Life on the Trail of Tears

Two Different Accounts on the Same Historical Event

Account of John G Burnett, Cherokee Messenger

This passage was told from the perspective of a Cherokee messenger, and it gave a first hand portrayal of the Trail of Tears from the eyes of a Cherokee himself or herself. The author had a very somber tone on the whole account. This passage mainly portrayed examples of pathos to appeal to the emotions of the reader. The author's diction and mood of the passage allowed for the reader to fully experience the emotions of the trail. For example, the author stated, "And in the chill of a drizzling rain on an October morning I saw them loaded like cattle or sheep into six hundred and forty-five wagons and started towards the west..." (Burnett 3-5).

Account of a Traveler who signed himself, "A Native of Maine" The New York Observer

The account told by the native of Maine was told as more of an observation of the experience rather than a first hand account. The author used a somber tone, and his diction helped to establish the mood of the passage. He also used examples of pathos to appeal to the emotions of the reader. For example, the author stated, "The sick and feeble were carried in wagons... multitudes go on foot--even aged females apparently nearly ready to drop in the grave, were traveling with heavy burdens...on the sometimes frozen ground...with no covering for feet..." ("A Native of Maine" 7-11).

Social Injustice

Account of John G. Burnett and Account of a Traveler

The social injustice that can be portrayed from these pieces are that the Indians were unfairly removed from their homes to benefit the presence of the white settlers in America. They were offered land in another area, but the life that pursued following their eviction was unfair. In both accounts, it can be explained as social injustice because of the unfit conditions of the weather and life altogether on the trail. Many died along the way. As it was stated in the article from the native of Maine, "They buried 14 or 15 at every stopping place."


Kamri Williams

Trevor Gerber

Kerstin Norby

Nahla Sheperd

Tridib Basu

Alec Sutton

Amanda Powell

Tymya Bullard