinformed, and that their remonstrance was premature, and will turn out to be a needless act of terror. The piety, the principle that is left in the United States, if only in its coarsest form, a regard to the speech of men, forbid us to entertain it as a fact. Such a dereliction of all faith a nd 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. In speaking thu s the sentiments of my neighbors and my own, perhaps I overstep the bounds of decorum. But would it not be a higher indecorum coldly to argue a matter like this? We only state the fact that a crime is projected that confounds our understanding by its magni tude, a crime that really deprives us as well as the Cherokees of a country for how could we call the conspiracy that should crush these poor Indians our government, or the land that was cursed by their parting and dying imprecations our country, any more ? You, sir, will bring down that renowned chair in which you sit into infamy if your seal is set to this instrument of perfidy; and the name of this nation, hitherto the sweet omen of religion and liberty, will stink to the world. You will not do us the injustice of connecting this remonstrance with any sectional and party feeling. It is in our hearts the simplest commandment of brotherly love. We will not have this great and solemn claim upon national and human justice huddled aside under the flimsy ple a of its being a party act … One circumstance lessens the reluctance with which I intrude at this time on your attention my conviction that the government ought to be admonished of a new historical fact, which the discussion of this question has disclosed , namely, that there exists in a Source Packet 10: Indian Removal 17 great part of the Northern people a gloomy diffidence in the moral character of the government. On the broaching of this question, a general expression of despondency, of disbelief that any good will accrue from a remons trance on an act of fraud and robbery, appeared in those men to whom we naturally turn for aid and counsel. Will the American government steal? Will it lie? Will it kill? – We ask triumphantly. Our counselors and old statesmen here say that ten years ago t hey would have staked their lives on the affirmation that the proposed Indian measures could not be executed; that the unanimous country would put them down. And now the steps of this crime follow each other so fast, at such fatally quick time, that the m illions of virtuous citizens, whose agents the government are, have no place to interpose, and must shut their eyes until the last howl and wailing of these tormented villages and tribes shall afflict the ear of the world. … A man with your experience in affairs must have seen cause to appreciate the futility of opposition to the moral sentiment. However feeble the sufferer and however great the oppressor, it is in the nature of things that the blow should recoil upon the aggressor. For God is in the s entiment, and it cannot be withstood. The potentate and the people perish before it; but with it, and its executor, they are omnipotent. I write thus, sir, to inform you of the state of mind these Indian tidings have awakened here, and to pray with one voice more that you, whose hands are strong with the delegated power of fifteen millions of men, will avert with that might the terrific injury which threatens the Cherokee tribe. With great respect, sir, I am your fellow citizen, Ralph Waldo Emerso n Source (for all except 10. 5): http://www.cherokee.org/About -The -Nation/History