Trail of Tears
By: Cali Cunnigham
How It All Started!
Purposes of The Trail of Tears!
When gold was discovered in White County, Georgia in 1828, the state began to push even harder for removal of the Indians. The Georgia legislature soon outlawed the Cherokee government and confiscated tribal lands. When the Cherokee appealed for federal protection, they were rejected by President Andrew Jackson. The Jackson Administration began to put pressure on the Cherokee and other tribes to sign treaties of removal but the Cherokee rejected any proposals. However, when Jackson was reelected in 1832, some of the Cherokee believed that removal was inevitable. A Treaty Party, led by Major John Ridge, believed that it was in the best interest of the Cherokee Nation to get the best possible terms from the U.S. government. Cautiously, Ridge began unauthorized talks with the Jackson administration. The State of Georgia was so sure that the Cherokee would be removed, they began holding lotteries in order to divide up the Cherokee tribal lands among white Georgians. In 1835, Jackson appointed a treaty commissioner by the name of Reverend John F. Schermerhorn who offered to pay the Cherokee Nation 4.5 million dollars to move. In October, 1835, the terms were rejected by the Cherokee Nation. the Treaty of New Echota was agreed to which provided for the Cherokee Nation to cede its lands in exchange for $5,700,000 and new lands in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma.) Though the actions was repudiated by more than nine-tenths of the tribe and was not signed by a single elected tribal official, Congress ratified the treaty on May 23, 1836. As the deadline for voluntary removal on May 23, 1838 approached, President Martin Van Buren appointed General Winfield Scott to lead the forcible removal operation. Commanding some 7,000 troops, Scott arrived in Georgia on May 26th beginning a forcible evacuation at gunpoint. An estimated 15,000 were forced to move over the next 3 weeks. The swift and brutal process drove men, women and children out of their homes, sometimes with only the clothes on their backs. They were then gathered in camps where conditions were terrible. Many of the Cherokee died while waiting in the camps, where food and supplies were limited and disease was rampant.
The Trail Where They Cried
The Trail Where They Cried.
By: Cali Cunningham
The Trail where they ride.
On a beautiful Summer day,
the doors came knocking down.
Family’s enjoying their meal.
Men working hard in their fields.
Women spinning cloth.
Children playing outside.
Their homes torn apart.
And for what?
One word- Gold.
Our young Nation was selfish.
Thinking only of themselves.
Letting hopes and dreams
of the many families
being torn apart
by one trail.
The Trail where they cried.
2. During the Trail of Tears 4,000 of the 15,000 Indians died of hunger, disease, cold, and exhaustion.
3. Andrew Jackson was the president of the United States from 1829 to 1837. Martin Van Buren succeeded him, from 1837 to 1841. The Trail of Tears happened between 1838 and 1839, making Van Buren the president during this event, but Andrew Jackson is traditionally held to blame.
4.The Cherokee Natives refer to the Trail of Tears as 'Nunahi-Duna-Dlo-Hilu-I' or 'Trail where they cried'.
5.The Indians were held in concentration-like camps through the summer, then they were then forced to travel over 1,000 miles, under very hard conditions to Indian Territory.
6. when the soldiers were advancing the Cherokees, two children saw the troops coming and ran into the forest to hide because they were frightened. Their mother begged and begged the soldiers to wait until she could find them, to leave, but they refused.
2. WWW. Legendsofamerica.com/no-trailtears.html
6. Fremon, David K. The Trail of Tears. New York: New Discovery, 1994. Print.
7. Brill, Marlene Targ. The Trail of Tears: The Cherokee Journey from Home. Brookfield, CT: Millbrook, 1995. Print.