By: Maddie Marshall


In the begging of the 1830's there were about 125,000 Native Americans which lived on millions acres of land. These lands were spread across 5 states, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, the Carolina's, and Florida. By the end of the decade only a few natives were left in the southeastern of the U.S. The government forced the natives to walk away from their homes miles away. They wlaked across the Mississippi river which was know as the "Indian Territory". This happened because the whites wanted to grow cotton on the Indian's land.



White American's, who mainly lived on the western side were afraid of the Native American's. They saw them as unfamiliar alien people who had land that white settlers wanted but thought they deserved. Many thought in the early years during the American republic, including George Washington (the president) thought the best way to simply get rid of the "Indian Problem" was to "civilize" the Native Americans. Their civilization goal was to make the Native Americans more like the white Americans by trying to convert them to Christianity, learning to read and write English, and owning individual land.

The Native's land which was located in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, the Carolina's, and Florida was very valuable and unique until the whites started taking over. The whites didn't care for the natives, all the cared for was the land they stole from them to grow cotton and other crops.

Even state governments were helping drive the Native Americans out of the south. Many states tried passing laws to basically just say the White Americans can take over the Native Americans land. This law was not passed by the states, because state's cannot make laws. However as president, Andrew Jackson (1832) could do anything he thought was the right thing to do, well obviously because he was the leader of the country. As the leader he thought it was the right thing to do was send the Native Americans away.


Andrew Jackson was a fighter for what he called the "Indian Removal". Since Jackson was an Army general he had spent years leading campaigns to transfer thousands of land that were the Native Americans and just give it the White Americans. Since he was president he kept doing what he thought was the right thing to do, especially for the country. In 1830 he signed the Indian Removal Act, which handed over the government the right to take the Native Americans land and give them land in the west across the Mississippi river.

The Indian Removal Act required the government to talk about treaties fairly, voluntarily, and peacefully. This law didn't include for anyone even president Andrew Jackson to push the Native Americans to give up their land. But the president and his government ignored the law and forced the Native Americans to leave their land. In the winter of 1831, the Natives left their land. They went on the journey without food, supplies, or any help from the government. Thousands and thousands of people died, that's partially how the name "The Trail of Tears" happened.


The Indian removal act still continued. In 1836 4,000 of 16,000 creeks didn't survey the journey to Oklahoma

in 1835, some of the representatives of the Cherokee nation talked about the Treaty of New Echota, which is basically selling all the Cherokee land east of the Mississippi river for 5 million dollars, relocation assistance and compensation for lost property. Others in the Cherokee nation felt very betrayed, they didn't want to leave. They thought it wasn't right to have just a few "leaders" decide what should happen to them all.

By 1838, about 2,000 Cherokees left their homes in Georgia for the Indian Territory. 7,000 soldier's helped with the removal process. Winfield Scott and his soldiers forced the Cherokee's while the Whites went into the homes and stole their belongings. They ended up traveling 1,200 miles to the Indian territory. Whooping cough, typhus, dysentery, cholera and starvation turned out to be the cause of the 4,000 people who died on the trip there.

By the time 1840 came just about maybe over ten thousands of people left their southeaster lands which were their forever homes all the way across the Mississippi river for the Indian territory. The federal government thought their new land which was the Natives lands would remain peacefully for the whites. What they didn't know was the upcoming event. In 1907, Oklahoma became a state and the Indian Territory ended at last.


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Reading about what the White Americans did to the Native Americans just disgusts me. It honestly makes me not want to be white. My only question is why we WHITE AMERICANS thought that being selfish was okay. Why were we so powerful? Was it our color? I'll never really understand our meaning for being the "good" people because our skin or going around saying we're better when in reality we're just disgusting. This happening to the Natives wasn't right, however I know back then it meant everything. I hope today we've learned from our mistakes and start to open our eyes. If I was the president I would have said each Native America could keep their land, they were there first. If we wanted better land we could get up and search for some instead of being lazy and taking others land.